Medium & Large OLED performance in the second quarter of 2021

UBI Research has published a market track on the market performance of 10-inch and larger OLEDs. Applications include TVs, monitors, laptops, and tablet PCs.

According to UBI Research’s Medium & Large OLED market track, the total revenue in the second quarter were about $1.5 billion, which is a 6.5% (QoQ) increase from the previous quarter and 129.6% in the same quarter of the previous year (YoY). In the second quarter, shipments totaled 5.1 million units, an increase of -3.6% (QoQ) and 40.4% (YoY). Samsung Display’s notebook OLED shipments in the second quarter were about 900K units. LG Display shipped 1.8 million TV panels in the second quarter of 2021.

Although there were concerns about a decrease in the utilization rate of the rigid OLED line due to the decrease in OLED for smartphones sold to Samsung Electronics, the A2 line is gradually being converted to production of OLED for laptops due to the increase in rigid OLED demand. In the first half of the year, two 12K lines were put into OLED production for notebooks, and in the second half, it is planned to increase to three or four lines.

Apple’s iPad, which will be mass-produced by Samsung Display from the end of the year, will use LTPO TFT and hybrid OLED (rigid substrate + TFE).

UBI Research predicts $2.25 billion in the OLED emitting material market in 2025

UBI Research (www.ubiresearch.com), a company specializing in OLED market research, cites the recently published ‘OLED emitting material market track for the second quarter of 2021’. It is predicted that the market for light emitting materials for OLED will grow at an average annual rate of 9% to reach $2.25 billion in 2025.

The purchase amount of light emitting materials by Korean panel makers is expected to reach $1.61 billion in 2025 at an average annual growth rate of 5.8%, accounting for 71.6% of the total market. In addition, over the next five years, it is expected that Korean panel makers’ total purchases of light emitting materials will account for 72.4% of the total. In contrast, the amount of material purchases by Chinese panel makers is expected to reach $640 million in 2025 at an average annual growth rate of 8.7%.

By panel maker, Samsung Display is expected to purchase the most emitting materials with a share of 43.5% over the next five years, while LG Display is expected to purchase 28.9% and BOE 17.5%.

Finally, looking at each deposition method, it is expected that the light emitting material for RGB OLED will account for 78% of the total market, and the light emitting material for WRGB OLED will account for 20.4%. Samsung Display’s QD-OLED emitting materials, which are expected to be released in the second half of this year, are expected to account for less than 2% of the total material market as panel shipments are not expected to be large.

Small OLED performance and forecast in the first quarter of 2021

UBI Research has published a market track on the market performance of small OLED under 10 inches. The main application products are foldable phones, smartphones, and watches.

According to UBI Research’s small OLED market track, OLED shipments for smartphones (including foldable phones) in the first quarter were 140 million units, a decrease of 13.5% compared to the previous quarter (QoQ), but increase of 32.4% compared to the same quarter of the previous year (YoY).

In the first quarter of 2020, OLED shipments also decreased due to a decrease in smartphone sales due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The reason for the 13.5% decrease compared to the fourth quarter of 2020 is that shipments surged in the fourth quarter of last year due to iPhone launches and strong sales.

In terms of sales by company, Samsung Display and LG Display account for 79.0% and 11.3%, respectively, and Korean OLED dominate the market with 90.3%.

Publication of China OLED industry trend analysis report

Despite the ongoing Corona-19 situation and the US government’s sanctions on Huawei, the adoption of OLED by Chinese smartphone makers is gradually increasing.

The Chinese market, which had been concentrated in the low-end smartphone market, has been expanding into the mid-to-high-end market as Huawei increased its global market share. In particular in the Chinese market, with only the iPhone remaining in the premium smartphone market, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi have rapidly increased their market share in the mid- to high-end market with OLED smartphones.

Based on this growth, following Royole and Huawei, Xiaomi also launched a foldable phone in 2021. Chinese display makers have risen to the top spot in LCD production, and their OLED production technology has reached a significant level, and they are also directly producing foldable OLED, which requires the highest level of difficulty in OLED production technology. Foldable OLEDs from BOE and CSOT are used in Huawei and Xiaomi’s foldable phones.

In the “Chinese OLED Trend Report for 2021” published by UBI Research, the OLED-equipped smartphone, TV, and watch industries produced in China were analyzed, and technology development/investment trends and market performance of OLED panel makers were analyzed. In addition, the size of the light emitting material and component material market used by Chinese OLED panel makers was analyzed and summarized.

57 types of OLED smartphones released in the first quarter of 2021 were counted. This number is more than double the number of 27 species in the same quarter last year. This is because Chinese smartphone makers such as Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi have mass-released new OLED smartphones to occupy Huawei’s smartphone market.

The OLED market by Chinese panel makers is also growing explosively due to the active use of OLED by Chinese smartphone makers. In the first quarter of 2021, OLED sales for smartphones were counted at 990 million dollars, which increased by 38.3% compared to the same quarter of 2020 (YoY). The reason for the rapid growth of OLED sales is the increase in selling prices as OLEDs produced by Chinese panel makers move from low resolution to high resolution.

The amount of light emitting materials used by Chinese panel makers has not seen a significant increase yet. In the meantime, production was low due to low yield due to low production technology, but now production is increasing even with the same amount of material used. In 2020, 13.8 tons of luminescent material was used.

Forecast of OLED Light Emitting Materials Market in 2021: $15.2 billion

Citing the recently published ‘2021 OLED emitting material report’, UBI Research (www.ubiresearch.com), a company specializing in OLED market research, forecasted that the OLED emitting material market size in 2021 will be $1.52 billion, a 17% increase from $1.3 billion in 2020.

By country, Korean panel makers’ material purchase rate is expected to account for 74.3% of the total market, and China is expected to account for 25.7%. By company, Samsung Display is expected to take the 1st place with 45.9% of the total, LG Display to take second place with 28.5%, and BOE to take third place with 13.7%.

By evaporation method, it is expected that the emitting materials for RGB OLED used for small OLEDs account for 81.4% of the total market, and the emitting materials for WRGB OLED of LG Display account for 18.3%. Samsung Display’s QD-OLED emitting material, which will be released in the second half of this year, is expected to account for less than 1% of the total material market as shipments of QD-OLED panels are not expected to be large.

Meanwhile, the ‘2021 OLED Emitting Material Report’ published this time includes not only the OLED emitting material market forecast, but also the development trend of low-power driving technology, the development trend of blue phosphorescent materials, and the material supply chain of Chinese panel makers. It is expected to be helpful for the companies related to emitting materials understand related technologies and forecast future technology directions and markets.

Cover window market forecast for foldable phones

The biggest difference between flexible OLED and foldable OLED will be the cover window material. In terms of price competitiveness, various Colorless Poly Imide (CPI) are superior to suppliers, but in the end, the cover window market is expected to depend on which material Samsung Electronics and Apple choose.

Samsung Display plans to supply only foldable OLEDs using UTG (Ultra Thin Glass) to Samsung Electronics and other China this year, and is expected to adopt UTG as the main cover window material in the future.

BOE and CSOT currently focus on transparent PI, but they are securing technology by continuously collaborating with UTG-related glass processing companies. For this reason, according to the UBI Research component and materials market track, UTG is expected to occupy 80% of the market for foldable cover windows in the future, and transparent PI is low in price and easy to apply to products larger than 10 inches As a result, it is expected to be applied to low-end models, tablets, and notebook models.

 

In 2020, small OLED shipments increased by 3.4%↑, sales decreased by 2.8%↓

Corona 19 and Huawei’s US sanctions negatively affected the OLED market for smartphones, but it was a plus with Apple’s strong sales of iphone 12.

Samsung Display completed the Y-OCTA renovation of the Apple line in 2020, and the LTPO TFT secured a 30K scale. By the first half of 2021, the company plans to convert the LTPS line from Apple’s line to the LTPO TFT line.

The foldable phones released by Samsung Electronics in 2020 are the Galaxy Z Flip released in February and the Galaxy Z Fold 2 released in September, both in-folding and using UTG (ultra thin glass). Galaxy Z Fold 2 is a product to which LTPO TFT technology is applied.

BOE failed several times without exceeding the approval process in Apple’s iPhone12 quality test, but received final approval for panel supply at the end of December 2020. BOE’s new line, B12, is an Apple module line that starts bringing in equipment from December 2020, and is aiming for mass production in November 2021.

According to the annual small OLED display report published by UBI Research, small OLED shipments in 2020 increased by 3.4% compared to 2019, but sales decreased by 2.8%. The increase in shipments is due to the increase in OLED for watches, and the decrease in sales is due to the decrease in OLEDs for smartphones.

In 2020, the total sales of OLED for smartphones was 26.7 billion dollars, of which Samsung Display accounted for 78.8% with 21 billion dollars. LG Display has sales of $2.8 billion and a market share of 10.5%. Samsung Display accounted for 91.7% with 2.35 million dollars in 2019. Smartphone sales in 2020 decreased by 6.68 million units compared to 2019.

Middle and Large OLED sales growth of 40.2% in 2020

Although Samsung Display’s rigid OLED line is expected to decrease due to a decrease in Huawei’s volume due to the US production, demand for rigid OLEDs is expected to increase as demand for laptops, monitors and tablet PCs is increasing. To respond to this, investment in rigid OLED lines in A4 is also being reviewed. This year’s notebook OLED panel is expected to come out with more than 10 different model product lines, and Apple’s OLED production for iPad is scheduled to start from 2022, so demand for middle and large-sized OLED panels is expected to increase.

In addition, LG Display, a leader in P-OLED supplying in the automotive field, is planning to supply plastic OLEDs for automobiles to German car makers by producing premium OLED panels, and Samsung Display is also supplying OLED panels for vehicles.

According to the 2021 middle and large OLED annual report published by UBI Research, the total sales of middle and large-sized OLEDs in 2020 was $3.882.7 million, and last year was $2.63 billion, an increase of 40.2% from the previous year. By application, the notebook and automobile markets have increased remarkably, and the notebook, monitor, and automotive product markets are expected to grow in 2021.

Samsung Display’s QD-OLED mass production is expected to be around December 2021, and 65-inch panels are highly likely to be used by Sony. Samsung Electronics is expected to receive only 32-inch QD-OLEDs for monitors, not purchasing 65 inches.

LG Display’s 2020 TV OLED panel shipments were counted to 4.4 million units, and if the Guangzhou plant operates at 90K from the third quarter, the production capacity will reach 8.5 million units in 2021.

 

2020 OLED annual performance analysis

Total shipments of AMOLED in 2020 were aggregated to 575.78 million units. This is an increase of 20.41 million units compared to the 557.46 million units shipped in 2019.

The first OLED application products released in 2020 are for automobiles and for notebooks. Analysis by application product shows that the market has increased for foldable OLED, TV WRGB OLED, and watch OLED, and the decline is for smartphone and tablet PC.

Sales in 2020 were $32.68 billion, an increase of $2.3 billion from $32.45 billion in 2019. The insignificant increase in sales compared to the increase in shipments in 2020 is due to the decline in OLED unit prices for smartphones. This is because the OLED unit prices of iPhone and Galaxy S20, which are supporting the OLED market for smartphones, have decreased compared to 2019, and OLED shipments by Chinese panel makers have led to a decrease in OLED unit prices of Samsung Display.

In terms of sales by company, Samsung Display was found to be $22.3 billion, a decrease of $4.2 billion from $26.5 billion in 2019. Samsung Display’s smartphone OLED shipments amounted to 390 million units, a decrease of 40 million units compared to 430 million units in 2019, and sales decreased due to a drop in selling prices. As a result, Samsung Display’s market share in 2020 dropped sharply to 68.2%.

On the other hand, LG Display’s OLED sales reached $68.7 billion, and its market share surged to 21%. LG Display’s sales increase is due to increased shipments of POLEDs for iPhone and OLED panels for TVs.

BOE’s 2020 sales were $1.86 billion, up $7.5 billion compared to 2019. The market share was 5.7%, ranking third.

Korea’s market share in 2019 was 89.3%, falling below 90% for the first time.

The mini-LED TV market in 2025 is the trend of the premium TV market

Products with more advanced LCDs appear. It is an LCD that has greatly improved brightness, HDR, and color reproducibility by adding QD film and mini-LED to BLU. The existing top-level LCD used a full array local dimming (FALD) BLU with a local dimming zone of about 300 to 500.

When the local dimming zone is increased to more than 3,000 by using mini-LED, the contrast ratio is significantly improved, and the halo effect is reduced compared to FALD BLU LCD TVs. In order to achieve the same performance as OLED, the local dimming zone must have as many pixels as the number of pixels, but due to the limitation of LED size reduction, mini-LED TVs to be sold this year will have a local dimming zone of 1,000-3,000 products.

To make the best LCD TV, a TFT substrate capable of AM driving mini-LED BLU is needed. The competitive pointer of LCD TVs using mini-LED BLU is a technology that can make the image quality similar to OLED while minimizing the local dimming zone and the number of LEDs. In order to realize the same image quality as OLED, the local dimming zone must be more than 100,000 divisions, and hundreds of thousands of LEDs and TFT substrates are required for driving, so the manufacturing cost of panels (including modules) becomes similar to that of OLED.

If the backplane of the mini-LED BLU uses FR4 or BT and the local dimming zone is divided into 3,000, the mini-LED TV manufacturing cost can be reduced to about half of that of the OLED TV, maximizing the quality of the LCD TV while lowering the price. The TV with the best cost performance is created.

The manufacturing cost of mini-LED BLU for 65-inch TVs with a local dimming zone of 10,000 divisions or less is analyzed at 250-1,100 dollars level, and the TV price is expected to range from 1,500 to 6,000 dollars depending on the size and local dimming division level. In 2021, the mini-LED TV market is expected to form 2.5 million units.

In terms of market share with OLED TVs, mini-LED TVs are expected to dominate after 2024.

TCL has led the development of Mini-LED TVs, but the market will be led by Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics.

OLED performance analysis in the first half of 2020

It was found that COVID-19, which has spread around the world since January this year, has adversely affected the OLED industry as well. According to UBI Research (CEO Choong Hoon Yi)’s [2020 OLED Display Semi-Annual Report], OLED total shipments and sales in the first half of 2020 were 231 million units and 13.2 billion dollars, respectively. Compared to shipments of 230 million units and sales of 13.8 billion dollars in the first half of last year, shipments increased by 1 million units but sales decreased by 600 million dollars.

The reason for the decrease in sales compared to the increase in shipments is because the shipments of OLEDs for watches, which are cheaper, have increased, but OLEDs for smartphones and TVs have decreased. OLED for watch was 22 million units in 1H19, but 1H20 increased significantly to 33.5 million units, helping to increase OLED shipments. However, the OLED market for smartphones decreased by 10.6 million units. The foldable OLED market has risen significantly with the Galaxy Z Flip, which Samsung Electronics released in the first half of this year.

In the future, the increase in line capacity for mobile devices by panel makers is expected to slow from 2023. Until 2022, investments by Chinese companies are maintained, but further investment is difficult to expect as the oversupply of OLED for smartphones continues.

Samsung Display is converting the LTPS TFT line of the A3 plant to the LTPO TFT line, and since it has been converted so that Y-OCTA can be manufactured at all plants, the mass production capacity is expected to decrease gradually, reaching 9 million square meters in 2021.

As a result, Korea’s mass-produced substrate area is 56.5% until this year, but from 2021, China is expected to have 1% mass-produced capacity, and after 2022, China’s mass-produced capacity will exceed 50%.

Smartphone OLED shipments plummeted to 87 million units in the second quarter of 2020

According to the market track for the second quarter of 2020 published by UBI Research, the total OLED shipments in the second quarter were 107 million units, down 13.4% (QoQ) from 124 million units in the last quarter. In addition, it decreased by 16.6% (YoY) compared to the 122 million units in the second quarter of 2019. This is because sales of OLED set devices decreased due to the aftermath of COVID-19.

However, it was found that the OLED market for smartphones that support the OLED market was significantly affected by COVID-19 compared to the overall market.

OLED shipments for smartphones in the second quarter were 87 million units, down 17% from the previous quarter (QoQ), and 23.1% from the same quarter last year (YoY). Compared to the decline in overall OLED shipments, the decline in OLED shipments for smartphones is even greater. However, the reason for the decline in OLED shipments for smartphones is concentrated on rigid OLEDs.

Despite the sharp decline in OLED shipments for smartphones, flexible OLEDs grew 38% compared to the same quarter last year.

However, the YoY of rigid OLED shipments was -40.3%, a sharp decline from the same quarter last year.

The reason why the increase in flexible OLED for smartphones has soared and the shipments of rigid OLEDs have fallen sharply is because Chinese smartphone makers reduced production of mid-priced smartphones using rigid OLEDs and increased smartphone shipments using flexible OLEDs.

According to UBI Research’s CEO Choong Hoon YI, the reason Chinese smartphone makers have increased their flexible OLED smartphone shipments is: First, due to the influence of Apple, Chinese smartphone makers also use OLED for their flagship models. In particular, Chinese smartphone makers use the name plus or max, which are used by Apple and Samsung Electronics, for the highest-end specifications, and imitate that they are making a product that is equivalent to Apple and Samsung Electronics, which are the most recognized in the smartphone market. The second reason is that Chinese display makers have improved OLED manufacturing technology, allowing them to produce panels similar to Samsung Display’s OLED. In particular, it is because Chinese panel makers are supplying panels at 60% of Samsung Display’s price, so Chinese smartphone makers have increased the choice of flexible OLEDs. The third reason is that Chinese panel makers can supply OLEDs at low prices because of the Chinese government’s subsidy policy.

YI said that the OLED industry will become more active due to the increase in OLED usage by Chinese smartphone makers, but the growth of Samsung Display’s OLED business, which has maintained a monopoly position in the smartphone OLED market, may stop growing due to the increase in production of Chinese panel makers.

Will Dowooinsys expand UTG lines to prepare for the foldable phone market?

The cover window material of Samsung Electronics ‘Galaxy Z Fold 2’ which will be released in the second half of this year, is UTG like ‘Galaxy Z Filp’. The reason why Samsung Electronics prefers UTG is analyzed for its sense of luxury, differentiation, and sensitivity for the touch pen expected to be applied in the future.

In 2021, the market for over 10 million foldable phones is expected to expand, and the main cover window material of Samsung’s foldable phones will be UTG. To respond to this, Dowooinsys should increase their capacity.

Dowooinsys’ capa is estimated to be 250K/month for 6 inch cells and 375K/month for 7 inch cells. Even if the 6 inch line will be converted to a 7 inch line in the future, it will be 500K/month. Considering the yield of Dowooinsisy and Samsung Display’s Vietnamese module line, more than 4 to 5 lines should be expanded.

Currently, Samsung Display’s Vietnamese module line is assumed as 450K/month considering the yield, but the Vietnamese module line is continually being converted into a foldable line. Even in response to the current situation that Samsung Electronics prefers UTG, Dowooinsys is expected to expand more lines in the second half of this year, and its location is also expected to be considered near Samsung Display’s Vietnamese module line.

With the expansion of Dowooinsys’ additional lines, the market of cover window materials for foldable phones is expected to change in the future. At UBI Research’s ‘Next-Generation Display Technology and Industry Outlook Seminar’ held in mid-July, it is predicted that UTG will lead the future market at a ratio of 7:3 with colorless polyimide.

Published The Chinese OLED Industry Trend Report for The First Half of 2020

UBI Research published a report on trends in China related to the OLED industry at the end of the first half of 2020.

In 2020, 1Q China’s OLED sales were $842 million, despite a Corona 19 crisis, up 1.7% QoQ and 59.4% YoY. China’s OLED shipments are 23% of the total market as of 2020, and it is expected to expand to 45% in 2025.

This report includes product launch trends of OLED-related Chinese set makers during the 2019~first half of 2020, business and investment status by major panel manufacturers, supply chains for major products, various performance analysis and forecasts, and includes the trend of recently announced exhibition products.

This report will provide guidelines for people engaged in various tasks such as OLED-related panel manufacturing, parts/materials, and equipment fields to understand and forecast the Chinese OLED industry.

Material Science Co., Ltd. develops high-purity blue light-emitting material with a half width of 11 nm

In OLEDs which are currently leading the display industry for mobile devices and TVs, blue material is still using fluorescent material unlike red and green.

Currently, a lot of light emitting material companies are trying to improve the efficiency, lifespan, and color purity of blue light emitting materials, also next-generation materials such as phosphorescence, TADF, and hyper-fluorescence as well as actively developing luminous efficiency by controlling emission wavelengths.

Material Science (hereinafter referred to as MS), a Korean company that has been developing blue light emitting materials since 2015, has recently focused on realizing high color purity and successfully developed high color purity blue light emitting materials with a light emission wavelength of 460 nm and a half width of 11 nm. Considering that the emission wavelength of the currently commercially available blue material is about 20 nm, the blue material of MS is expected to receive great attention.

The full width at half maximum (FWHM) is an expression of the extent of function given by the difference between the two extreme values of the independent variable at which the dependent variable is equal to half of its maximum value.

And the narrower the half width, the higher the purity.

A typical example is Samsung Electronics’ QLED TV, which has significantly improved color reproduction by applying a QD sheet to the LCD back light.

The blue light emitting material developed by MS is expected to be applicable not only to fluorescent materials but also to hyper-fluorescence, which is attracting attention as a next-generation blue material according to emission wavelength control.

<Comparison of the half width of the existing blue dopant with the half width of the blue dopant developed by MS, Source: Materials Science>

Samsung’s QNED, will make a sensation in the TV and display markets?

QNED (Quantum dot nanorod LED), which is known to be under development by Samsung, is becoming a hot issue in the display industry in 2020.

With the emergence of micro LEDs, followed by CRTs, PDPs, LCDs, and OLEDs as TV displays, the industry is interested in whether QNED could be another new technology.

Samsung Display is known to stop the LCD business and invest 13.1 trillion won as an alternative to do the QD-OLED business. In this situation, attention is being focused because the development of QNED can act as another variable in the future of Samsung Display’s large display business.

QNED uses oxide TFT and QD (quantum dot) -CF (color filter) technologies used in QD-OLED manufacturing. On the other hand, the pixel material that emits light is characterized by being changed to a nano-sized bar-type LED (nanorod LED), unlike OLED emitting materials. The pixel manufacturing technology, which is the core technology of QNED manufacturing, is a method of spraying nanorod LEDs dispersed in a solution into a pixel area by an ink jet method and arranging them in a self-align method by an electric signal.

UBI Research published a report that analyzed the structure and manufacturing technology of QNED based on the patented technology filed by Samsung Display. This report is structured to quantitatively analyze QNED-related patents filed by Samsung Display, so that QNED’s technology completeness and mass productivity can be known.

78.6 tons of OLED emitting material demand increased by 5.6% in 2020

According to the 2020 OLED emitting material report published by UBI Research, the demand for emitting materials in 2020 is 78.6 tons, which is 4.2 tons higher than last year’s 74.4 tons. The material used for OLEDs for smartphones and mobile devices is 62.9 tons, and the OLED emitting material for TVs is expected to be 15.7 tons.

In 2019, the total emitting material market was totaled at $ 1.28 billion, and 43% of the total amount was purchased from Samsung Display. It was found that the amount purchased by LG Display was 19.4% and the BOE was 11.6%. LG Display’s purchase of emitting materials accounted for 60.8% of TV use. The order of purchase of emitting materials for mobile devices is in order of Samsung Display, BOE, and LG Display. This is because BOE has a large amount of OLED production for mobiles after Samsung Display.

The OLED panel for TV only produces LG Display, but Samsung Display is pursuing QD-OLED commercialization using blue light emitting material and QD. In addition, although BOE is a white OLED structure similar to LG Display, it is developing a top-emission structure that transmits light in the opposite direction of TFT, and it is expected that three companies will produce OLED panels for TV within a few years, and the emitting material market is expected to increase as well.

The market for emitting materials in 2020 is expected to increase by 7% from 2019 to $ 1.37 billion. Among the emitting materials, green and red hosts are expected to be $ 19.2 billion and $ 19 billion, respectively, and green dopants and P + are expected to be $ 1.37 billion and $ 1.35 billion, respectively.

[UBI Research China Trend Report] Will BOE Provide UPC Panel with Transparent PI Substrate to Oppo?

According to UBI Research’s report on changes in the OLED market caused by coronavirus, the forecast for the 2020 OLED modification market is $ 36.7 billion in sales and 612 million units. This is a decrease of 4.8% and 7.6%, respectively, from the expected sales of $ 38.5 billion and shipments of 6.6 million units at the beginning of the year.

As a result of UBI Research’s analysis of the effect of coronavirus on the OLED market for two months, the global smartphone market is expected to drop by 20% and the TV market is expected to decrease by 15%. However, the impact on the overall OLED industry was judged to be only 5-8%. OLED panels for smartphones, TVs and watches are expected to decrease, but the market for OLEDs for monitors is expected to increase.

The expected OLED shipment for smartphones was 527 million units at the beginning of the year, but the forecast for correction is 486 million units, a decrease of only 7.8%. Although the market for Galaxy and iPhone is analyzed to be higher than the average decrease rate, Chinese smartphone makers are expected to reduce LCD smartphones and increase production of OLED smartphones significantly.

Chinese smartphone makers’ use of OLED seems to follow Apple’s business direction. Flagship models of Chinese smartphone makers have used Pro and Pro Plus. Pro is the model grade name used by Apple and Plus is the model grade name used by Samsung. However, flagship models of Chinese smartphone makers that are launching this year are using both Pro and Pro Max as well as Apple. All of these models, like Apple, plan to use flexible OLEDs.

The OLED TV market was found to be greatly affected by coronavirus. Estimated shipments at the beginning of the year were 4.9 million units, but the forecast for correction was 3.6 million units, down by 1.3 million units. A 26.5% reduction is expected. This is 300,000 units more than 2019 shipments. This is because the production schedule of the Guangzhou factory has been postponed since the third quarter due to the coronavirus, and TV sales are plunging due to the spread of coronavirus in Japan and Europe, the main markets for OLED TV. In fact, Japan’s TV performance in the second quarter was below 50% in 2019.

However, the demand for the OLED panel business for monitors that Samsung Display has been promoting since the second half of last year is expected to increase due to the game industry, telecommuting, telemedicine, and remote classes due to the aftermath of the coronavirus.

Samsung Display QD-OLED Investment Timing Forecast to Oppo?

Samsung’s LCD business, which began in 1991, will be suspended in 2021. Samsung’s LCD business is completely closed after a 30-year lifespan. Samsung foresaw the limitations of the LCD business 10 years ago and stopped investing in the 10G. Instead, Samsung Electronics has separated the LCD business to create a Samsung Display combined with Samsung SDI’s OLED and has been preparing for a new display era.

Samsung’s loss of LCD business can be estimated for two reasons. The first is the deterioration of profitability from China’s LCD over-investment, and the second is the transition to a new business with high added value.

Since the display is an essential product in the modern information society, demand is gradually increasing worldwide as the usage is increased. In addition, as the amount of information increases, the data to be expressed increases, so the display size must also increase. By these two factors, the display industry has the power to continue to develop. However, China’s LCD investments have continued to invest in large quantities over many years. In the wake of this, only two LCD companies in Japan, Sharp and JDI, remained, and the Korean LCD business also reached a point where it was necessary to organize the business due to deficits.

Samsung Display and LG Display have expanded the OLED business to respond to the low-priced panel of Chinese LCD companies, and have focused on producing OLEDs with the best image quality preferred by set makers with high brand power. Samsung Display already secured a market of $ 25.3 billion in the smartphone display business in 2019, and LG Display secured $ 2.2 billion in sales in the OLED market for TV last year.

Samsung Display has enjoyed tremendous sales and operating profit in the OLED business, but the LCD business has been in the red for several years. Samsung Display sells LCDs for monitors, mainly for LCDs for TVs, but has secured the optimal solution to replace them all as QD-OLEDs.

QD-OLED production, which Samsung Display started investing from this year, uses 8.5G equipment. This is because Samsung Display’s factory in Tangjeong is an 8.5G LCD line, which can reduce the cost of building an OLED production line. Samsung Display will produce 8K 65-inch QD-OLED panels at this plant starting next year. It also produces QD-OLEDs for 32-inch 4K monitors. Maintaining the TV and monitor panel business previously held by Samsung Display, profitability can be secured by selling expensive products.

Samsung Display started investing in QD-OLED 30K in the existing 8.5G LCD factory, but the total investment is 120K. The remaining investment is 90K. Samsung Display’s additional investment is expected to change in size and timing depending on the QD-OLED production situation starting next year. If a yield of over 60% is secured from the beginning of production, the remaining 90K can be invested in next year. This is the most desirable timing. It can be used without leaving the LCD engineer. To prepare for this situation, all LCD lines must be removed by the first half of 2021. The next scenario is when the QD-OLED yield is less than 60%. In general, when the yield is low, the plant cannot be fully operated, so it does not require much manpower. Since additional investment is appropriate after securing the yield, it is a method of separating the investment, investing 30 ~ 60K, and then investing the remaining size later.

Nobody know what will happen next year, but Samsung Display is steadily taking a step forward to secure the future business.

JDI decided to sell LCD production equipment to a foreign client for 200 million dollars

JDI announced that it has agreed to sell production equipment at its plant in Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture, to a foreign client for 200 million dollars.

The Hakusan plant was JDI’s mainstay factory, producing LCD panels for Apple. The plant was halted in July last year due to sluggish demand. JDI plans to clean up excess facilities that have caused poor performance.

JDI decided to sell LCD production equipment to Apple first and real estate to Sharp later, but negotiations have been delayed due to the effect of the corona virus.

The Hakusan plant was built with Apple’s $ 1.5 billion funds and operated at the end of 2016. But because Apple’s utilization of OLED panels on iPhones has increased in recent years, utilization rate of Hakusan plant has decreased. Moreover, it was a burden for JDI to repay the advances to Apple at the end of February 2020. It is a policy that the funds obtained through the sale of the equipment will be used to repay advances.

Foldable OLED UTG market expected to grow rapidly

As Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Z Flip continues to be sold out in the market, Samsung Display’s foldable OLED cover window UTG (ultra thin glass) market is expected to grow rapidly.

According to UBI Research’s first quarter 2020 parts and materials market track, the UTG market is expected to grow to $ 160 million this year and to $ 640 million in 2023.

In Samsung Electronics’ first-generation foldable phone, the Galaxy folder, a transparent PI made of plastic was used as the cover window, but in the second-generation foldable phone, the Galaxy Z Flip, the cover window was replaced with UTG. The reason Samsung Display changed the transparent PI to UTG is that the glare of the glass cover when the screen is off gives a much more luxurious feeling than the transparent PI.

Samsung Display used transparent PI produced by Dongwoo Fine-Chem for the first-generation foldable OLED, but changed it to UTG produced by Dowooinsys technology. Glass for UTG is provided by Shott. To strengthen the foldable OLED ecosystem, Samsung Display secured a 27.7% stake in Dowooinsys and secured its position as the largest shareholder. Foldable OLED latecomers are now only developing out-folding type foldable OLEDs as transparent PI, but Samsung Display has changed materials to prevent latecomers from following the foldable OLED market at all.

Samsung Display, LG Display, and OLED sales depend on the operation of the Vietnamese module factory

Samsung Display and LG Display, whose business trip to Vietnam was blocked by the Corona virus, are trying to prevent delays in OLED production by launching charter.

Samsung Display, which produces OLED for mobile devices, operates a line of OLED modules for smartphones in Bac Ninh, Vietnam, and Samsung Electronics also has smartphone manufacturing plants in Bac Ninh and Tai Nguyen. Samsung Display installed the foldable OLED module line 30K in December 2019. In this module factory, Samsung Display is producing foldable OLED modules for Galaxy Z flips, which Samsung Electronics has begun selling this year. LG Display invested a total of KRW 1 trillion in Haiphong, Vietnam in May 2016 to produce the OLED module, built a module factory and started operation in September of that year.

The Vietnamese government is blocking entry from Korea to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This has made it difficult for Korean companies with factories in Vietnam to travel to Vietnam. However, Samsung Display and LG Display are preparing a charter for the normal operation of their OLED module factory and are on a business trip to Vietnam.

If Samsung Display is unable to manage the Vietnamese module factory, Samsung Electronics will disrupt the production of the Galaxy Z Flip, which is the biggest game this year, and may cause huge losses and may be affected by the leading position in the foldable smartphone market. LG Display is also in an urgent situation. From the fourth quarter of last year, LG Display began to supply pOLED to Apple following Samsung Display, and pOLED shipments to Apple are increasing this year. As LG Display supplied pOLED to Apple, sales increased significantly last year. This year, LG Display’s Apple supply is expected to reach 15 million units.

Therefore, these two companies are desperate to manage the module factory in Vietnam to maintain the OLED business.

2020 OLED Manufacturing Equipment Market Forecast

According to UBI Research’s annual equipment market track for 2020, the OLED manufacturing equipment market is expected to reach $ 9.51 billion in 2020. This is an increase of $ 1.2 billion compared to $ 8.31 billion in 2019.

Chinese panel makers have aggressively invested the 6G Flexible OLED line, but due to the high panel price, the adoption of flexible OLED produced in China in the smartphone market has not increased, leading to an oversupply of over 30% worldwide. For this reason, Korea has stopped investing in 6G flexible OLED, and Chinese panel makers are also delaying their investment time slightly.

However, by 2020, Samsung Display’s investment in the 8.5G QD-OLED 30K line began, and the equipment market will remain at the 2019 level.

The impact of the corona virus on the OLED market in 2020

Dark clouds are approaching Korean industry by the corona virus that has been blown since the beginning of the year. Wuhan, the birthplace of the corona virus, is badly affecting the Chinese display industry because it is a key place where Chinese display makers are building large production bases.

Wuhan and other plant set-ups are experiencing difficulties due to the lack of manpower needed to build the line. At the same time, the utilization rate of the entire supply chain in China is falling sharply, as the labor force of parts and materials manufacturers in China is delayed to return to the factory. In the smartphone industry, the center of the OLED industry, iPhone production is affected in the first quarter. Foxconn’s factories, which produce iPhones in Zhangzhou and Shenzhen, China, are operating at 50% at end-February. This is because manufacturing workers are returning to the factory late. Companies such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo are also hampering smartphone production due to delays in parts procurement.

Nevertheless, the production of OLED smartphones is not much affected yet. First, Samsung Display’s panel production plant, which accounts for 86.3% (2019) of OLED shipments for smartphones, is located in Korea, while the module plant in Vietnam is not affected by China. In addition, the supply chain has no effect as most of the material production bases that make up OLED panels (including modules) are also in Korea.

Samsung Display’s OLED production for smartphones in January and February totaled 48 million units, less than 2 million units compared to 50 million units shipped in the same period in 2019. Of these, 14 million and 17 million units were supplied to Chinese smartphone makers in 2019 and 2020, respectively. This year, more than 3 million units are shipped. So far, Samsung Display’s OLED business is not affected by the corona virus.

The total market share of Chinese OLED panel makers in 2019 is 11.7%. By February, the panel utilization rate of Chinese OLED panel makers was maintained at 80%. The impact of factory operation due to lack of manpower is about 20% because most of the display manufacturing industry is driven by automated facilities. Chinese OLED makers import most of the major materials, including light emitting materials, from Korea and Japan, so they are hardly affected by the corona virus.

The parts procurement status of smartphone makers in China affects the market. If Chinese suppliers, including Huawei, fail to procure parts in China, smartphone production will be hampered. However, as Samsung Display’s OLED production for China is progressing smoothly, Chinese smartphone makers have a strategy of maintaining OLED smartphones, which are expensive brands.

In addition, the first quarter is the off-season with the lowest shipment season, so even if it is difficult to operate a smartphone manufacturing plant until March, the impact on the overall market is about 10%. After the second quarter, if the corona virus subsides, demand can resume.

The problem is from March. China’s corona virus has slowed down, but South Korea has been expanding since the last week of February. There is someone has a virus at Samsung’s Gumi smartphone manufacturing plant. In addition, the Vietnamese authorities, concerned about the influx of South Korea’s virus, refused to visit Koreans, which may make it difficult for the headquarters to properly deal with problems with Samsung Display’s module plant management in Vietnam.

Most important of all, the corona virus is spreading all over the world, and economic activity is severely reduced. In China, the entrance of the apartment is blocked, so it is difficult to bring TV. The Chinese TV market is shrinking. Many people are refusing to go out because they are concerned about a corona virus infection, so fewer people visit a store and buy a smartphone. Consumer sentiment is falling significantly.

Assuming that the corona virus crisis will end in March in Korea and China, the impact of the smartphone OLED industry on 2020 is estimated to be about 5%, but if it is prolonged, it may be adversely affected by more than 10%. Assuming that the corona virus crisis will end in March, the impact of the smartphone OLED industry on 2020 is estimated to be around 5%, but if it continues until the first half of the year, it could be adversely affected by 10%.

The OLED business for TV is slightly different. LG Display’s factories that produce exclusive OLED panels for TVs are located in Paju, Korea, and Guangzhou, China. The Paju plant is not disrupted at all. Like OLEDs for smartphones, parts and components are mostly supplied by Korean and Japanese companies, so Paju factory is not affected by China.

The problem is the Guangzhou plant. LG Display has been expected to produce panels since September 2019, but its supply has been delayed due to poor panel lifetime. LG Display has begun production of panels again this year and is undergoing product tests from customers. Recently, however, the corona virus has begun to spread in Korea, making it difficult for Korean engineers to go to Guangzhou. Even if the corona virus disappears in the first quarter in China and the factories operate normally, it may take some time before the panel is supplied from the Guangzhou plant.

According to Ubi Research’s OLED market track, the 2020 forecast is 4.95 million units without considering the corona virus situation, of which 750,000 OLED panels for TV can be produced by LG Display in the first quarter. If the 55-inch production volume is large, up to 800,000 units can be produced. Since the data were prepared in anticipation that panels produced at the GuangZhou plant will be available from the second quarter, LG Display’s panel supply is expected to be 1.4 million units in the second quarter.

However, it is possible that production will be delayed after May if the customer’s quality certification of panels produced at Guangzhou plant is delayed due to the Korean coronavirus rather than the Chinese coronavirus. In that case, the annual TV panel production could be reduced by about 200,000 units, which is expected to decrease by 4% from the estimated total. However, if the corona virus is prolonged by June, it can cause up to 10% of adverse effects. The market should consider 500,000 fewer than expected.

Galaxy S20 series, Korea’s first day of opening about 70,000 units

The opening volume of Samsung’s new smartphone Galaxy S20 series on the first day in Korea is half that of last year’s Galaxy S10.

According to the Korean telecommunications industry on February 28, the opening volume of the Galaxy S20 series is estimated at about 70,800 units. This figure is about 50% lower than the 140,000 units of the Galaxy S10, which was released in March last year.

In the industry, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is equipped with an 108 million pixel camera, so it was expected that the S20 series, which greatly enhanced the camera function, will be in high demand.

The decrease in the opening volume of the Galaxy S20 is estimated to have reduced demand for the Galaxy S20 due to the decrease in offline visitors due to the spread of the new corona virus.

IPhone shipments may drop sharply in 1Q

The impact of China’s corona virus is expected to reduce iPhone production by 50% year-on-year.

Foxconn’s iPhone plants are located in Zhangzhou and Shenzhen, China, where 90% of the iPhone is manufactured.

Foxconn’s Zhangzhou’s workforce is about 160,000, but only about 10% have returned since the spring holiday, and the Shenzhen plant has not resumed production.

Foxonn plans to increase overall utilization by 80% in March. For the time being, iPhone production is expected to decline.

Foxconn pays 3000 yuan (about $ 400) per person if it returns before March 7th to increase plant utilization.

Estimated OLED shipments by 2020 will be 662 million units

According to UBI Research’s “2020 OLED Annual Report”, OLED sales in 2020 are expected to be $ 38.5 billion, an increase of 17.5% from the sales of $ 32.8 billion in 2019.

In terms of shipments in 2020, smartphone OLEDs are expected to reach 527 million units, TV OLED units at 4.9 million units, and watch OLED units at 118 million units. The estimated 2020 shipments of OLED for foldable phones are 6 million units.

The bad news for the OLED market for smartphones in 2020 is a decline in demand due to the ongoing Corona virus COVID-19. But in 2H, demand for flexible OLED will increase as Apple adopts more OLEDs. In particular, OCTA will be applied to the flexible OLED for iPhone, which will be produced in 2H, and the price of flexible OLED is expected to fall by 15-20%. The high price of US $ 1,000 or more could lead to a surge in replacement demand for iPhones, which could not be replaced, leading to increased flexible OLED shipments.

The product to be noted in the OLED TV market is the newly launched 48-inch product. 48-inch OLED TV, introduced as a gaming TV at CES2020, is expected to be in high demand in Japan. Sony’s OLED TV sales are expected to increase.

Chinese panel makers are very active in producing OLEDs for watches. The watch uses a small display of 1 to 1.5 inches, but the rigid OLED price is very expensive, at about $ 10 to 15 dollars. Chinese panel makers account for 43.3% of the 70 million OLED panel shipments in 2019. However, Korean companies that supply expensive flexible OLEDs to Samsung Electronics and Apple account for 65.3% of sales.

 

Foldable Phone Cover Window Material Competition To Heat up.

Ahead of Samsung Electronics’ unpacking event, interest in the foldable phone cover window material is hot. There was a concerned surprise that the Galaxy Fold, which was scheduled to be released in the first half of last year, was delayed for several months due to the tearing issue of the protective film. This year’s concern is whether Ultrathin Glass (UTG), which has emerged as a substitute for Colorless Polyimide (CPI), can be mass-produced without major issues.

Samsung Electronics will release the Galaxy Z flip known as “Clamshell” in the first half of this year and the Galaxy Fold 2 known as “Winner 2” in the second half of this year. The Clamshell is known to adopt UTG. This material is advantageous in terms of the hardness required for the use of the S Pen, the luxurious visibility and the soft touch unique to the glass. Moreover, the major reason for adopting UTG is known to remove wrinkle at the center of the screen, which has been pointed out as a disadvantage of CPI.

Prior to adopting UTG, Samsung Display invested $ 40.8M in Dowooinsys, UTG maker, and became the largest shareholder with 27.7% stake. The intention is to secure the stable supply of UTG and reduce its dependence on Japan for major materials.

<Ultrathin Glass (UTG) (Source : Dowooinsys homepage)>

However, there are also concerns about the adoption of UTG. Schott, AGC and Corning are also developing the product and they can produce substrates with a thickness of about 100 mm by the floating method or the slit nozzle method. To make it even thinner, Dowooinsys uses hot drawing or HF etching. The thickness of UTG to secure durability is believed to be 100 mm or more and with this thickness, the radius of curvature is about 2 ~ 3mm (~1mm for CPI), which reduces design freedom of the foldable phones. To improve durability, the UTG surface is coated with a polymer resin, which also prevents glass fragments from scattering when broken. The current problems of UTG are that mass production and yield are not yet secured due to the difficulty of the process, and that there exist traumatic worries on unexpected durability issues when released to the market.

Meanwhile, CPI material companies, which have been threatened by the news that UTG will be adopted for Clamshell, are also preparing to fight back. In order to remove the changeable window film (protective film) of PET material applied to Galaxy Fold, they are increasing the hardness of the hard coating on the CPI and developing a functional coating to give a glassy gloss. In particular, Dongwoo Fine-Chem, which did hard-coating on the CPI for Galaxy Fold, is known to simplify the process by developing hard coating materials including antifouling function. With all efforts added up , the CPI cover window structure is changed from the first generation foldable phone (PET + COA + CPI + COA) to the second generation foldable phone (CPI + COA), enabling the thickness to be reduced from about 200 mm to half, and the material cost and the process to be reduced.

<2019 Released Samsung Galaxy Fold Structure (Source: UBI Research Report)>

<Structure Prediction of the Samsung Galaxy Fold Follow-up Models: When Using UTG (Left) and CPI (Right) (Source: UBI Research)>

In addition to Sumitomo Chemical, which supplied to Galaxy Fold, Kolon Industries and SKC are also preparing for mass production of CPI. While UTG adoption seems to benefit to Clamshell with small screens, CPI is advantageous for larger screen sizes. UTG must make up for durability at the thickness retaining design freedom, and secure mass production system and price competitiveness through process improvement. CPI should strive to improve the hardness and appearance close to glass, and also increase price competitiveness. The material selection criteria will vary with the foldable phone models and customer response. Therefore the customer response for the Clamshell will be an important step in the future direction of the foldable phone cover window material. The market for the material is expected to grow rapidly, reaching $ 429.6M by 2023. The competition between UTG and CPI to take the market first has now begun.

JDI at Japan signed a $1 billion investment contract and focused on automobile LCDs and finger sensors rather than OLEDs.

Japan Display (JDI) announced on the Jan. 31st that they have signed a final contract to receive investment of up to 108 billion yen (980 million dollar) from Ichigo Asset Management. Therefore, the company is expected to release its debts and invest in new fields such as fingerprint sensors. However, it has yet to be determined whether JDI will invest in OLED for Smartphones.

It will take over preferred shares at 50.4 billion yen and secure 44 percent of voting rights to become the largest shareholder. The remaining 50.4 billion yen will take over preferred shares that do not have voting rights, but after one year, it will be possible to convert ordinary shares, which will result in more than a majority of Ichigo’s voting rights. Scott Caron, the CEO of Ichigo, will be Chairman of JDI after approval. JDI plans to hold an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting on March 25 to get the official approval and receive the funds on March 26 the same day.

JDI is supplying liquid crystal panels for the iPhone to Apple, but JDI needs a new revenue source as Apple is set to hire more OLED panels in the mid- and long-term. JDI plans to use funds from Ichiro to invest in facilities such as LCDs for automobile and fingerprint sensors. In an interview in September 19, JDI’s CEO Kikuoka said, “We will decide whether or not to mass-produce OLED panels for smartphones in 2020,” but this investment is not expected to be easy.

<JDI president Kikuoka (left) and Ichigo CEO Scott Caron (Nikkei.com)>

Rigid OLEDs dominate shipments of the OLED market for smartphones

Reporter : Daejeong Yoon

According to UBI Research’s 4th quarter OLED display market track, rigid OLED is still the main product in the OLED market for smartphones, with 79.2% of the total OLED market in 2019. As a result of counting and analyzing shipments up to the third quarter of 2019, rigid OLED accounted for 237 million units of the total shipment of 338 million units.

<Source: UBI Research Q4 OLED Market Track>

Display companies all over the world have invested heavily in the flexible OLED line, but rigid OLED is still the main OLED used in smartphones. This reflects that the display companies have invested without forecasting the market situation properly.

Rigid OLEDs for smartphones are mostly supplied by Samsung Display. Rigid OLEDs are also produced in China’s Visionox and EDO, but are not yet available to brand companies. As the A1 and A2 lines, which produce rigid OLEDs at Samsung Display, are both in full operation, Samsung Display can no longer supply products in the growing rigid OLED market.

Flexible OLED lines will continue to be invested by 2023, and the annual production area will increase to 20 million square meters per year, but the line capa for rigid OLEDs has been frozen since 7 million square meters per year.

<Source: UBI Research Q4 OLED Market Track>

Therefore, in order to cope with the growing rigid OLED market, it is necessary to convert flexible lines to rigid OLED lines or to further invest in rigid OLED lines.

In order for Samsung Display to dominate and have a differentiated market in the display industry, it is time for latecomers to consider converting flexible OLED lines to rigid OLED lines.

OLED flagship size for smartphones ranges from 5.5 inches to 6.5 inches

Reporter : Daejeong Yoon

According to UBI Research’s 3rd quarter OLED display market track, the size of OLED for smartphones is gradually shifting from 5.5~5.99 inches to 6~6.49 inches.

Among the OLED shipments for smartphones of 430 million units in 2017, 5.5-5.99 inches accounted for 52.5%, but in the shipment performance until the third quarter of 2019, 5.5-5.99 inches decreased to 49.6% and 6-6.49 inches increased to 42.3%.

In 2017, more than 5.5 inches of OLED smartphones were 78.5%, but now more than 5.5 inches are 91.9%. This reflects that consumers are demanding larger OLED smartphones.

When analyzed by detailed size, 5.5-inch OLED shipments were the most at 39.5%, and second, 6.4-inch OLEDs were the highest at 20.1%. Most of the 5.5-inch are rigid OLEDs and are mainly used by Galaxy J series, Chinese companies such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo. In the 6.4 inch, the main application is the rigid OLED for the Galaxy A series.

<Source: UBI Research Q3 OLED Market Track>

Because the Galaxy S series, which adopts flexible OLED, and Apple’s iPhone X are very expensive in the global OLED smartphone market, the market growth is very slow. In comparison, the Galaxy A series and J series are growing fast because they are intended for the mid-priced smartphone market.

While Samsung’s Galaxy has lost market share in the Chinese market, Chinese smartphone makers Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo are expanding the Chinese market as smartphones using rigid OLEDs from Samsung Display.

This means that Samsung Electronics lost the Chinese market, but Samsung Display’s OLED business is gradually expanding its influence in the Chinese market. The growing market share of OLED smartphones in the Chinese smartphone market indicates that Samsung Display can overwhelm the OLED market in the future, and that revenues will be updated every year.

 

 

[UBI Research China Trend Report] Will BOE Provide UPC Panel with Transparent PI Substrate to Oppo?

Reporter : Daejeong Yoon

As foldable smartphones begin to be sold by Samsung Electronics, the flexible OLED industry (including foldable OLED) is expected to continue to grow.

Yi Choonghoon, CEO of UBI Research, predicts that the flexible OLED panel market will grow to $ 18.92 billion this year and expand to $ 32.65 billion by 2023.

<Source: Flexible & Foldable OLED Report, UBI Research>

According to Yi, there are four types of flexible OLED products, including smartphones, foldable phones, watches and automobiles, and flexible OLEDs will be used in the monitor market next year. LG Electronics began to sell rollable OLED TVs, but the sales volume is so small that it will take much time to form the market. The foldable smartphones that Samsung started to sell are expected to be supplied to the market by 800,000 by the end of this year.

In addition, Yi predicted that Chinese panel companies’ flexible line production will expand very rapidly in line with the expansion of the flexible OLED market.

As of 2019, Korean display companies have an annual substrate area of 7.3 million square meters and China’s 4.6 million square meters, but by 2023, China’s production capacity will expand to 11 million square meters, accounting for 57% of the total production capacity.

China is expected to have the world’s largest facility for flexible OLED production following LCD.

<Source: Flexible & Foldable OLED Report, UBI Research>

 

OLED TV camp threw a pitch in the 65-inch TV market for Black Friday.

On Black Friday, the day of the biggest sale season in the US, LG Electronics and Sony have lowered the price of 65-inch OLED TVs from the previous month, further increasing price competition in the premium TV market. On the other hand, 55-inch and 77-inch OLED TV prices are the same except for Sony’s XBR77A9G.

In November, LG Electronics’ OLED 65C9, a 65-inch OLED TV, was priced at US $ 2,100, down 12.5% from October’s US $ 2,400. Sony’s XBR65A8G’s November price was US $ 2,000, down 13% from the October price of US $ 2,300. Both models ship the same price at US $ 3,500.

Samsung’s QN65Q90, a 2019 QLED TV, is priced at US $ 2,200 in November, down 15.4% from the October price of US $ 2,600. The QN65Q90 also ships at US $ 3,500.

<LG Electronics’ OLED65C9, Sony’s XBR65A8G, and Samsung’s QN65Q90 price trend, Source: UBI Research DB, Bestbuy.com>

In the TV market, which is growing in size, 65-inch TVs are becoming mainstream along with 55-inch TVs. Since 55-inch OLED TVs have already formed a premium TV standard of US $ 1,500 since October, LG Electronics and Sony have continued to reduce the price of 65-inch OLED TVs, another mainstream, to compete with QLED TVs.

Since August, LG Electronics’ OLED65C9 and Sony’s XBR65A8G have formed a lower price range than Samsung’s QN65Q90, and Black Friday is also trying to get a price advantage with a price lower than QN65Q90.

LG Electronics and Sony, which are striving to popularize OLED TVs, are paying attention to whether OLED TV’s position in the premium TV market can be further expanded.

Samsung Display starts to expand OLED notebook market in Taiwan

Samsung Display attended the Taipei Grand Maple Hotel on November 7, attended by 350 global customers including HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus and other major ODMs such as Compal, Quanta and Wistron. ‘Samsung OLED Forum 2019 Taipei’ was held.

<Samsung Display’s OLED Forum, Source: news.samsungdisplay.com>

Samsung Display presented OLED notebooks as a new growth engine in the stagnant IT market for global IT companies and introduced differentiated strengths that only OLED can provide.

Under the theme of ‘New Era of Laptop with OLED’, Samsung Display is a premium notebook with OLED’s thin and light design flexibility, infinite contrast ratio, DCI-P3 100% wide color gamut and color accuracy, and excellent outdoor visibility. Emphasis is placed on the essential image quality characteristics.

In addition, the company also unveiled a roadmap for fusion technology of OLED’s unique display sensors such as Fingerprint Display and Sound Display.

Samsung Display has already developed OLED for 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch notebooks in the first half of this year and has cooperated with HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Asus to supply panels to 13 kinds of notebooks. The company plans to expand its product lineup to mid-end and respond to market demand.

<15.6-inch multi-screen OLED notebook exhibited by Samsung display at IMID 2019>

Second quarter OLED emitting materials market grew 41.1% compared to the same quarter last year

According to the OLED emitting material market track published by UBI Research (www.ubiresearch.com), the second quarter earnings was $ 329 million, an increase of 16.6% compared with the previous quarter’s $ 228 million, and 41.1% higher than the second quarter’s $ 233 million.

<Source: 3Q2019 UBI Research OLED Emitting Material Market Track>

As a light emitting materials company with high sales in the second quarter, UDC accounted for 22.7% of the total market with US $ 72.7 million, with Idemitsu Kosan 12%, Merck, Dow Chemical, and Novaled more than 10%. None of the Korean emitting material companies exceeded 10% market share.

UDC’s strongest sales were due to the 6-month-long purchase of dopant material from the BOE, which anticipates it will be difficult to purchase phosphorescent dopant materials in the US-China trade dispute. The phosphorescent red host, phosphorescent green host, and p + materials all exceeded $ 30 million.

According to the analysis of the material usage, the total material usage of the second quarter was 21.3 tons, 21% more than the previous quarter, and 49% higher than the same quarter last year. The high usage of materials compared to the amount is interpreted as a result of a slight decrease in prices as Chinese panel makers use more materials.

OLED sales increased to $ 6.9 billion in the second quarter

According to the OLED market track published by UBI Research in the third quarter, OLED sales increased to $ 6.9 billion in the second quarter. This is an increase of 9.5% compared to last quarter, an increase of 18.5% from the same quarter last year.

The biggest reason for the increase in sales is the increase in OLED sales to China by Samsung Display, which leads the OLED industry. Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiomi’s OLED usage increased more than 1.5 times compared to last year, and Samsung Display’s sales in the second quarter were $ 5.5 billion. In addition, LG Display’s WRGB OLED sales growth and BOE’s flexible OLED sales boosted the market to $ 6.9 billion.

Samsung Display’s sales share accounted for 79.9% and BOE’s market share increased to 6%.

<Source: 3Q2019 UBI Research OLED Market Track>

In 3Q, sales are expected to increase further. Samsung Display’s flexible OLED shipments will increase further for Apple’s new models and Huawei’s Mate. LG Display will also begin supplying flexible OLEDs to Apple, and BOE has decided to supply flexible OLEDs to LG Electronics.

[China OLED Trends] Will US-China Trade Dispute Accelerate Chinese Large-Size OLED Market?

Recently, due to the trade dispute between the US and China, a large portion of the budget planned by the Chinese government is flowing into the display industry while the semiconductor industry, which is one of intensive investment promotion industries, foreshadows difficulties. In the display industry, the focus is on OLED, which is a cutting-edge technology, and most of the investment is in the 6G line, a mobile product production line. This year has already been made at Visionox and Tianma on the 6G line, and BOE and CSOT will be invested further this year.

The Chinese government is actively investing in the display sector, which is relatively uncontained due to trade disputes between the United States and China, and it is reported that the mobile OLED production line as well as the large OLED line, 8.5G and 10.5G lines, are being reviewed ahead of time.

Large OLED lines are currently being mass-produced only by LG Display, and are being produced using oxide TFT and white OLED deposition. Samsung Display is also considering mass production by adding QD structures to oxide TFT and blue-based OLED deposition.

Samsung and LG are preparing to mass-produce or mass-produce by applying heat deposition method to organic materials, but Chinese OLED panel makers are oriented to mass production line of RGB Inkjet method (Solution Process OLED). However, as the investment has accelerated recently, experts are concerned about the investment of RGB inkjet method which has not been mass-proven.

This is because LG Display’s white OLED deposition method has already been mass-proven and Samsung Display is also planning to invest in the same deposition method with only the different structure. Indeed, it is necessary to see whether Chinese OLED panel makers will move beyond the second-place strategy to adopt the RGB Inkjet method or change their direction to the deposition method, a proven technology.

[Press Release] OLED production capacity will increase to double in 2023.

UBI Research has published [2019 OLED Equipment Report] that forecasts the OLED equipment market. According to the report, the total substrate area of display companies in 2019 will be 34.9 million square meters, which will be 68.5 million square meters in 2023 and double after four years.

OLED substrate area growth is attributable to investments made by OLED lines for TVs driven by Samsung Display and LG Display. Currently, OLED manufacturing lines for TVs are 8G lines optimized for 55-inch panel production. However, the demand for premium TVs is shifting from 55-inch OLED TVs to 65-inch TVs. By 2021, the 65-inch OLED TV market will account for more than 40%. In response to these market conditions, LG Display is preparing to invest 10.5G lines in the most efficient production of 65-inch panels. In 2023, the substrate area of a large OLED line is expected to occupy 42% of the total substrate area.

<OLED production capacity by generation>

The substrate area of the 6G line is expected to grow to 13 million square meters this year and to 19.3 million square meters in 2023. Most of this is due to investment by Chinese panel makers. In China, the smartphone market accounts for about 40% of the global market, so Chinese smartphone makers have a very high market share based on the domestic market. Huawei has recently become the world’s second-largest shipper based on its domestic market. Chinese panel makers are boldly adding a 6G flexible OLED line to Chinese smartphone makers, with the Chinese government’s huge support.

<OLED production capacity by country>

In 2019, Korea’s OLED production capacity (substrate area) will total 27.9 million square meters, accounting for 80% of its total production capacity and expanding to 54.8 million square meters by 2023. The market share will remain at 80% and lead the OLED industry.

Chinese panel makers are expected to stay at around 20% as they are investing only in OLED production lines for mobile device.

The OLED manufacturing equipment market (excluding logistics equipment) is estimated at $ 28.4 billion for four years from 2019 to 2022 due to investment by Korean and Chinese panel makers. Among them, the sixth-generation equipment market is expected to account for 61% of the total equipment market, at $ 17.2 billion.

<Equipment Market Forecast by Generation (2019 ~ 2022)>

[Press Release] AMOLED components and materials market grew to $ 24.15 billion in 2023

Although Samsung Electronics and Apple’s OLED smartphone market are stalled, Chinese smartphone makers are gradually increasing their use of OLEDs based on the huge smartphone market in China. As a result, BOE and Chinese panel makers have aggressively established a Gen6n flexible OLED plant, which is driving the OLED industry.

As a result of UBI Research’s panel makers’ operation rate analysis due to OLED plant expansion and supply and demand, the market for various component materials (excluding light emitting materials) that make up OLEDs is expected to reach $13.9 billion in 2019 and expand to $ 24.15 billion in 2023.

Recently, as the production of foldable OLED has started, various kinds of films that are not applied to LCD are emerging as core materials.

In the [2019 OLED Components and Materials Report] published by UBI Research, we examined the foldable OLED structure of Samsung Display, LG Display, and BOE, and analyzed the thickness and characteristics of the films that make up the module.

In the OLED components and materials market, components for TV OLEDs will grow rapidly to reach $ 19.1 billion in 2023 and lead the OLED industry.

OLED emitting materials market to grow to $ 1.71 billion in 2019

OLED light emitting materials market is gradually increasing as Chinese companies enter OLED panel market led by Samsung Display and LG Display.

The 2019 OLED emitting material report, published by UBI Research, predicts that the emitting material market in 2019 will reach $ 1.17 billion. 2021 and 2023 are expected to grow to $ 1.87 billion and $ 2.0 billion, respectively.

The size of light emitting materials consumed by Korean companies will account for 70.2% in 2019 ($ 0.82 billion), and its share will increase to 75.6% in 2023.

Korea’s emitting material market is growing because the consumption of OLED materials for TVs is soaring. In 2019, 21.1% of light emitting materials for TVs are expected to increase to 49.7% in 2023.

[Press Release] AMOLED sales to reach USD 32.2 billion in 2019, up 13.8% from 2018

UBI Research (CEO, Yi, Choonghoon) published the annual OLED report in 2019.

According to the report, the OLED market is expected to reach $ 32.2 billion in 2019 and 13.8% market growth. The market growth is due to the launch of a variety of applications in 2019. Foldable OLED will accelerate the growth of the flexible OLED market as a convergence product that fuses smartphones and tablet PCs, and 8K OLEDs and rollable OLEDs to be launched from 2H 2019 will further solidly support the premium OLED TV market. In addition, an increase in flexible OLED shipments due to improved yields by Chinese panel makers will support growth in the Chinese OLED market.

AMOLED revenue in the fourth quarter of 2018 was $ 7.9 billion, down 3.7% from $ 8.2 billion in the third quarter and down 10.4% from $ 8.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. The quarterly OLED market was highly volatile due to sales fluctuations at Samsung Display.

Revenue in 2018 was $ 28.3 billion, up 7.1% from $ 26.4 billion in 2017. The growth slowed suddenly compared to growth of 58.7% in 2017. The sluggish growth is attributable to the sluggish OLED smartphone market, which drove the OLED market up until now. The OLED market for smartphones, which was worth $ 24.2 billion in 2017, was only $ 24.5 billion in 2018.

Flexible OLED panels are not being adopted in mid-end smartphones due to the high cost of manufacturing flexible OLED panels for smartphones. As a result, the oversupply will continue due to lack of demand compared to the 6G flexible OLED investment. In the fourth quarter of 2018, there was an oversupply of 31%. In the first quarter of 2019, oversupply will increase to 39% by overlapping seasonal demand decline.

 

55 inch and 65 inch OLED TV prices proximity to premium LCD TV

Recently, Sony’s 65 inch OLED TV, XBR65A1E, is price at US$ 300 more than Samsung’s QN65Q7 on the Best Buy basis. Prices of LED TV and LCD TV are becoming increasingly competitiveness in the premium TV market.

As of January 16, Best Buy compares the price of OLED TVs between LG’s C8 series, Sony’s A1E series and Samsung’s Q7F series.

<55 inch premium TV price comparison>

LG’s OLED 55C8 prices dropped 47% from March 2018 to US$ 1,700, which is only US$ 200 higher than Samsung’s QN55Q7.

<65 inch premium TV price comparison>

In the 65 inch TV market, LG’s OLED65C8 price dropped 30% from March 2018 to US$ 2,700, while Sony fell 40% to US$ 2,500, which is higher than Samsung’s QN65Q7 by US$ 500 and US$ 300. The prices gap has been greatly reduced.

In the premium TV market, OLED TVs are rapidly catching up with LCD TV prices because LG Display’s OLED production yield stabilization is the biggest factor.

LG Display is currently constructing Gen8 OLED lines in Guangzhou and Gen10.5 lines in Paju. As a result, the production of large size OLED will increase further, and the OLED TV market will become more prominent in the premium TV market.

[Press Release] Foldable OLED Market Grows Fast to US$ 24.6 Billion by 2023

eporter & Analyst : Daejeong Yoon

5G communication technology introduced from next year can process higher image quality and large-capacity contents such as VR more rapidly, besides real-time streaming service. As the communication speed increases, the relevant contents, are expected to be released, which require high resolution and large screen with graphics detailed.

The current smart phone is getting bigger up to 6 inches, but it is not enough for 4K resolution of 5G communication age. Since 4K resolution is to be possible at 7-inch and larger displays, they might be the most suitable product for the 5G communication era. Foldable smart phones are digital convergence products that can function as smart phones and tablet PCs as the next generation mobile devices that use 7 inch or more displays but maximize portability.

Owing to foldable OLED, foldable smart phones are likely to be available. Several companies have rushed to produce various prototype foldable OLED displays at exhibitions and conferences. A few panel makers even pledged to mass-produce foldable OLED displays competitively. OLED display companies worldwide including Samsung Display have invested enormous development costs in order to preempt the next generation product market, and now foldable OLEDs are starting to appear.

Samsung Electronics, which is leading the OLED smart phone market, is planned to launch the in-folding type foldable phone for the first time in the world next year. Accordingly, Samsung Display has prepared 1.5R foldable OLED. For Samsung Electronics, which has suffered sluggish sales of the Galaxy S series, Foldable Phone is a super premium product that needs to be succeeded.

<Expected structure of Samsung Electronics’ in-folding type foldable phone>

Source: Foldable OLED Report, UBI research

UBI Research (CEO: Yi, Choong-hoon), an OLED research institute, has published Foldable OLED Report. According to the report, the market for foldable OLED in 2019 is only US$ 480 million, but it is expected to grow to US $ 24.6 billion in 2023.

Yi said, “The rapid growth of the foldable OLED market is due to the fact that 7-inch and larger smartphones, which can support 4K resolution, become required products in the 5G communication era. Accordingly, the value of OLED panel makers will be determined by the success of foldable OLED production.”

<Foldable OLED Market Forecast>
Source: Foldable OLED Report, UBI Research

However, foldable OLED is not a product that anyone can produce. Since foldable OLED has a more complex module structure than conventional flexible OLED, it is necessary to overcome the changes in various panel characteristics caused by folding. Especially in in-folding type foldable OLED, compensation circuit technology to overcome TFT resistance change and resilience required when folding and unfolding screen are typical technical difficulties. In order to realize this technology, the key challenges of reducing stress at the area of folding, selecting a proper substrate, determining the ideal stack structure, and optimizing the liftoff process, need to be overcome. Even when folding over 200,000 times, it is required to have reliability that there will be no abnormality on display image quality and surface.

“Foldable OLED Report” published by UBI Research analyzes the development trends of panel makers together with the development issues of major films that determine the reliability of foldable OLED.

Quarterly OLED sales was increased significantly

According to the 3Q AMOLED Market Track issued by UBI Research, the second quarter OLED market was sluggish, affected by the lower utilization rate of Samsung Display. However, in the third quarter, the market rebounded rapidly, forming a market of US$ 8.3 billion.
The performance of the third quarter is up 43.9% from the US$ 5.77 billion in the second quarter, and up 16.6% from the same period of last year.

Samsung Display, which drove sales growth, posted sales of US$ 7 billion, while OLED sales for Smartphone accounted for US $ 7.2 billion as its major application.
By country, Korea achieved sales of US$ 7.9 billion, accounting for 95.5% of the total market. China occupied 4.3% of total sales with US $ 360 million.
Yi Choong-hoon, CEO of UBI Research, explained that 3Q sales growth was attributable to Samsung Display’s production of Galaxy Note and Flexible OLED for Apple’s iPhone XS.

UBI research just issued 2018 2Q AMOLED Display Market Tracks

UBI Research recently published “2Q18 AMOLED Display Market Tracks”, which includes market updates of the second quarter of 2018. The report covers OLED display panel makers’ investment status, OLED display market forecasts from 2018 to 2022, OLED demand and supply trends, and competitiveness analysis of OLED Smartphone business for Samsung Display and other OLED display panel makers.

The market update, published with the Excel spreadsheet, describes the production line status and the added line status through future investments of the 15 OLED display panel makers worldwide. Also, it describes not only the major OLED application market such as smart phones and TVs, but also the market forecast by country.

The demand for OLED mobile sets (including smart phones and smart watches) in the first quarter of 2018 dropped to 98 million units from 130 million units in the fourth quarter of last year, due to the lower-than-expected performance of the premium smartphone market, where Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S series and Apple’s iPhone occupy most of the market. OLED mobile set market is to recover gradually until 3Q, when Apple’s new smartphone model is launched, and by the end of 2018, the demand is expected to recover as to the similar level of the same period of last year. In addition, Samsung Display is anticipated to have a positive impact on the recovery of the Smartphone market in the second half of the year by securing competitiveness by lowering the sales price of rigid OLED panel for mobile phone to about US$ 25 to compete with LCD in China.

Consumers' smartphone replacement cycle is getting longer due to the reason that there is no revolutionary change in the new model compared to the past, and the Smartphone penetration in most of the countries except for India, South America and Africa is reaching the limit. Accordingly, the outlook for the downturn is mostly forecasted in the recent smartphone market. There is a growing interest in technology and design to apply a different form factor to revive the market. In this regard, Samsung Electronics' foldable OLED smartphone, which is scheduled to be released later this year or early next year, is expected to create a new momentum. Attention is focused on whether a folding- type flexible display (Dynamic Flexible Display) will be succeeded as a new type of smartphone from the existing edge-type flexible display (Static Flexible Display).

 

UBI Research predicts that the OLED Smartphone market will grow from 430 million units in 2018 to 900 million units in 2022, and the market for foldable OLED Smartphone is to be from about 1million units in 2019 to 18million units in 2022. This reflects the expansion of OLED panel production lines by panel makers such as LG Display and BOE, besides Samsung Display. It will be updated as new applications are developed in future and the Smartphone market moves forward.

In OLED panel market, OLED panel for Smartphone still occupies 91% of the whole market. Samsung Display has accounted for 90% of total OLED panel market performance and LG Display is followed with about 7.8% share.

OLED TVs, which are continuously increasing in demand worldwide compared to the Smartphone market, are expected to be in short supply this year. LG Display, the only OLED TV panel supplier, will continue to invest in production for the next five years. With the recent approval of new production facility for OLED TV panel in Guangzhou, the full-scale equipment move-in is expected this year. In Paju P10 investment plan, it was confirmed that LG Display will invest in OLED TV panel production line instead of LCD line investment which was examined before. Thus, the OLED TV market is projected to grow to US $ 5.6 billion. 

LG Display “Strategic direction is OLED. Uncompetitive LCD lines are planned to be switched.”

In the 2Q earnings release conference call hosted on the 25th July, Kim Sang-don, LG Display CFO, said, “Looking back at the first half of 2018, the market was in a difficult situation due to the slump in prices, the traditional off-peak season and increased display supply from China. We expected the market conditions to be stabilized in the first half of this year from the bad market condition of the second half of last year, but it has continued to decline more rapidly and steeply. However, with starting the second half of 2018, it has been observing that the price is rising since July owing to upcoming favorable seasonality and customer restocking.”

“Although the market situation has changed favorably in the second half of the year, it is different from the past supply and demand cycle because of the uncertainty of forecasts. Moreover, the oversupply and asymmetric competition in the display market are unavoidable.” LG Display announced that it will maintain its conservative strategy in the second half of the year as the unpredictability is still high.

LG Display’s sales revenue in the second quarter of 2018 was KRW 5,611 billion, decreased by 15% compared to the second quarter of 2017. Operating loss in the second quarter of 2018 recorded KRW 228 billion. This compares with the operating loss of KRW 98 billion in the first quarter of 2018 and the operating profit of KRW 804 billion in the second quarter of 2017. The company suffered a large deficit due to a continued and steep decline in panel prices and lower demand in panels following the previous quarter. Although the shipment was increased by 2% QoQ, the selling price per area (m2) was decreased by 4%.

As a positive indicator, the TV panel price fell sharply, but the overall panel price decline was only 1% due to the competitive position of OLED panels. The market is anticipated to turn into positive situation in the third quarter, compared to the first half of the year, since panel shipments are expected to increase with the orders to restock the inventory.

LG Display, which is currently conducting both LCD and OLED business with small and medium sized panels and large area panels, mentioned clearly about its future strategic direction including the direction for the second half of the year as “concentrating on OLED business and focusing on high value of LCD business” in this conference call.

LG Display announced that it will focus more on differentiated LCD features and technologies in the IT sector such as narrow bezel, IPS borderless, and oxide technology, as well as high-value-added products such as larger-size TV panels and commercial displays, considering that a structural oversupply in panels and fierce competition among display makers are expected to continue down the road.

In addition, LG Display will achieve a turnaround to profit in the OLED TV sector in the third quarter of 2018. By making its final decision to invest in its Gen 10.5 OLED panel production line in Paju, Korea, and by starting mass production in the latter half of 2019 at its Gen 8.5 OLED production line now under construction in Guangzhou, China, LG Display will accelerate the expansion of the global large-size OLED market. Furthermore, additional production facilities for OLED 8.5 generation are known to be considered with the plan that the rationalization of LCDs during the year is also to be implemented although there was no direct mention of the timing and specific lines. For the plastic small and medium-sized OLED panel business, which is experiencing difficult times, compared to large area OLED, for which LG is expanding the production capacity in response to increasing demand, it said that they are preparing for future markets with the necessary strategic technologies with the emphasis of mobile and automotive markets. The E6-1 line, which has been mentioned as a production plant for Apple, is expected to begin mass production in the fourth quarter of this year, revealing the possibility of a possible supply of display to the iPhone OLED model in 2018. In addition, demand for OLED panels is increasing in the automobile market, and it is expected that full-scale business will start in the second half of next year. At the current order backlog, it is confirmed that OLED panels are in the late stage of about 10%. This means that much of the work has already been done. Finally, LG Display is well aware of the lack of funding and funding shortfalls over its competitors in relation to its future preparations. The company plans to reduce its capex by about 3trillion won by 2020, with a substantial portion of depreciation and amortization It is possible through internal working capital management and it plans to borrow the rest. LG Display confirmed that it has not reviewed the rights issue several times in the market, and LG Display has thoroughly prepared a variety of OLED portfolios, revealing its commitment to success by differentiating it from its competitors in the area of latecomers.

Market for OLED materials and components is forecast to grow to US$37 billion in 2022.

In the 2018 OLED material and component report and Market Track published by UBI Research, the entire market for OLED materials and components market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 29% by 2022, forming a market of US$ 37 billion in 2022.

<Market forecast for OLED materials and components>

The overall OLED material and component market forecasted in this report is calculated based on the panel makers’ available capacity and includes all the materials and components for OLED production.

The total OLED material and component market is counted as US$ 9,794 million in 2017 and is expected to grow by 35% to US$ 13,264 million in 2018.

Major growth drivers are mentioned as capacity expansion of Samsung Display and LG Display inclusive of Gen6 flexible OLED mass production lines of Chinese panel makers.

UBI Research commented “Utilization of Samsung Display in the first quarter of 2018 was poor, but it is turning to normal from the second quarter, and LG Display and Chinese panel makers are also aiming to mass-produce this year. In particular, it will have a major impact on the growth of the materials and components market in 2018 whether Samsung Display’s A4, LG Display’s E5, E6 and BOE’s B7 lines will be in full operation.”

In the 2018 OLED material and component report, the market is forecast for 20 kinds of major materials and components used in OLED for mobile devices and large-area OLED, including substrate glass, carrier glass, PI and organic materials for TFT. In addition, the report covers industry trends and key issues related to the core materials, while Market Track forecasts the expected purchase volume and purchase amount by panel makers.

Foldable OLED device is nearing commercialization. What are the technical challenges to be solved?

Attentions are growing for the foldable smartphone since it can provide a wider screen and higher resolution than the display of conventional smartphones, while maintaining the portability of the smartphone. The foldable smartphone is a smartphone when folded, and it becomes a tablet PC when it is unfolded. Following Samsung Electronics, Huawei is also aiming to launch a smartphone with a foldable display this year.

Yi Choong-Hoon, president of UBI Research, said, “Ideal foldable displays require such kind of reliability that there is no problem even with more than 300,000 times folding at the bending radius of 1R or less. For this, some changes or innovations are needed in the material and structure of the display.

In the ‘2018 OLED Component & Material Report’ published by UBI Research on May 21, 2018, the key issues and development trends for foldable OLED display with a bending radius of 1R are described together with the classified contents of structural change to secure reliability at thickness reduction and alternative material development.

<Change in OLED panel thickness accoding to bending radius, 2018 OLED component & material report, UBI Research>

In addition, the report covers the application status, development trends, and market forecast of key components and materials for rigid OLED and flexible OLED for mobile device, and large-area OLED for TV. Thus, it is helpful for the related part and material companies to develop their future directions, establish business strategies, and analyze technology and market trends.

In order to accelerate the mass production of solution processed OLED?

At the latest OLED technology trends seminar organized by UBI Research in Seoul COEX on April 26th, professor Seo presented about the status of solution processed OLED for large-area TV production.

Professor Seo emphasized that there are four technical challenges to advance the mass production of solution processed OLED.

The first challenge is the development of materials that can form stable and flat thin films. When the emitting material for solution process is applied, the solvent causes a convection phenomenon due to solubility and boiling point. Therefore, it is difficult to make a flat film because the speed at which the solvent flows is different for each region.

The second is the development of cross linked HTL materials. Emitting material companies are mixing cross-linking agents into HTL materials for solution process to solve intermixing problems between layers. However, a pinhole is formed due to a cross linking reaction with the surrounding small molecular materials when crosslinked materials in small molecule type are used. This kind of pinhole lowers the uniformity of the thin film, and therefore it is necessary to develop crosslinked HTL materials that can improve the reproducibility and lifetime of OLED in solution process.

The third is the jetting condition. He proposed a jetting condition that can minimize the volume deviation of the emitting material for solution process every head since it is necessary to drop the emitting material for solution process of less than 4 pl to the desired position in the size of 20-50 um to realize 8K. Lastly, he commented that it is required to optimize the drying process of solvent. UBI Research described that the solution OLED process has a simple (5 layer) structure and high material utilization efficiency compared to the conventional deposition process. In addition, it is possible to manufacture large-area OLED with RGB structure without the division of mother glass at Gen8 or higher. When major panel makers adopt solution process, it is available to reduce the manufacturing cost of OLED due to the decrease of equipment and equipment scale as well as material cost and labor cost reduction. According to the 2018 Annual OLED Display Industry Report and 2018 Emitting material Industry Report published by UBI research, solution processed OLED is to be mass produced from 2019 in earnest, and the shipment is expected to be 0.2 million units in 2019 and 9.2 million units in 2022. Accordingly, the emitting material market for solution process is estimated to grow to US$ 110 million in 2022 from US$ 9 million in 2019.

Samsung Electronics’ Display Business Operating Profit in 1Q 2018 slowed down to KRW 410 billion

Samsung Electronics reported sales of KRW 60.56 trillion and operating profit of KRW 15.64 trillion in the first quarter of 2018 at the conference held on April 26. Its display division generated sales of KRW7.54 trillion with the operating profit of KRW410 billion. Display sales QoQ and YoY are -32.6% and 3.4%, respectively, and operating profit QoQ and YoY are -70.9% and -68.5%, respectively. OLED sales accounted for 70% of its total display sales. According to Samsung Electronics, the profitability of OLED segment in the first quarter of 2018 declined due to a decrease in demand from major customers and intensified competition with LTPS LCD for rigid OLED. In spite of the downturn in sales due to seasonal weakness and the decline in panel prices, LCD division achieved similar profitability as the previous quarter, thanks to the increased sales portion of high value-added products such as large-size and UHD and continuous cost reductions.

 

OLED demand is expected to continue to decline in the second quarter of 2018, and Samsung Electronics plans to expand its customer base while striving to secure competitiveness through cost reduction and production efficiency improvement. Although LCD segment is also expected to continue to show oversupply in 2Q 2018 due to the launch of new LCD lines, Samsung Electronics plans to secure profitability through timely development of high value-added and differentiated products, and cost reduction activities. Samsung Electronics said the demand of OLED panels for mobile devices is anticipated to gradually recover in the second half of 2018, while flexible products are expected to be the main focus of premium products. Also it emphasized that Samsung will expand its market share by expanding customer base through new technologies and new products, and strengthening cost competitiveness, together with technology differentiation with LCD and enhancement of new applications capacity. For the LCD segment, uncertainties are to be increased as Chinese panel makers continue to expand production volumes with the fierce competitions competition among companies. Samsung mentioned that it will continue to focus on differentiating with the large and high-end premium products and strengthening strategic partnerships with major customers to secure profitability.  In the first quarter of 2018, Samsung Electronics sold 86 million mobile phones and 5 million tablets. The sales for mobile phone sales in Q2 2018 are expected to decline compared to the previous quarter, and tablet sales are expected to maintain the level of the previous quarter.

Total investment of Samsung Electronics in the first quarter of 2018 was 8.6 trillion won, of which 0.8 trillion won was invested in the display. Although the investment plan for this year has not been finalized yet, it is expected to decline from 2017 due to the rapid expansion of flexible OLED production, new technology development, and facility investment to prepare for market growth last year. Choi Kwon-Young, Vice President of Samsung Display said, “Currently, the mass production of A4 line is ready for operation in accordance with the agreed schedule with the customer. And A3 line is trying to minimize the drop in operation rate.” He continued “We are under development by focusing on Quantum dot and 8K technologies to meet customer needs for big screen TV market. Also we are interested in various next-generation display technologies including micro LED.”

Samsung Electronics has continued research and development for the commercialization of foldable phone, and now it is working with various companies to improve the product’s completeness.” Samsung said. Further, it added “We are focusing on improving the completeness of the product so that it can give real value to the consumers rather than simply launching it for the first time in the world. If the parts performance and durability for the implementation of the foldable phone are more stabilized, and various use cases are found with the emergence of new form factor, we will disclose separately the timing of its commercialization.”

Leading the OLED market of Samsung Display continues this year

According to OLED Market Track, which was published by UBI Research in the first quarter of 2018, AMOLED sales and shipments amounted to US$ 8.86 billion and 130 million units, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2017. The sales amount is 100.2% higher than the fourth quarter of 2016. Among them, Samsung Display’s sales and shipments account for 91.6% and 94.5%, respectively, and keep its absolute position.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, the total number of AMOLED market for smart phones was 120 million units, representing 95.5% of the total market. AMOLED panels for smart phones sold by Samsung Display accounted for 97.5%, with 119 million units.

In 2018, the AMOLED market for smart phones is expected to reach 470 million units, with Samsung Display expecting its market share to maintain over 91.5 % with 430 million units.

<4Q’17 AMOLED market>

<2018 AMOLED market for smartphone>

Galaxy S9 – Curious about Samsung’s strategy to launch Foldable Phone

Interests in Galaxy S9 and Note 9, which will be released soon, are growing. There are a lot of people who want to figure out in advance the features of Foldable Phone, which Samsung announced to be launched within this year, through Galaxy S9 and Note9. However, it is impossible to predict the specifications of the Foldable Phone with the contents that have been opened so far.

In general, Galaxy S9 does not seem to be much different, compared to the previous S8. The front fingerprint sensor, which has been anticipated since last year, may not apply, and it seems to adopt iris recognition and fingerprint sensor at the back side. Unlike the S8, which was noticed in the name of Infinity Display, it will not expect much different concept in the design part. The CPU will be equipped with Samsung’s Exynos 9810 chip, except for the US model.

So what is the strategy of the Galaxy series this year? Some say that iPhoneX’s sales volume is a failure, but if you consider adding iPhoneX to the 3-model lineup in the new 2-model lineup, Apple’s overall performance is a success. In the meantime, there seems to require a new strategy for the Galaxy flagship model, which was dominated by superior image quality with adopting OLED display.  The Galaxy S9 appears to have little change, except for a slight improvement in performance. Therefore, it is curious whether it might be Samsung’s planned intention to concentrate on launching the Foldable Phone.

<Spec Comparison for Galaxy flagship models>

AMOLED Display Market Track, just issued – Market Performance, Market Forecast, ASP, Supply and Demand Analysis

According to the market performance data of the AMOLED Display Market Track published by UBI Research in February 2018, total AMOLED shipments and sales in 2017 were recorded as 440 million units and US$ 27.1 billion, up 13.6% and 62.3% respectively, compared to the previous year.

The number of AMOLED smart phone shipments grew to 95.1% in the total AMOLED market in 2017, and its market share for the revenue was 89.7%. The number of shipments of flexible AMOLEDs reached 140 million units in 2017, increased by 2.1 times compared to the previous year.  Analysis shows that shipments of flexible AMOLEDs will reach 230 million units by 2018, with a share of 46%.

AMOLED shipments for TVs grew by 1.8 times YoY to 1.72 million units in 2017, and the AMOLED market for TV is expected to continue to grow, as LG Display’s 8 G plant in China is scheduled to start operation from 2H 2019.

<Overall AMOLED Market Forecast>

From 2018, AMOLED market is forecasted to change significantly.

In terms of supply, shipments of displays are projected to decline compared to the global capacity of display makers due to the accelerated increase in the size of AMOLED panels and Samsung Display’s shift of rigid AMOLED lines into automotive and foldable applications.

In terms of demand, the demand growth for AMOLED panels for smartphones is expected to decrease. In 2018, demand for flexible AMOLED panels for Chinese set makers is expected to decrease due to the introduction of low-priced full screen LCDs and rising prices of flexible AMOLED panels.

According to the market forecast data of AMOLED Display Market Track, the total AMOLED shipment market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.5%, reaching 995 million units in 2022. The revenue is projected to grow at a CAGR of 22%, forming a market of US$ 80.5 billion in 2022.

<Small and Medium sized AMOLED, Supply and Demand Analysis>

According to Yi Choong-Hoon, CEO of UBI Research, “20% oversupply is expected to occur by 2021, however, since then, panel prices have fallen due to the entry of Chinese panel makers into the flexible AMOLED market, and oversupply will decrease by 11% in 2022 “.

Meanwhile, AMOLED Display Market Track, which was published on February 12, 2018, covers AMOLED market performance and forecast by quarter, year and application. It also provides data and graphs analyzed in various aspects such as ASP and supply & demand analysis.

Samsung Electronics, 2017 display business exceeded annual business profit of 5 trillion won

Samsung Electronics achieved sales of 65.98 trillion won and business profit of 15.15 trillion won through the fourth quarter of 2017 performance conference call which was held on 31 January. Moreover, Samsung Electronics achieved 11.18 trillion won and business profit of 1.41 trillion won in display business.

Display business sales was increased up to 35% compared to the former quarter and 50.7% compared to the same quarter of the last year. The business profit was increased up to 45.4% compared to the former quarter and 52% compared to the same quarter of the last year. Display business achieved annual sales of 34.46 trillion won and business profit of 5.39 trillion won. OLED sales in the display business accounted for the latter half of 70%.

According to Samsung Electronics, the performance of the fourth quarter of 2017 was developed compared to the former quarter by the expanded supply of flagship smartphone panels for major OLED customers. However, profits of LCD department were decreased due to seasonally low demand and falling panel prices.

Samsung Electronics reported that profitability may be weakened due to the intensifying competition with LTPS LCD and sluggish demand for OLED in the first quarter of 2018. Samsung Electronics plans to expand sales portion of flagship product panels, diversifying customers and improve profitability by productivity improvement.

Although the LCD department is a seasonally low season, it is expected that the line rater of operation will be stabilized by high-resolution and large-scale trend of TV and effects of sports event in the first half of year. Samsung Electronics plans to increase profitability by strengthening yield and cost-cutting activities and expand sales portion of high value-added products such as UHD, large-size and quantum dot in order to raise profitability.

In 2018, OLED department is expected to become the mainstream in the mobile market. Samsung Electronics plans to actively respond to demand from major smartphone companies and expand its market share by strengthening technology differentiation from LTPS LCD.

Also, Samsung Electronics will strengthen its capabilities in new application areas such as IT and electronics to secure new growth based on technology and cost competitiveness.

LCD department reported that uncertainty of the market may be more severe as Chinese company expand its capacity and intensify their competition.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Samsung Electronics sold 86 million cell phones and 7 million tablets. It is reported that sales volume of cell phone and tablet sales are expected to decline slightly compared to the first quarter of 2018.

Samsung Electronics’ facility investment in 2017 was a total of 43.4 trillion won and 13.5 trillion won was invested in the display business. In the case of display business, Samsung Electronics invested greatly on OLED capacity expansion to raise profits through flexible OLED panel customers. The 2018 investment plan is not yet settled but is expected to decline compared to the last year.

Kwon Young Choi, managing director of Samsung Display said, “We are continuously expanding sales channels in China in order to reduce reliance on mobile OLED sales to specific customers and decrease of volumes of orders on iPhone X will not be significantly affected by temporary fluctuations in demand.”

He added that “we are preparing various applications including foldable phone to meet customer demand and it is important to raise the level of perfection to the level desired by the market and consumers.” He also said that “the new production complex (A5) has not yet been specifically defined in terms of operation time, production products, and production volume.”

LG Electronics Will Expand OLED TV Shipments to More Than 5 Million Units by 2020

LG Electronics announced through its Q4 2017 earnings conference call, the sales of HE (Home Entertainment) Division increased by more than 10% compared to the same period of last year due to the demand for high-demand season of TV market and the sales of premium TV.

Regarding the 2018 forecast, “there are still external environmental risks such as exchange rate fluctuations, but the global TV market will increase with sporting events”, they added.

As a result, the HE Division will pursue sales growth through marketing centered on premium TVs while maintaining a stable profit structure through continuous cost-cutting activities.

They answered to the question when OLED TV shipments exceed 5 million units, “OLED TV shipments in 2017 were doubled compared to 2016 and the sales are expected to rise at a similar level in 2018”. And, “if this trend continues, that point will be 2020″, they said.

They also emphasized that it is more important for OLED TVs to have a premium position in the TV market rather than shipments, and how much they will secure OLED TVs.

On the other hand, the sales of MC(mobile communication) Division increased 9% QoQ to KRW3.655 trillion thanks to the release of LG V30, a premium smartphone equipped with OLED, in the fourth quarter of last year. However, the division posted an operating loss of KRW213.2 billion due to increased costs of smartphone major parts such as memory and marketing expenses.

In order to overcome these operating losses, MC Division plans to increase customer satisfaction by implementing the strategies that enhance product completeness and reliability.

The MC Division said, “We will release the next strategy model within the first half of the year when it is deemed to be ready enough after securing its competitiveness rather than pursuing the timing of competitors.”

In addition, the next strategic model will strengthen AI ​​function, audio and camera functions, which are the strengths of LG Electronics. Until the next strategic model is launched, we will continue to release upgraded and mid-priced models of LG V30 and G6. At the same time, we will minimize sales losses by reducing costs with our unique platform.

AMOLED Display Market track – Investment & MP Line Status, just published

According to the investment trend data from AMOLED Display Market Track published by UBI research, the net area capacity of AMOLED production worldwide is expected to grow at a CAGR of 48% from 2018 to 2020.

As a result of analyzing the glass area based on the overall equipment capacity, the net area capacity of AMOLED mass production was 13 million square meters in 2017, and it is expected to grow more than three times to 40 million square meters in 2020.

The net area capacity of AMOLED mass production area is projected to grow from 4 million square meters in 2017 to 8.4 million square meters in 2020, and that of small and medium-sized AMOLED is to be increased about 3.5 times from 9.1 million square meters in 2017 to 32 million square meters in 2020.

Analysis shows that LG Display’s net area capacity will be increased by 6.9 million square meters from 2018 to 2020, followed by Samsung Display with 5.8 million square meters increase and BOE with 4.4 million square meters increase.

On the other hand, when compared to the net area capacity for small and medium-sized AMOLED, Samsung Display is expected to increase by 5.8 million square meters, with the largest investment, followed by BOE of 4 million square meters’ increase and LG Display of 2.9 million square meters increase.

<Net area capacity of AMOLED mass production by company>

According to Lee Choong Hoon, CEO of UBI Research, LG Display’s AMOLED mass production line investment in China will lead LGD to more than double BOE’s AMOLED production capacity in terms of net area capacity in 2020, however, BOE is expected to overtake LG Display at small and medium-sized panel capacity in 2019.

AMOLED Display Market Track consists of investment data, market performance, market forecast, ASP, cost analysis, competitiveness analysis and so on. The investment data in this report contains details of the investment history of the panel companies, current status, and investment prospects for the next three years. Also, the useful data and graphs analyzed in various aspects are provided in excel format.

Approval of LG Display Plant in China, cementing the global No.1position in large OLED market

LG Display has earned approval to invest in Gen 8.5 OLED panel plant in Guangzhou, China.  As the government, who has delayed the approval due to the possible technology leakage, finally gives ‘a conditional approval’ for the plan, the construction of large size OLED panel factory will embark on.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MOTIE) hosted ‘the 17th Industrial Technology protection Committee’ on June 26th, in which government officials and 20 civilian members participated to approve LG Display’s overseas expansion of OLED panel manufacturing technology on the condition of maintaining the localization ratio of equipment and materials to a certain level, preparing local security measures, and investing in next-generation technologies in Korea.

This approval would be a chance for LG Display to further increase the productivity of large size OLED panels and strengthen its market competitiveness.  In addition, they can expect sales growth and tariff reduction in Chinese TV market.  At the IMID 2018 held in BEXCO in Busan last August, LG Display CTO In-Byeong Kang said, “ Recently OLED TV has overtaken LCD TV market share in North and Central Americas and Europe, but not yet in China.  We will increase our market share of OLED TV in China, which is recently being raised as a largest TV market in the world.”

<Market share of global OLED TV market: LG Display>

LG Display plans to strengthen its presence in larger OLEDs by completing both the newly approved Guangzhou Gen OLED line and Paju Gen 10.5 line.  According to UBI Research, LG Display’s 55-inch and larger OLED panel shipments are projected to increase from 2.4 million units in 2018 to 10 million units in 2022.

<Expectation of 55-inch and larger OLED panel shipments 55 inch >

Flexible OLED Leading the OLED Panel Market from 2019

■ Flexible OLED is expected to ship 480 million units in 2019, surpassing Rigid OLED shipments.

■ Full-screen OLED among Flexible OLED is expected to have an average market share of 78.3% by 2022, dominating the market.

■ Foldable OLED is expected to ship in earnest from 2019.

Flexible OLED shipments are expected to exceed rigid OLED shipments in 2019. According to the ‘2017 Flexible OLED Annual Report’ published by Ubi Research, flexible OLEDs are expected to ship 480 million units in 2019, surpassing 409 million units of rigid OLED shipments. In addition, flexible OLED shipments will grow at a CAGR of 41% starting in 2018, reaching 1,285 million units in 2022 with forecasted revenue of US$ 59.4 billion.

<OLED Market Share Forecast by Substrate in 2018 ~ 2022>

Recently, as the hardware technology of mobile devices has been leveled up, set makers targeting the premium market are trying to differentiate their products by adopting OLED. Especially, set makers are beginning to introduce flexible OLED capable of full screen, as the needs of consumers who want a wider screen in mobile devices (even in the same sizes) on the increase.

 

Accordingly, panel makers are continuing to invest in flexible OLED mass production. Since Chinese panel makers such as BOE, CSOT and Visionox are expected to start mass production of Gen6 flexible OLED starting in 2018, flexible OLED shipments will likely grow at an average growth rate of 59% per annum, reaching 354 million units by 2022.

 

This report compares the structure and process of rigid OLED and flexible OLED, and analyzes the trends of technology development for foldable OLED implementation by layer. It also compares the flexible OLED application technology of Samsung Electronics, Apple, and LG Electronics which released mobile devices with full screen OLED. The report also forecasts the flexible OLED market from 2018 to 2022 by categorizing into various perspectives including flexible type, country and generation.

 

According to the report, full screen OLEDs of flexible OLEDs will ship 265 million units in 2018 with a market share of 82.1%, and 1,022 million shipments will be made in 2022, accounting for 79.5% of the market, leading the flexible OLED market. In addition, the foldable OLED, which has been receiving a great deal of attention recently, is expected to ship 5 million units from 2019 and 53 million units by 2022.

<Foldable OLED Shipment Forecast in 2018~ 2022>

 

LG Display wins OLED TV Premium Market

LG Display’s OLED TV panel sales in October more than doubled thanks to surging sales of major global TV customers such as LG Electronics, Sony and Philips.

 

LG Display’s OLED TV panel sales exceeded 200,000 units for the first time in October, followed by sales plan of exceeding 210,000 units in November.

 

With the help of Sony’s OLED TV which released LG Display’s OLED TV for the first time this year, it has achieved an overwhelming market share of 74% both in units and sales in the 55” and 65” TV market and OLED TV Set.

(September NPD North American aggregate basis)

 

In North America, Sony’s sales volume in September increased by 2.1 times compared to the previous month, and in Europe, Philips in its third quarter increased by 5.9 times compared to the previous quarter, and sales of LG Electronics, family of OLED TV, together with North America and Europe, experienced an increase of OLED TV sales in September with a surge of 1.5 times compared to the previous month.

(September NPD North America, GFK Europe / CIS 14 countries)

 

Particularly last end of July, it had only been 3 months since LG Display announced the move to invest in OLED to lead the future display market when TV sales are rapidly growing, with OLED becoming the trend of the Premium TV market.

 

This trend is due to the surge in consumer demand after 13 global TV companies introduced OLED TVs in front of the premium TV lineup at the IFA exhibition last September, and the demand for LG Display have increased not only for until the end of the year but even until next year.

 

Accordingly, LG Display’s OLED TV sales are expected to leap over 1.7 million units this year, exceeding market expectations of 1.5 million units, and 2.7 million units are expected to be sold next year.

 

LG Display plans to raise utilization of the E4-2 line to the maximum in Paju, which started operation in this second half of the year.

 

LG Display Vice Chairman Han Sang-Bum states, “OLEDs are rapidly emerging as a premium TV market and are growing steadily in accordance to our production capacity.”

 

Meanwhile, LG Display has actively promoted the trend of OLEDs in the display market and has recently opened ‘OLED Day’ events in China and Europe. In addition, OLED Experience Center has been installed in 8 major cities in China to show OLED potential and future technologies to consumers.

OLED TV, leading the premium TV market, LG Electronics HE division created the largest operating profit

On the 26th, LG Electronics announced its 2017 Q3 performance through conference call. LG Electronics recorded consolidated sales of KRW 15.2241 trillion in 3Q and operating profit of KRW 516.1 billion. Sales and operating profit grew by 15.1% and 82.2% YoY respectively. Sales are the highest in 3Qs ever.

In particular, sales of premium TV increased, and HE division posted record-high quarterly results with operating profit (KRW 458.0 billion) and operating margin (9.9%). In addition, operating profit (KRW 882.9 billion) and operating margin (9.2%) are the highest in the household appliances business including household appliances and TVs.

LG Electronics announced that its HE division posted sales of KRW 4.6376 trillion and operating profit of KRW458 billion, and sales of premium TVs such as OLED TVs and UltraHD TVs increased steadily, with 12.0% YoY growth. It is known that the operating profit and operating margin (9.9%) reached a record high on a quarterly basis due to improved profit structure by expanding sales of premium products.

LG Electronics said on Oct 11 that monthly sales of OLED TV have exceeded 10,000 units for the first time in Korea and that it is speeding up its popularization. LG OLED TV has been recognized for its image quality by being awarded the top spot in the performance evaluation conducted by non-profit consumer magazines in 11 countries including the US and UK this year and the price of the 55-inch OLED TV has dropped to the mid-2 million level, and It is regarded as the cause of goodness of its sales.

LG OLED TV accounted for about 30% of domestic TV sales of LG Electronics, and it is known to have completely settled in the market. LG Electronics official announced plans for the future, ” HE division plans to continue sales growth and stable profit structure focusing on premium products such as OLED TV and UltraHD TV.”

Solution Process OLED, Max. 40% Decrease in Component Material Cost Possible Compared to WRGB

According to 2017 Solution Process OLED Annual Report published by UBI Research, when solution process (ink-jet printing) is applied to large area OLED, it could reduce up to 40% of component material cost, and approximately more than 18% of production cost compared to WRGB process that uses evaporation method.

 

Solution process is a technology that can manufacture RGB pixel structure of large size OLED panel without cutting mother glass using Gen8 manufacturing equipment or larger.

 

UBI Research analyst Hyunjun Jang explained that the solution process applied OLED has a simpler panel structure with 5 layers compared to 20 layers of WRGB OLED. WRGB OLED process material usage efficiency is only at 40% but solution process application could increase this to over 90%. Jang added that the lack of color filter is a factor that could decrease panel production price by reducing development cost. Particularly, this can greatly reduce emitting materials usage which occupies much of materials cost and contribute considerably to the fall in production cost. Furthermore, he added that cost setting of soluble emitting material per gram will be an important factor in production cost decrease and emphasized that organic material usage greatly decreases when soluble emitting materials are used but must consider price increase due to solvent cost, production cost, and development cost.

 

Solution process technology continues to receive attention as a key technology that can lead popularization of large area OLED, and key AMOLED panel companies are carrying out development.

 

In terms of technology, solution process OLED has lower emitting efficiency and short lifetime as diverse solvent is added to existing evaporation materials to transform into ink leading to low purity. This has been an important issue for panel and material companies for past several years. To improve this, DuPont, Merck, Sumitomo Chemical and others have been actively developing soluble OLED emitting materials. Much like evaporation materials, blue materials showed particular difficulty in performance improvement. However, at present significant portion of technology development has been carried out and investigation shows approximately 80% of lifetime and efficacy of has been achieved compared to evaporation materials.

 

2017 Solution Process OLED Annual Report compared and analysed WRGB OLED and solution process OLED’s competitiveness in terms of process, materials, and cost. Key issues, soluble OLED emitting materials development status, key companies’ trend, and solution process OLED market are analysed from various perspectives.

<Source: WRGB OLED and solution process OLED production cost comparison, UBI Research 2017 Solution Process OLED Annual Report>

LG Electronics, Big step on popularization of OLED TV

<OLED TV of LG Electronics Source: LG Electronics>

LG Electronics OLED TV is speeding up its popularization with exceeding monthly sales of 10,000 units for the first time in Korea.

‘LG OLED TV’ was sold every four minutes last month. Compared to the beginning of this year, it’s double. LG Electronics expects sales increase of OLED TVs in the future and to rapidly increase market power.

The secret to increasing sales is recognition of outstanding image quality. LG OLED TV, this year, was first in the performance evaluation conducted by nonprofit consumer magazines in 11 advanced markets including the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Portugal and Australia. Unlike LCD TVs, the contrast ratio is high because it emits light without backlight. So it presents perfect black and realizes a lively screen.

Consumers consider picture quality the most when purchasing TV. According to a consumer survey conducted by LG Electronics, over 40% of the respondents cited image quality as the top priority when purchasing TVs. This percentage is the highest of all purchasing considerations.

Reasonable price is also the cause of good sales. LG Electronics has continuously developed technology for more consumer to experience OLED TV image quality so as to reduce the. 55-inch OLED TV prices have fallen to the mid-2 million won. It is no different from premium LCD TVs. In 2013 when LG Electronics first launched OLED TV, it was worth 15 million won.

‘LG OLED TV’ accounted for about 30% of LG Electronics domestic TV sales this year and settled perfectly in the market.

Son, Dae-Gi, LG Electronics Korea HE Marketing FD, emphasized “we will expand sales to allow more customers to enjoy ‘LG OLED TV’ image quality and have a solid profit structure by raising premium market power”.

Cynora, TADF will contribute to high-resolution implementation of OLED devices and panel cost reduction

At the Global Materials Tech Fair 2017 held on September 22 in COEX, CEO Ko Chang-hoon of EM Index, Cynora’s Korean partner, announced the development of the thermally activated delayed fluorescence, blue TADF, which is currently under development at Cynora.

<CEO Ko Chang-hoon of EM Index>

Generally, the blue light emitting material is insufficient in life and efficiency compared to red and green. For this reason, OLED panels for mobile devices are manufactured relatively large in blue pixel size compared to other pixels, in the OLED panel for TV, blue light emitting layers are laminated twice. The blue TADF is the material that is being developed to overcome the limitations of this blue light emitting material.

CEO Ko Chang-hoon mentioned “Applying blue TADF increases lifetime and efficiency, so it does not need to increase pixel size and it is advantageous for high resolution implementation” and emphasized “In mobile devices, it will be advantageous to reduce power consumption as well as realize high resolution and in case of TV, it will be advantageous to reduce the panel cost because only one layer of blue light emitting layer needs to be formed.”

He referred to the recent investments of € 25 million from Samsung Venture Investment and LG Display and explained that it was a proof that blue TADF is attracting a lot of attention.

It is also close to the efficiency, lifetime and color purity of the blue TADF required by major OLED panel makers and is expected to meet these requirements by the end of 2017.

<Cynora’s blue TADF development progress>

Finally, the company announced the development roadmap for the green TADF by the end of 2018 and the red TADF by the end of 2019, and concluded by emphasizing that TADF would contribute to high-resolution implementation of OLED products and panel cost reduction.

<Cynora’s TADF product development roadmap>

Fraunhofer Institute will introduce automotive flexible OLED lighting at ISAL 2017

Specialized in development and manufacturing OLED module, Fraunhofer Institute will introduce Automotive flexible OLED lighting with adjusted color at ISAL 2017 which will be held in Darmstadt, Germany from 25th to 27th September. Fraunhofer Institute had released previously OLED which the color can be adjusted by rigid substrate in 2015.

Fraunhofer Institute has continued to develop flexible OLED lighting since then. Flexible OLED lighting which will be shown at ISAL 2017 is known to be changed to yellow and blue color. It can be shown as white light by making of yellow and blue color at the same time.

Fraunhofer Institute predicts that flexible OLED lighting will be replaced for car interior lights and it could also be used on the ceiling or winding parts where lights cannot be built easily. Commercial lighting is required to have heatsink and unfortunately it can not be easily built with lack of flexibility in design. However flexible OLED lighting is very light and thin which means it is expected to be widely used for Automotives interior with its flexible design. Fraunhofer Institute also made a comment that they may produce flexible OLED substrate glass, metal and plastic film as well.

OLED lighting has been recently used for Automotives interior and it is expected to be used more in the next generation. Customized Automotive service company, Changscustom showed OLED lighting built in the car at Seoul Auto 2016. Furthermore lighting companies including LG Display and Osram supplied OLED tail light with Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Meanwhile, according to 2017 OLED Lighting Annual Report which was recently published by UBi Research, using of Automotive OLED Lighting will be increased to $2.11 billion in 2025 from $6.4 million in 2017 with 107% of growth rate. Especially flexible OLED Lighting is expected to capture a higher market share more than 95% and flexible OLED Lighting will be widely used instead of rigid OLED lighting.

Starting to have mass production process in Gen5 OLED of LG Display from end of September, lighting market is expected to reach full growth. The growth of OLED lighting market is being watched with keen interest to compare with strong growth of OLED display market.

UBi Research, Lee Choong-Hoon, CEO, announce OLED market and forecast

Mr. Choong-Hoon Lee, the CEO of UBi Research, OLED specialist presented the market trend and prospects of the OLED industry following last year at the Japan Conference, host by Merrill Lynch Japan Securities, from 5th to 7th of September in Tokyo, Japan. The annual conference was held for Merrill Lynch Securities customers, consisting of a forum-type presentation on major industry trends in Japan and small meetings with presenters.

The fact that Mr. Lee, the CEO of UBi Research was invited to the event indicates the importance of the display market, not just in the IT industry but also in the global market industry. Among investors in recent years, display is in the spotlight at as an emerging industry and participants have shown their interest in the latest OLED technology trend as well as current and future production scale of OLED panel manufacturers.

Mr. Lee was also had an interview with Nikkei Business Publication regarding “Global OLED Market Trend and Forecast” during the conference. The main interview question is focused on “OLED industry trend and future OLED TV market development”. According to Naoki Tanaka, editor of Ronny Keikyo Newspaper, Japanese electronics industry is expecting to revive the old glory of display industry, showing its interest in the OLED industry and OLED TV.

In the interview, Mr. Lee stressed, referring to the market data in the UBi Research OLED display report, that Japanese display manufacturers who still believe perpetuation of LCD need more reliable OLED market analysis.

In addition, he said that through the exhibition trend of OLED TV at 2017 IFA held in Berlin, Germany it is worthwhile paying continuous attention to the premium OLED TV market in the future. At the end of the interview, he emphasized how important OLED production by Japanese panel manufacturers would be to Japan’s entire display and set industry.

UBi Research publishes a monthly report on a variety of topics of OLED industry, market, and technology trend, and draws more and more attention along with the recent OLED market expansion. For more information, please contact UBi Research (info@ubiresearch.com); useful sample reports and information are provided.

UBI research publishes 2017 OLED lighting report : LG Display, ready to mass-produce OLED light panel, expecting OLED lighting market to grow fast

LG Display starts mass production of 5G OLED panel for lighting from the end of September

■ OLED lighting panel market is projected to grow from US$ 1.9billion in 2021 to US$ 5.8billion by 2025

 

LG Display will start mass production of 5G OLED light panels from the end of September, therefore attention is focused on whether the OLED lighting market is growing rapidly. According to LG Display, monthly production capacity is 15K, and it is to be increased to 90K later.

 

According to the ‘2017 OLED Lighting Annual Report’ published by UBI Research on August 8, the global OLED lighting panel market is expected to grow to about US$ 1.9 billion by 2021. Furthermore, it is projected to have a CAGR of 85% for the period 2017-2025, and form a market of US$ 5.8 billion in 2025.

Because OLED lighting is thin, light and flexible, it does not limit the installation space and has excellent design autonomy. In addition, OLED lighting is used for automotive, exhibition, and medical as well as general indoor lighting because it can create a comfortable atmosphere with little heat and flicker.

 

However, the market for OLED lighting has been slower than that of OLED display, which is widely applied to mobile devices and TVs. Osram focuses primarily on automotive OLED lighting, and Philips sold its OLED lighting division to OLEDWorks. Also, Japanese panel makers such as Sumitomo Chemical and Konica Minolta have developed OLED lighting for industrial and medical applications. Nevertheless, it seems to take time for OLED lighting to become eventually a large market.

With LG Display’s mass production of Gen5 OLED line, the price of OLED light panel is estimated to drop below US $ 10 (100 x 100 mm). The significant price competiveness might enable OLED panels to be applied to various areas such as automobile and display lighting as well as indoor lighting. Owing to this expectation, attention is focused on whether the OLED lighting market, showing signs of slow growth, can be materialized.

UBI Research predicted that LG Display would account for about 70% of the world’s lighting OLED panel market in 2017, and will continue to lead the OLED lighting panel market with a 50% market share in 2020.

 

Meanwhile, ‘2017 OLED Lighting Annual Report’ describes trends of next-generation lighting market, promising applications, cost analysis upon the investment of LG Display and forecast of OLED lighting market. Since it analyses particularly OLED lighting market, materials market, and equipment market forecasts for OLED lighting from various perspectives, it is expected to help the related companies identify the OLED lighting market.

<Sales forecast for total OLED lighting panels>

LG DISPLAY, Will lead global TV market with OLED

LG Display invited about 200 people of Chinese set makers, distributors and related experts and had ‘OLED Partner’s Day’ to share the status of premium TV market and OLED TV business development at Renaissance Capital Hotel in Beijing, China on September 12.

<Source : LG Display>

In the expert forum on the day, key executives from distribution and set makers such as LG Electronics, Sony, Philips, Skyworth, Suning and related organizations such as electronic committee and awards association participated and agreed that OLED will lead the TV market in the future. Forum participants, Liu Tangz(刘棠枝), CEO of Skyworth, said “The Chinese TV industry is currently in a state of saturation, but OLED TV, which can offer new value, will be a breakthrough in the display industry,” and commented “OLED TV will help increase brand awareness and market share.”

Yeo Sang-Deog, LG Display CMO, said, “OLED TV has already become the market trend” and emphasized “We will lead the market with OLED TV, a true future display that can deliver value beyond TV.”

Since LG Display began mass production of OLED TV panels in 2013, it has expanded its customer base to 13 major companies in Europe, Japan and China, starting with LG Electronics. World TV set makers such as LG Electronics, Skyworth, Concha, Philips and Panasonic have set OLED TV products on the front at the IFA (International Consumer Electronics Show) 2017 in Berlin in early September.

OLED TV’s market competitiveness is getting higher as major set makers in the world recognized the value of OLED TV, which has various advantages such as image quality, thickness, design, viewing angle and power consumption and aggressively launch products.

Yeo Sang-Deog CMO emphasized the confidence in quality, he added, “In addition to securing stable yields, we will increase the output to 1.7 ~ 1.8 million units in 2017 and 2.5 million units in 2018.” and explained that they finished all the preparations that OLED TV can influence in terms of production.

<Source : LG Display>

OLED TV has been rated as one of the best products by the world’s leading professional rating agencies such as ‘Consumer Report’, a nonprofit consumer organization in the US.

OLED TV can be used for interior decoration that displays pictures and photos even when not watching TV, and easy to apply on various AI platforms so that there is no limit to the range of applications. LG Display expects OLED TVs with infinite scalability to change the lifestyle of consumers.

“OLED is a true future display that can deliver new value to the TV market,” said Yeo Sang-Deog CMO and “LG Display plans to carry out a variety of promotional activities to enable more consumers to know and experience the value of OLED.”

LG Display plans to build an OLED landmark in Guangzhou Tower while operating an OLED experience center in the core city of China.

Meanwhile, Vincent Teoh, editor-in-chief and image quality expert at HDTV Test, explained that the TV picture quality test conducted recently proved the overwhelming superiority of OLED TV in all aspects such as contrast and color accuracy, famous Chinese photographer Tungmeong (童梦) shared the experience of use from the user perspective that OLED is the best display to realize the natural color.

On the he other side of the event hall, there prepared the experience zone that can compare structure and image quality of OLED, gallery that can be observed high-end products such as CSO and wallpapers TV and products released by customers allowing attendees to directly experience the benefits of OLED TV.

[iMiD 2017] AP Systems, Find FMM answers through USPL

At iMiD 2017 in BEXCO, Busan on 28th, AP Systems announced that it succeeded in developing 1000ppi FMM with USPL (ultra-short pulse laser).

Since FMM plays a role of depositing pixels and RGB organic materials, FMM serves as a factor that determines resolution and yield of OLED. At present, FMM is mainly manufactured by etching method. This method has a problem that a shadow phenomenon due to the precision, thickness, and weight of the fine pattern occurs, in order to solve this problem, various FMM manufacturing processes such as laser processing and electro-forming have been developed.

Among these, laser processing method has an issue of forming burrs around pin-holes due to the thermal effect caused by laser irradiation. These burrs increase the shadow interval of the FMM, which causes overlapping of patterns during RGB organic deposition, thereby degrading the resolution of the OLED.

AP Systems has developed a burr-free laser process that does not have burr phenomenon and further controls the taper angle.

The Burr-free laser process is a short-time irradiation of unidirectional pulses at a constant number of times, since the laser is not continuously irradiated, it minimizes accumulated heat energy and prevents burr formation. In addition, by controlling energy of the laser, it accumulates energy and forms taper.

In this way, AP Systems explained ‘they produced FMM with various shapes of fine pin-holes such as square, diamond, and polygonal shapes, as well as 1170ppi FMM’, and ‘’We also developed large-area FMM manufacturing equipment with USPL method’.

AP Systems also added ‘multi-beam and USPL is equipped for FMM manufacturing equipment so that it can improve productivity and realize UHD’.

Since the launch of the Galaxy Note4 in 2014, the OLED resolution has remained at the QHD level yet. In order to manufacture an OLED having a high resolution (UHD level or higher), it is necessary to solve various technical problems faced by FMM. Accordingly, it is noteworthy how USPL technology of AP Systems will affect the future OLED market.

<1000ppi FMM produced by AP Systems>

<various type of FMM produced by AP Systems>

[iMiD 2017] You Dream, We OLED

LG Display is expanding in earnest in OLED market.

In the keynote session of IMID 2017 held in Busan on 29th, LG Display’s CTO Kang In-byeong pointed out the future plan of LG Display as “OLED is a strong candidate to lead the future display industry”.

Kang In-byeong, CTO, said that by 2020, large-area OLED will increase its production capacity by 7 times to 2020, thereby reducing the cost cap with LCD and leading the market on the basis of technology such as wall paper, sound integration, rollable and transparent flexible. LG Display recently invested in Gen8.5 in China and is expected to invest in Gen10.5 OLED mass production line at Paju P10 plant.

On the other hand, for small and medium-sized OLEDs, they have announced that they will use a fast follower strategy based on plastic OLED. LG Display is in mass production of plastic OLED panel to be applied for LG Display’s next smartphone, V30, next smartphone, and is ready for the mass production in the E5 line of Gumi. In addition, they plan to invest 10trn won additionally to Gen6 line, which is expected to increase 13 times the current capacity by 2020.

Based on this aggressive OLED investment, LG Display plans to raise its portion of OLED sales up to 40% in 2020 from current 5% in large-area OLEDs and small- and medium-sized OLEDs.

Currently, large-area OLEDs continue to increase capacity and yield and LG Display is likely to expand sales in the future, as it is dominating the premium TV market as it is expanding the camps of Sony, Philips and Panasonic as well as LG Electronics. The success of mass production in small- and mid-sized OLEDs will determine whether or not LG Display plans to achieve its plan.

LG Electronics leading OLED TV camp to premium sensation

<LG OLED TV exhibited at IFA2016>

LG Electronics is expanding its OLED TV camp to dominate the premium market. LG Electronics decided to supply OLED TV since September to Danish prestigious audio company B & O (Bang & Olufsen), making a fruitful result of OLED TV expansion.

‘B & O’ held an OLED TV public event in Berlin on Aug 30th in local time. ‘LG OLED TV is equipped with its own sound technology and will be shown to visitors at ‘IFA 2017’ from September 1 to 6.

LG Electronics also emphasized that the OLED TV camp is on the constant rise. It is expected that there will be 13 manufacturers exhibiting OLED TV at ‘IFA 2017’. As the number of companies increased from 11 last year, it is said that these companies are planning to execute their premium marketing strategies by bringing OLED TV in front.

LG Electronics analyzed that mushrooming OLED TV sales among many companies are attributed to securing a stable profit structure. As Chinese and Taiwanese makers are investing heavily in LCD panel production, the price competition is likely to be intensified in the future and LCD technology has already reached the maturity phase, difficult to be differentiated with LCD. Taken the market environment into consideration, TV makers have been targeting a premium market with differentiated OLED TV.

LG Electronics announced that OLED TV makes the profit structure of LG Electronics stable and secure. The HE division in charge of TV business stated that it achieved 8.5% of operating profit (sales 8,561 billion KRW, operating profit 725.2 billion KRW) in the first half of this year. LG Electronics mentioned the premium OLED TV has brought the high profitability and noted that OLED TV sales accounted for 15% of sales in the first half of LG Electronics’ business operation.

The LG OLED TV currently being commercialized has swept the various awards by media and experts all over the world, and is ranking number one in the performance evaluation. The screen quality, sound quality and design have been complimented in the TV’s key elements.

Particularly, at ‘IFA 2017 in Berlin Germany, LG Electronics will aggressively approach and further strengthen the premium TV market from September 1 to 6, introducing the advanced screen quality technology of ‘LG OLED TV’. “We will enhance our leadership in the global market by bringing OLED TV presently reorganizing the premium market in front.”