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Fierce Price Competition Amongst WOLED TVs, QD-OLED TVs, and Neo QLED TVs

We experienced fierce price competition in the first half of 2022 among premium TVs with a launch price of $2,000 or more. It will be interesting to see how the Amazon Prime Day event scheduled for July will affect TV prices.
2022 OLED TV prices until June 2022 was analyzed based on 65 inch TVs. The standard was the selling price on Bestbuy.com and Sony’s QD-OLED TV selling price on their official website.
LG Electronics’ WOLED TVs B2, C2, and G2 released in March were $2,300, $2,500, and $3,200, respectively. Samsung Electronics’ QD-OLED TV S95B was $3,000. Sony’s WOLED TV A80K was priced at $3,800 and QD-OLED TV A95K was priced at $4,000.

In June, the price of LG Electronics’ G2 model fell by $200, forming a price difference of $500 for each series. Samsung Electronics’ S95B model continues to maintain a price difference of $200 lower than LG Electronics’ high-end model G2. Sony lowered the price of the WOLED TV A80K by $300, while maintaining the price of QD-OLED TV A95K.
Samsung Electronics’ S95B and LG Electronics’ high-end OLED TV G2 are in heavy price competition. Sony is setting the price of QD-OLED TV higher than WOLED TV.
The price competition is also fierce between OLED TVs from each set makers and Neo QLED TVs with Samsung Electronics’ mini-LED technology.
As of June, the prices of Samsung Electronics’ 4K Neo QLED TVs, QN85B, QN90B, and QN95B, are $1,800, $2,600, and $3,300, respectively. The 8K Neo QLED TVs QN800B and QN900B are $3,300 and $4,800.

The prices of Samsung Electronics’ 4K Neo QLED TV series and LG Electronics’ 4K OLED TV series are similar. Within Samsung Electronics’ entire TV series, QD-OLED TV is located between 4K Neo QLED and 8K Neo QLED. Sony’s OLED TV series, which is highly evaluated in terms of picture quality, is competing in price with Samsung Electronics’ 8K Neo QLED TV series.
Although this price trend is expected to continue this year, aggressive marketing following the Amazon Prime event in the second half of the year and the Qatar World Cup is expected to be strong variables. Attention should be paid to how LG Electronics’ OLED TV with micro lens array technology, which is expected to be released next year, will affect the premium TV market in the future.

Analysis of 65-inch Premium TV Price Trends in the First Quarter of 2022

We analyzed the prices of 65-inch TVs of Samsung Electronics’ QLED TVs, OLED TVs from LG Electronics and Sony, and LG Electronics’ QNED TVs until March 2022.

The models we investigated at Samsung Electronics were 4K high-end model QN90A, 4K entry-level models QN85A and QN80A, and 8K models QN800A and QN900A. The models at LG Electronics were OLED TVs A1, C1, and G1 models and QNED TVs QN90UP and QN99UP. The models at Sony Electronics were OLED TV XR65A80J and XR65A90J.

The prices of Samsung Electronics’ 4K models QN90A, QN85A, and QN80A were $2600, $2200, $1700, respectively and the 8K models QN900A and QN800A were $5000 and $3500, respectively. The launch prices of LG Electronics’ OLED TVs A1, C1, and G1 were $2000, $2300, and $3000, respectively while the QNED TVs QNED90UP and QNED99UP were $1600 and $2700, respectively. Sony’s OLED TVs XR65A80J and XR65A90J were priced at $2800 and $4000, respectively.

 

As of March, the highest-priced 65-inch premium TV model was Sony’s XR65A90J. The lowest-priced model was Samsung Electronics’ QN65QN80A.

The prices of most of Samsung Electronics’ products have been falling since December. As of March, Samsung Electronics’ 80A, 85A, and 90A models are priced at $150, $200, and $500 lower than LG Electronics’ A1, C1, and G1 models, respectively, to induce consumption.

The price of LG Electronics’ OLED A1 and G1 models did not change after the last $100 price reduction in January and the C1 model has maintained the price of $1800 since October 2021. The price of LG Electronics’ QNED90UP did not change and the QNED99UP maintained a price of $2500, down $200 from its launch price.

Sony’s XR65A80J, which had dropped to $1800 in October 2021, recovered to $2000 in December and has maintained it until March. The XR65A90J has been steadily dropping in price since December 2021, forming a price of $3000 in March.

 

China Aims for the Foldable Phone Market with Multiple Foldable Phone Launches

Samsung Electronics widely successful release of its foldable phones, Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3 last year has risen expectations for establishing foldable phones into the mainstream. Chinese companies such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo are also releasing multiple foldable phones.

As the first foldable phone in China, Huawei has been releasing the Mate X series every year since its launch in 2019. The Mate X and the Mate Xs released in 2020 are 8 inches in size and folds outward. The external display is 6.6 inches with a resolution of 1148×2480 and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9.

Mate X2 was introduced in February 2021 with 8 inches for the internal display and the external display is 6.45 inches OLED with a resolution of 1160 x 2700 and an aspect ratio of 21:9. Colorless PI was applied to the cover window. Mate X2 folds inward instead of Mate X’s outward folding display.

P50 Pocket released in December 2021 is a clamshell phone similar to the Samsung Flip 3. The internal display is 6.9 inches with 120Hz refresh rate and an aspect ratio of 21:9. The cover window is 1.1 inches circular type.

Honor released a foldable phone, Magic V on January 10th 2022.

The internal display is 8 inches with 90Hz refresh rate and the external display is 6.5 inches with 120Hz refresh rate. The cover window is colorless PI. Both internal and external panels are made in BOE B11(Mianyang) line. The initial production is estimated to be 50,000 and the estimated total production volume is 100,000 to 200,000.

According to the sales result, the Visionox panel might be applied to the product.

Vivo is about to release a new foldable, the NEX FOLD. Vivo filed patents for NEX FOLD, NEX ROLL, and NEX SLIDE.

NEX fold’s internal display is 8.03 inches with QHD 120Hz and the external display is 6.53 inches with FHD 120Hz. Both internal and external display has the same refresh rate. The display panel is Samsung Display’s LTPO, and the cover window is planned to be 30 um thickness UTG.

It is planned to be released in March 2022, but no official announcement has been made.

Samsung Display is using UTG(Ultra Thin Glass) for the cover window and most Chinese panel companies are using Colorless PI. Many Chinese companies are introducing foldable phones, but durability issues are reported on many social network media posts. Chinese panel makers still have much to go in terms of quality in technology and production cost when compared to Samsung Display.

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.

[SID2019] What material is better for cover windows of foldable OLED? colorless PI or UTG?

Since Royole introduced ‘FlexPai’, a foldable OLED phone, Samsung Electronics and Huawei have also launched Foldable OLED phones, attracting great interest from the industry and the public.

The biggest change of the foldable OLED phone currently being commercialized or under preparation is that the cover window of the glass material used in the existing flexible OLED has been changed to colorless PI material.

Colorless PI is thinner than conventional cover window glass, which is advantageous in reducing the radius of curvature and has the advantage of not breaking. UTG (ultra-thin glass), which has good surface touch-feel and scratch-resistant glass as thin as possible, is also attracting attention as a cover window material for foldable OLEDs.

At the SID Display Week exhibition in San Jose, KOLON exhibited colorless PI with hard coating. KOLON, which has been ready for mass production of colorless PI since 2018, is currently supplying colorless PI for foldable OLED cover windows to AUO, BOE, LG Display, and Royole.

Hard coating company DNP and TOYOCHEM also exhibited colorless PI with hard coating. DNP’s company official said that the film is under development and its main business area is hard coating, and TOYOCHEM’s company official said that it supplied hard coating samples to KOLON and SKC.

Meanwhile, SCHOTT, a UTG development company, also attracted the attention of the audience by displaying UTG for foldable OLED cover windows. An official of SCHOTT said that the UTG currently being developed is a cover window product for out-folding, not in-folding, and that the thickness is currently in development from 0.7 mm to 2.5 mm in accordance with customer requirements.

As the smartphone set makers are expected to release foldable OLED phones in the near future, competition for related materials is also expected to be intense. Whether the Colorless PI will continue to dominate or whether UTG will be able to exercise its influence is highlighted.

[MWC 2019] The new form factor, foldable phone wars heat up

Reporter : Daejeong Yoon

Smartphone makers are promoting the new form factor, foldable phones at MWC 2019 started on February 27 and it runs until 29 in Barcelona Spain.

The show is buzzing with products from big-name tech companies, including Samsung Electronics and Huawei,TCL, LG Electronics being unveiled. That includes a variety of phones with foldable screens.

Samsung unveiled foldable phone ‘Galaxy Fold’ to customer, highly touted at the Samsung Galaxy unpacked event.

In folding ‘Galaxy Fold’ features a 7.3-inch QXGA + resolution OLED screen and it was built to be compact size with 4.6-inch HD + resolution OLED when folded.

And Huawei announced its own foldable phone “Mate X” uses roll out foldable technology, it is surrounded by a 6.6-inch main OLED on the front and a 6.38-inch on the back. It is 8.7 inches when it is opened, 1.4 inches bigger than Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Fold.

Mate X’s front display has 2480 × 1148 resolution with a 19.5: 9 aspect ratio. The back OLED has a 2480 × 892 resolution with a 25: 9 aspect ratio. When you flip it open, the resolution is 2480 × 2200 with an aspect ratio of 8: 7.1. .

Also, TCL announced the prototype device uses the company’s proprietary “DragonHinge” mechanism to fold and unfold the screen, it has 7.2-inch screen.

According to TCL, this device will build a production version that is slated for release by 2021.

Lastly, LG showed off V50 which is similar to a folding phone, it does have an optional case with a whole second screen on it. With two near-identical phone displays next to each other, the functional split-screen allows multitasking and gaming easily.

Samsung Electronics, Display Business division’s operating profit in the second quarter of 2018 was KRW 140 billion.

Samsung Electronics announced its sales of KRW 58.48 trillion and operating profit of KRW 14.87 trillion through the earnings conference call of the second quarter, 2018 on July 31. Its sales decreased by 4% YoY and the operating profit increased by KRW 800 billion. Sales decreased 3% QoQ and operating profit fell by KRW 800 billion QoQ.

According to Samsung Electronics, the display panel business recorded sales of KRW 5.67 trillion and operating profit of KRW 140 billion, due to slowing demand for flexible OLED panels and declining sales of LCD TV panels. Despite improved utilization of rigid OLED, OLED division’s earnings declined QoQ due to continued weak demand for flexible products.

Competition with LTPS LCD is expected to intensify at rigid OLED in the second half of 2019, but earnings are to improve on increased sales following the recovery of flexible product demand. Sales and operating profit are projected to improve in the second half on the back of production of flexible OLED for Apple’s new iPhone models from 2Q.

Samsung Electronics plans to expand its share of OLEDs for mobile devices by strengthening its differentiated technology and cost competitiveness, and to strengthen its capacity for new products such as foldable OLEDs. Samsung official said that foldable OLED will contribute to growth from next year rather than immediate performance in the second half of the year.

IT • Mobile (IM) division posted sales of KRW 24 trillion and operating profit of KRW 2.67 trillion. Operating profit fell 34.2 percent from KRW 4.06 trillion in the same period a year ago, and also fell sharply from the previous quarter (KRW 3.77 trillion). In 2Q, handset sales reached 78 million units, of which 90% are smart phones. 5 million units of tablet were sold. The average selling price (ASP) of the handsets is in the second half of US$ 220. The Consumer Electronics (CE) division posted sales of KRW 10.4 trillion and operating profit of KRW 510 billion in the second quarter of the year. Overall sales and operating profit of the first half of the year were KR W 20.14 trillion and KRW 0.79 trillion, respectively. TV profits improved thanks to robust sales of high value-added products such as QLED TVs amid the global sports events. On the other hand, SEC’s facility investment in the second quarter was KRW 8 trillion. By business, semiconductor area accounted for KRW 6.1 trillion and KRW 1.1 trillion was invested for display area. In the first half, a total of KRW 16.6 trillion was invested; including KRW 13.3 trillion in semiconductors and KRW 1.9 trillion in display.

Samsung Electronics, is increasing full screen rigid OLED adoption

Samsung Electronics is expected to launch next-generation smartphones with full-screen rigid OLEDs, next to the popular Galaxy A8 (2018) series. Accordingly, attention is focused whether the sluggish rigid OLED market will revive.

In early May, Samsung Electronics unveiled ‘Galaxy A6 (2018)’ and ‘Galaxy A6 + (2018)’ with full screen rigid OLED, eliminating the home button. The Galaxy A6 (2018) adopts rigid OLED with HD + (1480 x 720) resolution at 5.6 inch, and the Galaxy A6 + (2018) is applied with rigid OLED with FHD + (2220 x 1080) resolution at 6.0 inch.

<Samsung Galaxy A6(2018), Source: GSM-specs.com>

On the other hand, the official rendering image of Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy J6 (2018), another entry-level smartphone, was leaked through WinFuture, the German media on May 16.

<Samsung Galaxy J6(2018), Source: WinFuture>

The Galaxy J6 (2018) is expected to have 5.6-inch rigid OLED with FHD + (2220 x 1080) resolution. Both the Galaxy A6 series and the Galaxy J6 are expected to be launched around the end of May.

Recently, the demand for rigid OLED for smartphone market has decreased due to the introduction of full screen LCD as well as LCD adoption in low-priced smartphones. Consequently, the utilization rate of rigid OLED mass production line has also decreased. According to UBI Research, rigid OLED shipments rose steadily from 2014 to 2016, but 290 million units were shipped in 2017, 8% down from the previous year.

However, the full screen rigid OLED, which was launched in the second half of 2017, started to be adopted in the VIVO X20 and Galaxy A8, and has been expanded to be applied to a number of smartphones such as the Galaxy A6 series and Galaxy J6. As the utilization rate of rigid OLED mass production lines is expected to normalize from the second half of this year, attention is growing whether rigid OLED market will be rebounded again.

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.”

Google-LG Display to show OLED for 1443ppi VR device for the first time in the world

Google and LG Display are planned to unveil OLED displays for ultra-high-resolution VR devices with the world’s first 1443 ppi at SID 2018 in Los Angeles in May.

<OLED for VR devices, which Google and LG Display will unveil, Source: Android Police>

According to the Verge, the OLED for VR devices released at SID 2018 has a resolution of 5657 x 3182 (1443 ppi) with 4.3 inches in size.

The resolution is 2.4 times higher than Samsung Electronics’ Odyssey (model no. XQ800ZAA-HC1KR), which is currently known to have the highest resolution of 1400 x 1600 (607ppi), among VR devices supporting HMD. Also, it is about 1.9 times higher than the OLED for VR devices (1824 x 1824, 806 ppi) displayed at iMiD 2017 in August, 2017.

Since the distance between the eyes and the display is very short, a VR device has a ‘side door effect’ phenomenon in which the pixel patterns of the display are shown in a lattice form when the resolution is low. In addition, low resolution increases the fatigue of eyes, and it becomes a factor that deteriorates reality due to inaccurate graphic information (image distortion). Accordingly, the related companies are developing panels for VR devices with high resolution that can compensate them.

<VR screen comparison according to resolution, Source: speedvr.co.uk>

OLEDs for VR devices to be exhibited by Google and LG Display are the best in the world at the refresh rate (120Hz), too.

Higher refresh rates can display more screen frames within the same time period to minimize the nausea phenomenon and increase immersion by showing more natural images. Accordingly, Oculus VR, HTC, and Korea Information and Communications Technology Association have prescribed the refresh rate of the VR display as 90 Hz or more, and SONY defined as 120 Hz.

According to the ‘Display Market Report for AR and VR’ published by UBI Research in July 2017, the VR devices launched from 2014 to 2016 have a refresh rate of about 65 Hz for LCDs and about 86 Hz for OLEDs. In order to implement a high refresh rate, OLEDs with higher response speeds and lower power consumption than LCDs are more advantageous.

2018 MWC – Sharing Samsung’s market retention strategy with S9 introduction

The Mobile World Congress (MWC), which takes place every year in Barcelona, Spain, is well known for releasing new models of smart phone brands that year. This year, however, Samsung Electronics and most of the smart phone makers exhibited new line-ups that did not change much or were hard to change dramatically.

In particular, through a press conference held on Monday, February 26, 2018, Samsung Electronics shared some strategies about concerns that the smart phone market will be experiencing an overall shift in replacement cycles and that the growth rate will slow down gradually.

According to the company, the company will concentrate its strategy in three major directions. It plans to set up a global trading system that will compensate for the remaining price by returning the Galaxy S7 within two years of an implicit average replacement cycle or by returning a competitor’s phone, which might be helpful to secure new customers while preventing current customers escape. This is already done by Apple in a system called recycling.

Another strategy is to secure customer loyalty through experiential marketing that enables users to experience various functions of Galaxy Studios and Galaxy by inducing them to shorten replacement cycles through targeted marketing using customer data. Note 8 sales were slightly lower than originally target at 11 million units, but note series have steady B2B demand and fixed customers. Note 9 is largely defined and can only be described as trying to differentiate itself from other customers at this time. The S9, which was unveiled at the show, said it expects better results than the S8 with its timely sales plan.

The S9, a new model released through the MWC, focuses on camera functions, better Infiniti 5.8-inch displays, stereo sound and IoT-centered mobile phones, redesigned with a new dual aperture lens that powers an innovative low light camera, Super Slow-mo video capabilities and personalized AR Emoji. The exhibition response to date has been evaluated to be a better level than expected, and visitors at the exhibition hall were enjoying the experience of emoticonizing themselves.

In addition, a variety of OLED models including the A8 model (5.6-inch FHD +), A8 + (6.0-inch FHD +), Galaxy Fit 2 Pro and Gear sports, were exhibited.

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>

Samsung Electronics, releases Galaxy S9 at MWC 2018

Samsung Electronics will unveil Galaxy S9, its next-generation strategic smartphone, at MWC 2018, held in Barcelona, Spain on February 25. Galaxy S9 is anticipated to be equipped with various features such as dual cameras for the first time at the Galaxy S series and intelligent scanning, so expectations for the Galaxy S9 are rising.

The Galaxy S series continued to increase in ppi and display area (DA), starting with the ‘Galaxy S’ in 2010. The first Galaxy S was introduced with 4 inch WVGA rigid OLED, with 235 ppi and 58% DA. For Galaxy S6 which is the first Galaxy S series adopted with flexible OLED, its ppi became more than doubled and DA was 70.7% increased by 22%, compared to Galaxy S.

<Evolution in ppi and DA for Galaxy S series>

Launched in 2017, the Galaxy S8 first extended the DA to 83.6% by removing the home button and minimizing the bezel for the first time on the OLED smart phone. Through these changes, Samsung Electronics introduced a full-screen OLED display.

According to the industry experts, Samsung Electronics is expected to implement full-screen by expanding DA to 93% with 5.8-inch OLED in Galaxy S9 to be unveiled at MWC 2018.

As the full-screen OLED smart phone has become very popular with consumers, Apple, LG, VIVO and Oppo have started to incorporate full-screen OLED into their flagship models. As a result, smart phones with full-screen OLEDs are expected to become main stream this year.

Meanwhile, it is estimated that 230 million units of flexible OLED panels will be shipped in 2018 according to the recently published ‘2018 OLED Panel Industry Report’. The size of OLEDs is expected to increase steadily for implementation of full screen. Moreover, the development direction for full screen is to be from current full screen or notch type (form of making holes in speaker and camera functions) to the form of real full-screen displays, in which they (speaker and camera parts) are not visible on the front display.

<Expected development direction for full-screen>

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.”

[CES 2018] This is the era of “Connected”

By Hana Oh (hanaoh@ubiresearch.com)

“Connected” is the theme of largest number of exhibitors participating in 2018 CES. In the future, home appliances and electronic goods such as TV, washing machine, refrigerator, and automobiles will be connected to people and operated with artificial intelligence (AI).

CES 2018 is a chance for many set-makers, including LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics, to highlight both that electronic goods are connected with users as it is connected and converged going beyond single primary function and using electronic good equals to the user’s “life style”. “Connect” and “Expansion” is a way for many companies to show how they communicate with the upcoming new era: LG electronics launches new brand of Thin Q, Samsung Electronics suggests connected city phone and life style through connection of phones with consumer electronics, and Intel displays AI-applied applications, and autonomous cars.

<“ThinQ” of LG Electonics >

Now, display is changing in order to facilitate and enable the “Connectedness” of these electronic devices. If display was simply recognized as image projection in the past, now it becomes a tool of “Communications”. “Connected” without display seems incomplete as it recognizes the user through display and extend from information output to information selection and recognition of correct information.

OLED is expected to apply to 5G and AI favorably as it is applied to diverse electronic products including TV, mobile devices and automobiles thanks to flexibility of product design and superior color presentation.

<’AI’ of Intel>

< ‘connected city’ of Samsung Electronics>

[CES 2018] OLED TV exhibition from major set manufacturers

On 8 January 2018, the largest electronic show is held at Enclave Convention Center in Las Vegas, United States.

Major electronic companies such as LG Electronics, Sony, Vestel, Changhong, Skyworth presented OLED TV as main exhibition. In particular, Samsung Electronics’ “Micro LED” exhibition received a great deal of attention.  Samsung Electronics unveiled the world’s first “micro LED” technology-applied 146-inch modular TV, “The Wall.” People came to see the product and it was heated up in a hot issue. Samsung Electronics emphasized that this product is a future screen that is unlimited in image quality, size and form. Through the implementation of the local dimming 3000, “The Wall”, which was unveiled at the exhibition show is developed by brightness, contrast ratio, color reproduction and black display compared to the existing display.

<‘Micro LED TV ‘The Wall’ of Samsung Electronics’>

Especially, the existing “Mini LED” products were exhibited along with “The Wall” for comparison of exhibition. And the excellence of “Micro LED” was outstanding. “Mini LED” products was little far from the large display as pixels and the lines of each module were shown on the screen.

LG Electronics, Sony, Changhong and other companies presented 65-inch and 77-inch OLED TV display products including Sound Acoustic OLED TV products. In particular, Konka reflected the trend that TV is a part of furniture, not just electronic products and it consists of a set design that took advantages of Chinese traditional atmosphere.

In addition, many set manufacturers have demonstrated the advantages of OLED TV, which is the lightest and thinnest through “Wall Paper TV” and “Slim” concepts.

<A8F Bravia OLED TV of Sony>

<OLED TV of Kongka>

‘TCL’, which occupies a side of QLED TV showed more advanced QLED TV in image quality and color reproduction range. According to the person in charge of TCL, QD dominated the portion of the current market therefore, many manufacturers are producing Quantum dot LCD, and also considering OLED TV launches. The person in charge emphasized that they are building factories in China that produce only OLED.

LG Electronics is a leading OLED TV company and showed OLED which is being developed continuously through making tunnels of OLED TV. They revealed that LG Electronics is the world’s first OLED TV set manufacturer. People look forward to seeing OLED growth in the future through CES the first electronic exhibition show in 2018.

CES 2018: Expected to Showcase Low to Mid-End Smartphones

By Hana Oh (hanaoh@ubiresearch.com)

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are going to unveil low to mid-end smartphones at CES 2018 instead of their mainstream smartphones.

Samsung Electronics will showcase 5.6-inch Galaxy A8 and 6-inch Galaxy A8 Plus at CES 2018. The Galaxy A8(2018) series are expected to adopt a 18: 9 ratio full screen OLED similar to Galaxy S8 design with almost zero bezel.

<Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy A8, Source: news.samsung.com>

LG Electronics is going to introduce four K series, K3, K4, K8, and K10. Among them, K10 has a 5.3 inch FHD LCD and it is changed to X series in Korea and is expected to be released at the end of January.

Meanwhile, there is an opinion that Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics’ plan to release low to mid-end smartphones is a bulwark against Huawei which announced the entry into the North American smartphone market.

Huawei has recently partnered with AT&T to sell the Mate 10 series in the US from February 2018. Mate 10 has a 5.9 inch IPS LCD, and Mate 10 PRO has a 6-inch OLED. Huawei announced that it will aggressively advance into the North American market to become the world’s second-largest smartphone maker, outpacing Apple this year.

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics intend to strengthen their low to mid-end smartphone specifications up to the premium level as well as their flagship smartphones to dominate the smartphone market until new mainstream smartphones are launched and to check other companies including Huawei.

Meanwhile, more details such as the price and mobile provider of Huawei Mate 10 series to be released in North America will be disclosed at the CES 2018 exhibition.

<Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro, Source: GSMArena.com>

 

OLED applied Galaxy Book 12.0 released in Japan

<Galaxy Book 12.0, Source: news.samsung.com>

Samsung Electronics launched its Windows tablet ‘Galaxy Book 12.0’ in Japan. It has a 12-inch OLED display with an aspect ratio of 3: 2 and a resolution of 2,160 × 1,440. The size is 291.3 × 199.8 × 7.4 mm (WLH), the weight is 754 g, and the official price is 139,800 yen.

Galaxy Book 12.0 was released to the public at MWC 2017, the world’s largest mobile telecommunication exhibition held in Barcelona, Spain on February 26, and was pre-booked in Korea in April. At MWC 2017, a Samsung Electronics official said, “Galaxy book is expected to be able to target both tablet PC and notebook market at the same time, and burn-in phenomenon, which is a weak point of AMOLED panel, has been improved enough to be used for notebook applications.”

OLED, which was mainly applied only to mobile devices and TVs, has recently been applied to tablets and notebooks, widening its application range. In early 2017, Alienware launched the ’13 R3 2017 ‘with 13.3-inch OLED, and Lenovo also released the X1 Yoga 2017, which is powered by a 14-inch OLED in July 2017.

As OLEDs are applied to various applications and become the mainstream of display industry, it will be interesting to see if they can exert their influence in the tablet and notebook market as well.

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>

 

Price competition intensifies in the premium TV market- OLED TV price close to premium LCD TV

In the premium TV market, price competition is on the rise. The basic premium TV models (55 inch, 65inch, flat type) such as QN55Q7F and QN65Q7F (Samsung Elec.), OLED55C7, OLED65C7 (LG Elec.), XBR55A1E and XBR65A1E (Sony), launched in Amazon (www.amazon.com) in March 2017, are compared to one another).

<Comparison of 55 inch and 65 inch premium TV price>

As a result, the average price of 55 inch models of those three manufacturers dropped by 54.8% from March to October; especially Samsung Elec.’s QN55Q7F showed the highest drop from $ 2,798 in March to $ 1,598 in October. The 65 inch model showed a similar phenomenon. 65 inch dropped 60.0% on average from March to October while Samsung Elec.’s QN65Q7F showing the most dramatic decline from $ 3,998 in March to $ 2,498 in October.

Notably the price difference between 55 inch LG OLED TV and Samsung SUHD TV, both of which were released in 2016, was about $ 1,000 as of Dec 2016, and for 65 inch models, 1,500$ while those released 2017 showed a significantly narrowed price difference as of October 2017-55 inch 200$, 65 inch 300$.

The reason why OLED TV prices are catching up with the premium LCD TV prices is significantly due to stabilization of LG Display production yield. In particular, if the E4-2 line of LG Display, which has started operating since the second half of this year, is fully in operation from 2018, LG Display’s large OLED panel production is expected to increase by 41% to 2.4M units from about 1.7M units in 2017; the OLED TV will accelerate market expansion.

iMiD 2017 Industrial Forum, a networking event to predict the next generation OLED market

■ “Finding a new OLED market” – Discussing OLED replacement in view of OLED application development

■ Discussing new technologies of future display (LCD, QD-LCD, OLED)

The potential of future OLED development is inexhaustible as OLED can be applicable to all industries including VR / AR, automotive, aerospace, and lighting not content with smart phone and TVs. There has been growing public interest in OLED in many different industries. To meet the market demand, Ubi Research, a market research company co-hosts ‘iMiD2017 Industrial Forum’ with Korea Display Society (KIDS) in BEXCO, Busan on 30th of August.

The forum will proceed with a panel discussion among key specialists and presentation, which will enable people from many different industries to exchange information not only on the display market but also current OLED market status, technology and explore a new market potential generated in the future.
In the first session ‘look for a new OLED market’, OLED replacement will be presented in view of OLED application development. The key players include Dr. Teruo Tohma, WooSeok Jeong, principal research fellow at the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Julian K chang, Managing director of Boeing Corporation, Professor TAKUYA KOMODA at Yamagata University, senior researcher, Michi Hisaishi, ALPINE Michihisa Onishi.

The second session, ‘Discussion of New Technologies in Future Display’ will provide insight into the latest products and technology trend of TV manufacturers competing with one another to dominate the next generation display market. Nam-Suk Oh, CEO of Samsung Electronics will present an updated LCD TV using Quantum dots technology under the title of “Quantum Dot and Advance of LCD-TV”.

In the OLED TV camp, under the title of “OLED, Now and Future”, Joon-Young Yang at LG Display will review the current status of OLED TV led by the current market trends, and also address OLED future implemented in a wide range of ‘flexible and rollable’ designs.

Weir Cao, senior researcher at TCL, will present both the technology status of the Colloidal Quantum Dots and TCL products applied to LCD in the market, under the topic of “TCL Display Technology with QDs”. The premium TV strategies are expectedly revealed. Lee Choong-hoon, CEO of Ubi research co-host of this forum, offered a time to summarize the premium TV market on the topic of ‘OLED TV market outlook by premium TV market expansion’ by analyzing the presentations of the companies that presented earlier.

For more information on the 17th iMiD2017 Industrial Forum, please visit iMiD2017 official website (http://imid.or.kr/2017/indi_forum.asp).

 

Samsung Electronics’ Display Business Recorded Operating Profit of 1.71 Trillion KRW in Q2, 2017

Samsung Electronics announced that it reached sales of 61 trillion Korean won and operating profit of 14.07 trillion Korean won, and the display business recorded 7.71 trillion won and operating profit of 1.71 trillion won, through the Q2 2017 Earnings Conference Call on 27th. Its display business has recorded more than 1 trillion won in the black, for 4 consecutive quarters since Q3 2016.

 

According to Samsung Electronics, its earnings for Q2 2017 has increased compared to the previous quarter due to the expanded sales of flexible OLED panels and high value-added LCD products.

 

The OLED division saw its earnings improvement on the back of flexible products sales increase due to the expanded sales of major customer flagship models, and accounted for low 60% of sales. The LCD division also improved earnings by expanding the sales of high value-added products, mainly UHD and large TVs.

 

The OLED division is expected to see sales growth for the second quarter of this year due to the expanded supply of flexible products compared to the last quarter. However, there will be fiercer competition with LTPS LCD in the mid to low-end market and a risk of cost increase resulting from ramp-up of new capacity lines. Accordingly, Samsung plans to improve profitability by aggressively responding to major customer demand through stable ramp-up of new lines and improving product mix.

 

The LCD division is anticipated to be in a supply-demand imbalance due to set companies’ stock increase of panels and panel suppliers’ supply expansion, but premium TVs such as high resolution and super-size TVs are expected to continue to grow. Samsung has a plan to increase profitability by promoting yield and cost improvement activities and by expanding the sales of not only high value-added products such as UHD and large-size products but also differentiated design products such as frameless and curved products.

 

Samsung Electronics recorded sales of 93 million mobile phones and 6 million tablets in Q2 2017, and in the third quarter, the sales of mobile phones and tables are likely to increase slightly and remain flat, respectively quarter on quarter. The sales volume of LCD TVs is expected to reach 9 million units and grow at low single in the third quarter.

 

Samsung Electronics invested a total of 12.7 trillion KRW in its facilities in the second quarter, of which 4.5 trillion KRW were invested in the display. This year’s investment plan for facilities is yet to be determined, but investment is expected to increase substantially from last year, especially for semiconductors and displays. The display division plans to invest in production expansion to meet the increasing demand for flexible OLEDs.

 

Director Lee Chang-hoon of Samsung Display said, “The smartphone set makers’ OLED adoption will continue to increase with the constant strong demand for it. The current OLED line is being resiliently operated in line with market and customer needs”. He added “We will continue to use and operate OLED lines strategically in accordance with market demand and customer needs.”, and explained they are not considering the plan to further shift LCD lines into OLED.

How about the future OLED market performance?

At the seminar titled “OLED market analysis and the latest technology” host by the UBI Research at the FKI last June, the president, Lee Choong Hoon predicted the market through analyzing the OLED industry investment and mass production in the first half of 2017.

President Lee Choong Hoon emphasized that China will lead the OLED equipment market by 2021 due to increase in OLED demand of Chinese set makers. Accordingly, the Chinese equipment market is expected to account for about 48% of the entire equipment market in 2021, investing approx. US $ 40.5 billion.

It is anticipated that such movement of Chinese companies will affect the OLED smartphone market. In 2019, OLED smartphones will reverse the LCD smartphone market, accounting for 80% of the total smartphone market by 2021.

On the other hand, as for the flexible OLED, between 2017 and 2019, Samsung Electronics expects to invest heavily in BOE to be ranked second in the flexible OLED market, which should cope with the increasing demand on flexible OLED of Samsung Electronics and Apple.

President Lee analyzed that the premium TV market will be formed with larger than 65 inches as the 65-inch panels will be mass-produced at BOE’s Gen10.5 LCD plant from 2018. Consequently, panel makers without Gen10.5 will produce 65 inch panels on the Gen8 line in MMG (multi-model on a glass) method. On the other hand, LG Display is expected to continually produce TV OLED panel at Gen8, and since 2020 at Gen10.5 line.

According to ‘2017 OLED Manufacturing Equipment Annual Report’ published by the UBI research, from 2017 to 2021, it is anticipated that TFT equipment will account for 45% of the market share, followed by OLED pixel forming equipment 17%, encapsulation equipment 13%, cell equipment 13% and module equipment 12% respectively. As the demand on flexible OLEDs is expected to increase remarkably in the future, the market share of cell and module equipment will accordingly increase by 25% with high importance.

Visualization of display for mirror-less automobiles, Green light to OLED display

After Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport did pre-announcement of legislation about partial revised plan of ‘Regulations on the performance and standards of automobiles and auto parts’ on the 7th, interests in ‘mirror-less automobiles’ having not side mirror (rearview mirror) are getting hot. This is a method of securing eyesight through display screen in the car after installing subminiature camera to car front and rear and also front doors of both sides, and solving blind zone problem which was the defect of existing side mirror and improving fuel efficiency and designs are expected, even though there are problems on functional errors and design development.

Thus, display for mirror-less automobiles is getting attentions as a drive of new market in display market for automobiles. Display fields for automobiles belongs to the industry to which creating high added value is expected because further customization is required compared to mobile and TV. So LGD or SDC panel enterprises are developing products for market penetration, and two companies are known as setting up policy of progressing differentiating strategies differently from Taiwan, Japanese companies by focusing on Flexible OLED especially.

Flexible OLED has thin, light characteristics and a nature to be able to bend, so it is favorable to mirror-less automobiles requiring new designs from free installing aspects. Also, mirror-less is being evaluated to be suitable to the display for automobiles because it can implement high visibility with very fast speed, contrast range, and wide viewing angle. On July 1st last year, Continental Corporation, auto parts supplier, revealed the possibility of better eyesight provision even in dark situations or the rain while introducing several merits of mirror-less automobiles to which 2 OLEDs were applied through its homepage. In addition, Alfred Eckert, Director of the Advanced Engineering department in Continental’s Chassis & Safety Division mentioned “The effects of unwanted optical phenomena such as glare and weak light can also be compensated”

<Mirror-less concept car to which 2 OLEDs were applied> (Source: www.continental-corporation.com)

Samsung Electronics is recently propelling automobile electric apparatus business in earnest by taking over Harman, US automobile electric company, and the industry foresees that competency of Samsung Electronics’ OLED and semiconductor would make great synergy effect to electric apparatus business. Furthermore, they lighted up goals such like securing world 30% market share in display for automobiles based on OLED display in 2018, and achieving 2 trillion won in sales.

In this way, OLED display is expected to play core roles in expanding business to electric field industry from electronic/display industry, and it is anticipated that OLED could be a new dynamic to growth of display industry.

Samsung Electronics launched Galaxy Gear S3 with improved luminance over 400nit comparing to the previous model

“Gear S3”, Samsung Electronics’ smart watch officially launched in Korea last 11 November, will be globally launched in USA, UK, Australia, France, Germany, France, Singapore, UAE, and others coming 18 November. It is anticipated that the markets will react enthusiastically as 54%(510 people) responded that they would like to buy Gear S3 based on a survey conducted on 994 people in USA.

The latest Samsung Gear S3 has implemented the Always-on-Display(AOD) function, always displaying the main contents on the screen using the 1.3-inch AMOLED Display. Battery life lasts at maximum for 3 to 4 days between charges since battery capacity has increased from 250mAh to 380mAh, improved by 27%. Moreover, it is made possible to be used for about 10 hours by setting watch-only mode when the battery remains 5%. The latest Gear S3 added useful functions such altimeter, barometer and speedometer for diverse leisure and sports activities embedding GPS coming with the IP68 level of waterproof/dustproof, and increased its benefits by installing SamsungPay. Particularly, it fixed outdoor visibility by enhancing its brightness by over 400nit comparing to the previous model and enables checking various information on the clear screen in bright sunlight, which used to be a problem for the previous models.

Samsung announced to hold a large-scale hands-on experience event in 15 spots in Korea, Famille Station, Gwanghwamun D tower, the nationwide main branches of CGV, including in Yeongdeungpo Times Square in Seoul to celebrate launching ‘Galaxy S7 Edge’ and ‘Gear S3.’ See at Samsung Galaxy S7 Campaign site(http://www.samsung.com/sec/galaxys7/experience) for further more details.

Meanwhile, it is expected, according to Ubiresearch, that the AMOLED panel market for smartwatch will have been grown by 14% per annum and comprised over 100 million ones market by 2020.

 

BY HYUNJUN JANG, HANA OH

Samsung Electronics, Record operating profit of 1 trillion 20 billion won in Display business

Samsung Electronics lighted up that they recorded 7 trillion 60 billion won in sales and 1 trillion 20 billion won of operating profit in display business through 3rd quarter performance call having been progressed on 27th. Display business having recorded operating loss of 270 billion won in the first quarter contributed to enterprise-wide performances by recording large surplus of over 1 trillion won in the third quarter after having been converted to surplus of 140 billion won in the second quarter. Breakthrough 1 trillion won of quarter operating profit in display business could be made in 13 quarters after the second quarter of 2013 (1 trillion 120 billion won).

In case of OLED, the performance was improved by expanded portion of high value-added products including Flexible etc., in midst of total increased sales quantity. LCD was converted to surplus because profitability was enhanced by increased sales of high value-added products such as UHD/large size together with strengthened improvement on yield and cost under stable sale prices due to improvement of supply and demand. In case of TV panel sales, about 10% was increased vs. previous quarter in area basis, and 20% in quantity basis.

They forecasts that application of OLED panel will be increased continuously by main clients that pursue product differentiation in peak season entry of Smart phone in the fourth quarter. Samsung Electronics discloses that they will respond to the need on flagship model scent positively, and propel robust growth performance by improving effective product mixture.
Regarding LCD panel, they lights up that growth of UHD TV market and size enlargement will be continued in the midst of sale price’s stabilization in the fourth quarter. And they mention that sales expansion and enhancement of profitability will be propelled by expanding sales of high value-added products such as super large size, high solution, curved etc while strengthening yield and activities for cost improvement.
Also, Samsung Electronics is planning to do additional investment of 10.9 trillion won to OLED line increase until end of this year. This is the numerical value of increasing two times compared to last year.

In 2017, they are going to propel significant growth vs. previous year by regulating supplies of flexible products in order to positively respond to demand increase of main Smart phone enterprises in OLED panel section. Though difficult business environment is expected owing to constant capability expansion of Chinese enterprises and fierce competitions between enterprises in LCD panel section, they reveals that enlargement of TV sizes and trends of high solution will be persisted. Samsung Electronics has a plan of raising profitability by enforcing competitiveness through differentiated products and high value-added products such as UHD TV and large size ones etc.

Sales of Samsung Electronics in the 3rd quarter recorded 89 million cellular phones, and 6.5 million tablets. They forecasts that sales of cellular phones will sustain the level of previous quarter, and that of tablet will be increased. Samsung Electronics discloses that sales of 11 million LCD TVs will be recorded, and thus growth of 50% levels is expected.

[IFA2016]The Leading Power of TV in Europe and the Middle East, Interested in OLED TV

OLED TV is rising to be sensational in IFA2016, the largest consumer electronics show in Europe. In the development of the initial OLED TV market, LG Electronics is in the lead followed by Chinese companies. LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics, the two major companies in TV market, simultaneously launched OLED TV in 2013 and led OLED TV market until IFA2014. However, Samsung lost confidence to produce quality OLED TV and completely withdrew from CES in 2015. Since then, it has been focusing only on penetrating LCD TV market grafted on to QD technology.

Recently, Samsung Electronics stated that its OLED TV technology is still unsatisfactory due to the burning problem and thus, it is going to launch QLED TV, which uses QD technology, as the next product after LCD TV as soon as possible. Hence, there were many concerns over contraction of OLED TV market.

However, the on-going exhibition in IFA2016 is dispelling such negative concerns over Samsung OLED TV by the title, to be specific, “LCD TV, not anymore!”

Philips, the leader of consumer electronics in Europe, penetrated IFA2016 exhibition center with its newly developed OLED TV.

Philips planned the exhibition concept very delicately to highlight its OLED TV. First of all, it arranged lots of LCD TVs in three different sides to show that its main product is still LCD TV. It also placed OLED TV vertically in the middle of a space large enough to exhibit dozens of TV and made it to rotate to be displayed and seen well by visitors from any angle. Put differently, it designed the room for people to observe OLED TV in three dimensions. Through space arrangement rather than display of words, Philips declared its intention to change portfolio to OLED TV.

Moreover, the exhibition is designed so that visitors can easily compare superior OLED TV with LCD TV.

At the back of OLED TV, which displays vivid colors and clear contrast range, there is LCD TV where colors run as a result of ghost effect which blur and demolish the boundary of objects in the image. Such problem does not surface when one only sees LCD TV screen. However, it becomes clear when watched together with OLED TV.

Philips exhibited OLED TV in the middle of LCD TV to maximize the superiority of OLED TV.

Vestel, the leading power of TV in the Middle East, has also used the same strategy. It displayed LCD TV on the wall and arranged 12 OLED TVs in the middle, facing one another. By doing so, visitors can watch LCD TV through the back of OLED TV, too.

Futuremore, Vestel displayed the largest OLED TV in the world, made of 9 OLED TVs, at the end of exhibition, and showed that “this is OLED TV!

Although Samsung Electronics will continuously bring up negative concerns over OLED TV, more and more worldwide TV companies are still entering OLED TV market. Now the time is getting nearer for LCD TV to disappear and OLED TV to dominate the premium TV market.

[IFA 2016]Galaxy Gear: Talk about 3 event: How far the smart watch could be evolved

In Berlin where IFA2016 is held, Samsung Electronics hosted the showcase of Gear3, which is a follow-up model of Galaxy Gear on Aug. 31.
Smart watch is equipped with differentiated characteristics including a sporty sense, communication and simple healthcare function of checking the heart rate and the amount of exercise. Since Galaxy Gear2 and Apple Watch also had no difference with those characteristics, the prospect of smart watch market did not seem bright.
However, Galaxy Gear3 showed how smart watch could be used in human life in an appearance different from previous ones. It has evolved into a product that could absorb the existing watch market instead of seeking differentiation from the existing watches.

First of all, the appearance has been changed. The case is changed to steel, and it uses Gorilla Glass SR+ in order to prevent impact. Gear is carved in bezel, which was plain and inconvenient in manipulating the display.

It absorbed the appearance of the best sports watch models.
With its expanded width of 1.5 inch, the exterior has been expressly changed compared to the previous model, Galaxy Gear2.

In addition to the exterior change, Galaxy Gear3 has tremendously evolved in its internal software. Firstly, Always on Display function, which is applied to Galaxy S7, is applied. Always on Display is a function that enables you to always check time, and the function is realized by installation of the best flexible OLED only available by Samsung Display. In order to materialize it, it is required to have a display with very low power consumption, the operation technology and a long-life battery.

With a built-in GPS function, it is capable of navigation. You can use the smart watch separately since it is designed to be equipped with Alti/Barometer, Speedometer, LTE and built-in Speaker.
In addition to these, it secured safety by installing Knox, the software security system of Samsung. It also contains Connected Car System, which could be linked with an automobile.
In a comprehensive sense, Galaxy Gear3 to be launched soon is the first product that could be independently used without any smart phone. It has evolved to be a “Digital Convergence” product, which absorbed smart phone, rather than being an accessory product of smart phone.
In this event, Galaxy Note7 appeared in assisting the Galaxy Gear3. I have a very strong and good feeling that Galaxy Gear and Galaxy Note might pioneer a new market which divides up the existing smart phone market.

Europe’s Largest Samsung Galaxy S7 edge Appears in Russia

Hyunjoo Kang / olednet.com

Samsung Electronics introduced the largest Galaxy S7 edge in Europe, mega-sized LED signage—80 meters high and 40 meters wide, in Sokol, Moscow, Russia

The Galaxy S7 edge LED signage can be spotted from as far as Moscow’s Gidroproekt building which is located 2.2 kilometers from the site. The LED signage is situated on the side of main road that connects downtown Moscow and Sheremetyevo International Airport, an area that sees approximately 800,000 people per day. 

Samsung, Despite the Favorable TV Sales in Q1, Display Still in Deficit

Source = Samsung Elec.

Samsung Elec. today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016. Samsung’s revenue for the quarter was KRW 49.78 trillion, an increase of 5.7 percent YoY, while operating profit for the quarter was KRW 6.68 trillion, an increase of 12 percent YoY. In the company’s earnings guidance disclosed on April 7, 2016, Samsung estimated first quarter consolidated revenues would reach approximately KRW 49.0 trillion with consolidated operating profit of approximately KRW 6.6 trillion.

The first quarter saw overall earnings growth led by the early launch and successful sales of the flagship Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, improved memory product mix, expanded 14nm supply of System LSI products and increased sales of OLED panels.
Overall earnings of the Display Panel business decreased due to a sharp decline in LCD panel earnings although earnings of OLED panels improved mainly driven by the Galaxy S7. The LCD business experienced temporary yield issues while adopting new process technology as well as TV panel price decline.

The IT & Mobile Communications (IM) Division saw a substantial earnings improvement both YoY and QoQ mainly driven by the early launch of Galaxy S7 and its strong sales and improved cost efficiency through the streamlining of mid-to-low-end smartphone lineups. Although the company had a one-time royalty settlement expense in the quarter, the impact on operating profit was equivalent to less than 1 percent of IM revenue.

The Consumer Electronics (CE) Division achieved significant earnings growth YoY led by expanded sales of premium TV models such as SUHD TV and Curved TV in developed markets, and also a notable sales increase of premium home appliance products in North America.

In the second quarter, the company expects its solid performance to continue led by steady earnings in the Mobile and Semiconductor businesses plus improvement of the CE and Display Panel businesses.

The IM Division is expected to secure solid earnings by expanding sales of the Galaxy S7 along with strong profitability of mid-to-low-end products. The CE Division expects to see improvements as seasonality should improve air conditioner sales, while flagship SUHD TV sales are expected to increase.

The Display Panel segment is expected to see earnings improvement compared to the previous quarter as LCD profitability is forecast to rise on stabilized TV panel yields and improved demand and supply conditions.

For the Display Panel business, OLED earnings are expected to improve due to growth driven by an increase in flexible and high-resolution panels. LCD panel profitability is expected to improve in the second half driven by high valued-added products amid better supply and demand conditions.

For the IM Division, the company expects the sales of flagship products to increase YoY, especially with strong demand for flagship products such as the Galaxy S7 and new model launches in the second half. In addition, the company will continue to manage cost efficiencies by streamlining its smartphone lineups.

For the CE Division, the company will focus on profitability by increasing premium products such as SUHD and Curved TVs. With the Olympics and other global sporting events forecast to drive global demand for large-size TVs, the company expects strong improvements in operating results YoY.

Meanwhile, capital expenditure (CAPEX) for the first quarter was KRW 4.6 trillion, which includes KRW 2.1 trillion for the Semiconductor business and KRW 1.8 trillion for the Display Panel business. The annual plan for CAPEX has not yet been confirmed but is projected to increase slightly compared to last year’s CAPEX based on various business opportunities. CAPEX for the Display Panel segment may increase as the company sees strong market demand for OLED panels. DRAM CAPEX will remain flexible based on supply and demand conditions but is expected to be lower than 2015.

The Display Panel segment posted KRW 6.04 trillion in consolidated revenue and KRW 0.27 trillion in operating loss for the quarter.

In the first quarter, shipments of OLED panels improved from the previous quarter, driven by launches of new high-end smartphone panels and strong demand for smartphones in the mid-to-low-end space. Conversely, the company’s LCD panel shipments decreased, affected by weaker demand during low seasonality.

Looking ahead to the second quarter, for OLED panels, Samsung hopes to actively address demand for new products and expand its customer base, while focusing on improving profitability of LCD panels by increasing shipments of strategic premium products such as UHD and large-size panels.

In 2016, the company expects OLED demand will continue to rise helped largely by growth in the mid-to-low-end smartphone segment while the LCD market will continue to be over supplied. In this market, Samsung hopes to actively address demand for new products, increase sales of value-added products and reinforce its leadership by developing new panel applications.

The IM Division – comprising the Mobile Communications and Networks Businesses – posted KRW 27.60 trillion in consolidated revenue, a 6.6-percent YoY increase, and KRW 3.89 trillion in operating profit for the quarter, a 42-percent YoY increase.

While smartphone and tablet demand saw a slight QoQ decrease due to seasonal effects, overall operating profit for the Division increased. This increase was largely due to the early launch and strong global performance of the flagship Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, as evidenced by robust sell-out figures and low inventory levels compared to their predecessors. A streamlined mid-to-low-end smartphone lineup also contributed to improved profitability.

Looking ahead to the second quarter, while demand for smartphones and tablets is forecast to remain flat due to continued weak seasonality, the worldwide rollout of the latest flagship models as well as an increase in shipments of the mid-to-low-end Galaxy A and J series are expected to help the company maintain robust sales momentum and profit.

As for the year ahead, Samsung anticipates softening demand in the smartphone market and negative growth in the tablet market. The company will reinforce its leadership in the premium smartphone segment on the back of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, while continuing to increase volume and improve profitability in the mid-to-low-end segment. In addition, the company will continue to expand the Samsung Pay service to global markets and look into new business opportunities.

For the Networks Business, the company will seek growth through the continued rollout of 4G LTE services in new markets around the world, including Southeast Asia.

The Consumer Electronics Division – encompassing the Visual Display (VD), Digital Appliances (DA), Printing Solutions and Health & Medical Equipment (HME) businesses – posted KRW 10.62 trillion in consolidated revenue and KRW 0.51 trillion in operating profit for the quarter.

In the first quarter, TV market demand decreased YoY due to weak seasonality and economic downturn in emerging markets. Earnings for the VD Business showed significant growth YoY, led by increased sales of premium products such as SUHD and Curved TVs.

For the appliances business, earnings improved compared to the corresponding quarter last year, led by continued growth in the North American market and increased sales of innovative premium products such as Chef Collection refrigerators and the Activewash™ washing machine.

In the second quarter, TV demand is expected to slightly increase riding on sports events such as the Olympics. The company plans to further improve profitability by continuing to focus on the new and improved SUHD TVs with the world’s only cadmium-free Quantum dot display, while also increasing sales of premium products such as UHD TVs and Curved TVs.

Digital appliance demand is expected to rise due to seasonal growth for air conditioners, despite global market uncertainties. Against this backdrop, Samsung aims to increase profitability by expanding sales of innovative premium products such as a newly launched air conditioner and Family Hub Refrigerator. Additionally, the company expects to improve performance by expanding its enterprise business including built-in kitchens and system air conditioners.

Galaxy S7 and S7 edge Now Available in Pink Gold

Galaxy S7 and S7 edge Pink Gold(Source : Samsung Elec.)

Samsung Electronics has released Pink Gold editions of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, bringing the total of available colors for the devices to five. Debuting in Korea on April 20, the Pink Gold Galaxy S7 and S7 edge will soon be available for customers in select markets.

Pink Gold was chosen as it, like the other colors available for the  S7 and S7 edge, is a natural color that provides a sense of comfort. These hues glitter and shimmer as if illuminated from inside their glass surfaces.

In particular, the refined, skin tone-inspired Pink Gold color scheme is intended to soothe and incorporate a touch of gentleness, radiance and sophistication to the smartphones’ design.

As well as Pink Gold, the S7 and S7 edge are available in a choice of Black Onyx, Gold Platinum, White Pearl and Silver Titanium.

Samsung, announced the availability and pricing for New SUHD TVs

Samsung Electronics America, announced the availability and pricing for its 2016 line up, including SUHD TVs.(Source=Samsung Elec.)

Samsung Electronics America, announced the availability and pricing for its 2016 line up, including SUHD TVs.(Source=Samsung Elec.)

Samsung Electronics America, the leader in home entertainment for over 10 years, announced the availability and pricing for its 2016 line up, including an entirely new Flagship model series – the KS9800, bringing a new meaning to Smart TV.

“Samsung has always been about the ultimate experience in Picture Quality. This year is no different. Our new SUHD models provide the brightest, most realistic color and clarity for every viewing environment,” said Dave Das, Senior Vice President, Samsung Electronics America. “What is new this year is our redefined Smart TV experience. We listened to our customers and made enjoying content the easiest it’s ever been”

Whether it’s SUHD, UHD or LED, Samsung delivers the brightest, most stunning picture quality, with richer colors and more dynamic audio than ever before.

Samsung’s SUHD TVs feature the world’s only cadmium-free 10 bit Quantum Dot Display, setting the quality standard of 1,000-nit HDR with the best and most vibrant color and contrast available for true-to-life picture and experience. The Ultra Black feature reduces reflections by absorbing light to help provide for deeper, richer blacks. This year’s Samsung SUHD line up meets the UHD-A’s Premium UHD certification program, which ensures consumers are getting the most premium experience from their UHD TV.

From curved and slim to the new boundless design edge, Samsung offers stunning design with optimum viewing. The new KS9500 features an immersive ‘360’ design that is elegant and looks beautiful from every angle.

Samsung’s 2016 Smart Hub Interface takes simplicity to the next level.  The new Smart Hub Interface eliminates a lengthy setup process by automatically integrating set top boxes from cable providers like Time Warner, Comcast (coming soon), and satellite services such as DIRECTV (coming in June), as well as game consoles. Users can simply plug the STB into any HDMI port, and the TV will recognize the box and provider, as well as automatically set up the remote control to access and control the STB features – not just channel up and down, but DVR controls and other commonly used controls – without the user ever having to program or “teach” the remote. It’s the ultimate in simplicity.

The UBD-K8500 supports backward compatibility, upscaling existing 3D Blu Ray, Blu Ray to near-UHD quality. The player can also handle the next generation of home audio formats, including immersive, object-based sound formats like Dolby Atmos and multi-channel systems.

For 2016, Samsung offers breathtaking design and unparalleled excellence with its new line of TVs, including a series of five Curved SUHD TVs and a series of five UHD TVs that vary in display size from 49” to 88”. Ranging from the popular curved form to the traditional flat-panel, Samsung provides consumers with sleek appeal, the most exceptional picture quality and smartest TVs.

The Samsung KS9800 SUHD TV will be available in early June in a 65” model for $4,499, and an 88” model for $19,999. A 78” model will be available in early May for $9,999.

The Samsung KS9500 Curved SUHD TV is available now in a 55” model for $2,499 and a 65” model for $3,699. A 78” model will be available in early June for $7,999.

Samsung’s KS9000 4K SUHD TV is available now in a 55” model for $2,299, and a 65” model for $3,499. A 75” model will be available in early June for $6,499.

Samsung’s KS8500 4K SUHD Curved TV is now available now in a 55” model for $1,999 and 65” model for $2,999. A 49” model will be available in May for $1,699.

The Samsung KS8000 is now available in a 55” model for $1, 799, and in a 65” model for $2,799. Starting in May, it will be available in a 49” model for $1,499, and a 60” model for $2,299.

Samsung Curved Monitor Surpasses One Million Sales Mark

Hyunjoo Kang / jjoo@olednet.com

Samsung Electronics announced today that it has sold more than one million curved monitor products worldwide. The global display provider introduced its first curved LED monitor – the 27-inch, 4000R (curvature radius of 4,000 mm) SD590C model – in September 2014, and since has expanded its line-up to include several additional curved monitors. As a result, Samsung currently accounts for more than 85 percent of all global curved monitor sales (Source: International Data Corporation (IDC), 2015 Q4 worldwide sales results for 15”~34” curved monitors).

Designed to match the natural shape of the human eye, Samsung’s curved monitors feature uniform center-to-edge viewing distances to create a more comfortable and immersive viewing experience conducive to long-term use. Combined with extra-wide viewing angles and enhanced contrast ratios, these curved displays are ideal for gamers and at-home entertainment users seeking realistic, distraction-free picture quality. As a result, Samsung has capitalized on growing demand from these audiences (many of whom employ several monitors during game play or content viewing).

“Since the launch of our first curved monitor in 2014, we’ve seen this technology evolve to become an industry standard that gaming and entertainment viewers expect,” said Seog-gi Kim, Senior Vice President, Visual Display Business, Samsung Electronics. “As curved monitors continue to grow in popularity, we welcome the challenge of further advancing our displays’ design and capabilities to drive new levels of viewer engagement and comfort. We are happy to have reached one million sales for our curved monitors so far, and we look forward to delivering new curved technology innovation in the coming years.”

Samsung’s curved monitor design refinement includes the introduction of a sharper curve with each new model while maintaining a consistently sleek and stylish presentation. In January 2015, Samsung released its second curved monitor, the 34-inch SE790C, featuring 3000R curvature. The company’s latest curved offerings – the CF591 (27-inch model) and CF390 (23.5- and 27-inch models) – further expand visual possibilities with an industry-leading 1800R composition.

Samsung Electronics Announces Earnings Guidance for 1Q 2016

Samsung Electronics announced its earnings guidance for the first quarter of 2016(Source=Samsung Electronic)

Samsung Electronics announced its earnings guidance for the first quarter of 2016(Source=Samsung Electronic)

Hyunjoo Kang / jjoo@olednet.com

Samsung Electronics announced its earnings guidance for the first quarter of 2016.

  • Consolidated Sales: Approximately 49.0 trillion Korean won
  • ŸConsolidated Operating Profit: Approximately 6.6 trillion Korean won

The above figures are estimates of consolidated earnings based on K-IFRS. Korean disclosure regulations do not allow earnings estimates to be provided as a range. Therefore, the above figures are based on the median of the earnings estimate range, as given below.

  • ŸSales:  48.0 ~ 50.0 trillion Korean won
  • Operating Profit: 6.5 ~ 6.7 trillion Korean won

Samsung, Even if OLED TV is Released, Different from LG

Hyunjoo Kang / Reporter / jjoo@olednet.com

<LG Elec. is Introducing OLED TV in CES 2016>

 

Within the TV market, there is an opinion that even Samsung Electronics which believes it is not yet the time for OLED panel cannot continue to insist on LCD. Experts estimate that even if it is the same OLED TV, Samsung Elec. will differentiate the actualization method from competitors’ including LG Electronics. One of the possibilities suggested is Samsung’s selection of ink-jet printed OLED TV panel.

 

Hyun-Suk Kim, Samsung Elec. Visual Display department’s vice president, who recently announced new LCD based SUHD TV mentioned that OLED TV is premature and also needs technological improvements.

 

However, it looks to be difficult for Samsung to insist on LCD TV only in the long term. China is threatening Korean companies in LCD panel market with superior price competitiveness; there is too much risk for Korean display companies such as Samsung Display to invest further in LCD production line. Although Samsung Elec. is not receiving panel supply exclusively from Samsung Display, Samsung Display is the biggest supplier. Therefore, Samsung Display’s LCD investment reduction is also expected to affect Samsung Elec.’s TV business.

 

Furthermore, Samsung Elec. is in the position of having to emphasize OLED’s superior picture quality over LCD in smartphone business, but highlight the opposite in TV. This is also an issue that needs to be tackled.

 

Despite these issues, Samsung cannot easily start on OLED TV as several problems such as price competitiveness have not been solved.

 

◆ Ink-jet Printing, Can it Solve OLED for TV Price Issue?

 

According to Dong-won Kim, analyst with Hyundai Securities, Samsung Display, with Samsung Elec. as the biggest client, has unfavorable structure for reducing production cost as 65 inch OLED TV panel production efficiency is low in Gen8 line.

 

Kim estimated that Samsung Display will apply solution process ink-jet printing technology to OLED TV with 2018 mass production target in order to solve this problem.

 

When producing OLED TV panel, WRGB OLED method, which uses evaporation method, can only reduce production cost by certain amount as the material usage efficiency is low. On the other hand, ink-jet printing RGB technology finely deposits ink in liquid form and can reduce materials cost. Additionally, RGB OLED has fewer organic layers compared to WRGB OLED and processes can be decreased.

 

For these reasons, some believe that Samsung will select ink-jet printing method rather than evaporation for OLED TV in future. There is also a view that LG Display, which is currently using evaporation method, will also actively consider producing ink-jet printed OLED TV panel in the long term.

 

A display expert explained that although ink-jet printing processes are simpler than evaporation method, that does not necessarily mean materials cost is always cheaper. The ink-jet printing technology is not yet perfect, and particularly for blue the efficiency issue has not yet been solved.

 

He added that Samsung Elec. has strong tendency to differentiate itself from competitors such as LG, and even if Samsung Elec. releases OLED TV, it is likely that ink-jet printing, which is different from LG, will be the preferred method.

[Analyst Column] LCD Industry Administration to Worsen after 3 Years

Choong Hoon Yi, Chief Analyst, UBI Research

 

 

BOE is intending to carry out a large amount of investment in order to operate Gen10.5 LCD line from 2018. Meanwhile, key set makers including Apple, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, and Panasonic are devising strategy to move from LCD to OLED for smartphone and premium TV displays. As such, it is becoming more likely for the LCD industry to be in slump from 2018.

 

At present, the area where LCD industry can create profit is LTPS-LCD for smartphone. The forecast smartphone market for this year is approximately 15 billion units. Of this, Samsung Electronics and Apple are occupying 20% and 15% of the market respectively. OLED equipped units are less than 2 billion.

 

However, from 2018 the conditions change greatly. Firstly, Apple, which has been using LCD panel only, is estimated to change approximately 40% of the display to OLED from 2017 earliest and 2018 latest. Apple is testing flexible OLED panels of JDI, LG Display, and Samsung Display, and recommending them to invest so flexible OLED can be applied to iPhone from 2017. The total capa. Is 60K at Gen6. As new investments for Gen6 line of Samsung Display and LG Display are expected to be carried out from 2016, supply is theoretically possible from 2017.

 

Source: UBI Research Database

Source: UBI Research Database

 

If 5inch flexible OLED is produced from Gen6 line, under the assumption of 50% yield at 60K capa. 65 million units can be produced annually, and approximately 1 billion units if the yield is 80%. If Apple’s iPhone shipment in 2017 is estimated to be around 2.7 billion units, within the 50-60% yield range approximately 25% of the display is changed to OLED from LCD, and if yield reaches 80% around 40% will change. The companies that are supplying Apple with LCD for smartphone, LG Display, JDI, and Sharp, are expected to show considerable fall in sales and business. These 3 companies could be reduced to deficit financial structure just from Apple’s display change

 

Furthermore, as Apple is not producing low-priced phones, under the assumption that future iPhone could all have OLED display, Apple could cause the mobile device LCD industry to stumble after 3 years.

 

Samsung Electronics also is gradually changing Galaxy series display to OLED from LCD. Of the forecast 2015 shipment of 3 billion units, 50%, 1.5 billion units, has OLED display, but Samsung Electronics is expected to increase flexible OLED and rigid OLED equipped products in future. Particularly, as Apple is pushing for flexible OLED application from 2017, Samsung Electronics, whose utilizing OLED as the main force, is estimated to increase flexible OLED usage more than Apple. It is estimated that all Galaxy series product displays will be changed to OLED from 2019.

 

 

Under these assumptions, of the estimated smartphone market in 2020 of approximately 20 billion units, Samsung Electronics and Apple’s forecast markets’ 7 billion could be considered to use OLED.

 

Samsung Display is strengthening supply chain of set companies using their OLED panels. Samsung Display is supplying OLED panels to diverse companies such as Motorola and Huawei as well as Samsung Electronics, and also expected to supply rapidly rising Xiaomi from 2016. If smartphone display is swiftly changed to OLED from LCD from 2017, Chinese display companies that are currently expanding TFT-LCD lines are to be adversely affected.

 

Additionally, in the premium TV market, LG Electronics mentioned that they will focus on OLED TV industry at this year’s IFA2015. As a part of this, LG Display is planning to expand the current Gen8 34K to 60K by the end of next year. Furthermore, in order to respond to the 65inch market, Gen9.5 line investment is in consideration. In the early 2015, Panasonic commented that they were to withdraw from TV business but changed strategy with new plans of placing OLED TV on the market in Japan and Europe from next year.

 

As Samsung can no longer be disconnected from the OLED TV business, there are reports of investment for Gen8 OLED for TV line in 2016. Although OLED TV market is estimated to be approximately 350 thousand units this year, in 2016, when Panasonic joins in, it is expected to expand to 1.2 million units. The OLED TV’s market share in ≥55inch TV market is estimated to be only 4% but in premium TV market it is estimated to be significant value of ≥10%.

 

 

 

 

If Samsung Display invests in Gen8 OLED for TV line in 2016, from H2 2017 supply to Samsung Electronics is possible. As OLED Gen8 line’s minimum investment has to be over 60K to break even, it can be estimated that Samsung Display will invest at least 60K continuously in future.

 

Under these conditions, LCD industry can only be in crisis. Firstly, it becomes difficult for Sharp to last. Sharp, which is supplying TFT-LCD for Apple’s iPhones and LCD for Samsung Electronics’ TV, will lose key customers. Secondly, BOE, AUO, and JDI, the companies selling LCD panels to these companies, are not ready to produce OLED and therefore damage is inevitable.

 

BOE is carrying out aggressive investment with plans to lead the display industry in future with operation of Gen10.5 LCD line. Therefore, from 2018, as the main cash cow items disappear, administration pressure could increase.

Samsung to Increase External Transaction by More Than 30%

Samsung Electronics reported a third-quarter earnings through a conference call on October 29 local time. Samsung Display’s Chang Hoon Lee revealed that OLED panel’s production cost can now compete against LCD and the company has plans to increase the external transaction ratio by more than 30% of yield.

The display business department was expected to have a difficult time in Q3 2015 due to the smartphone market’s slowdown of growth and latecomers’ competitiveness increase. However, with the key customer base’s release of new products and increase of new clientele, and secured operation ratio, the performance results improved.

Lee also revealed 2016 strategy of increasing the low-to-medium priced products, expanding the new market, diversifying products, and procuring transaction base. Lee also added that Samsung will prepare to secure new growth power through transparent, mirror, HUD, and automotive display development via technology leadership in areas such as flexible OLED.

It was also announced that the additional installation of OLED line will be decided after examining the market status. A3 line has been in operation since April. Supply competitiveness will be strengthened through complementary investment for existing line.

Samsung Electronics recorded a 6% increase compared to the previous quarter with revenue of USD 47 billion. With the help of currency exchange rate, business profit showed approximately USD455 million compared to the previous quarter with USD 6.7 billion.

UHD OLED TV, Rapidly Catching Up to SUHD TV Price

OLED TV price, once again, dropped down by a large margin. LG Electronics’ new 2015 model 65inch 4K Ultra HD curved OLED TV (65EG9600) on Amazon (www.amazon.com) fell to US$ 6,999 which is a drop of US$ 2,000 from previous US$ 8,999. The price for 55inch 4K Ultra HD curved OLED TV fell US$ 1,000 to US$ 4,499 from its release price of US$ 5,499. The 2015 new model EG9600 series has panel with improved brightness of 450nit from previous 400nit.

 

The price of Samsung Electronics’ SUHD TV, similar premium product to LG Electornics’, is US$ 4,997 for 65inch (UN65JS9500), and US$ 2,497.99 for 55inch; there is a difference of approximately US$ 2,000 between LG Electronics’’ UHD OLED TV of same size.

 

The comparison between 2015 65inch UHD OLED TV and SUHD TV shows that approx. 40% price difference was shown in April 2015. However in July 2015, the difference was approx. 30%, showing that UHD OLED TV price further fell by approx. 10%.

 

These show that the UHD OLED TV price reduction is occurring rapidly. It is analyzed that the biggest factor for LG Electronics’ UHD OLED TV price fall is production cost reduction due to UHD panel yield increase and competition with set companies that actively began OLED TV sales.

UHD TV Price Trend, Source : UBI Research

 

[Analyst Column] Korean TV Industry, Where to Go?

Dr Choong Hoon Yi, UBI Research Chief Analyst, ubiyi@ubiresearch.co.kr

 

 

Korean TV industry, according to recent reports by media, is showing a red light not being able to escape the deficit structure.

 

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics possess high market share in costly premium TV market. However, in 30inch grade market, the two companies struggle against economically priced sets. In order to maintain sales, Samsung Elec. and LG Elec. are managing diverse product portfolio but business profit keep falling. Due to this, LCD panel stocks produced by Samsung Display and LG Display are steadily increasing.

 

LCD panel business is sinking into a pit.

 

What is the reason that Korea’s LCD TV and LCD business values can only become worse?

 

This can be forecast from looking at Japan’s TV and LCD business. Until the early 2000s, Japan was one of the leaders in electronics. However, Japan’s TV business is gradually dying out. Japan’s leading companies, Sony and Panasonic’s TV business began to be deteriorate because of Korean mid-low price products. In succession, Sony ended up spinning off the TV business, and Panasonic stopped TV business other than for domestic supply. Korean TV companies began to dominate the market. However, only a few years since then, Korean TV industry is losing commercial value, pushed aside by mid-low price products manufactured by China and others.

 

Second is display investment. As Japanese TV industry began to crumble, Japanese display companies had no choice but to stop the investment. The companies could not see a way to make profit through investment even if TV market grew as client companies’ panel purchasing power fell. Korea is the same. Samsung Elec. and LG Elec.’s TV business profitability deterioration led toward Samsung Display and LG Display’s halting the investment. On the other hand, Chinse display companies began Gen10.5 line investment. TV industry relies on assembly business and business network and therefore initial investment cost is low. In comparison, display industry is high risk as it requires large scale investment from early stages. If the business profit falls without investment cost return, companies face great loss and business closure is also not easy.

 

The third reason that Japanese TV companies are dying out is because they could not produce premium TV. Sony, which lost its competitiveness in LCD TV, tried to strengthen its market leadership through 4K TV. However, the brand value was already down and with the lack of marketing value, Sony easily gave up the market to companies in pursuit such as Samsung Elec. and LG Elec. LCD TV already had no difference in quality whether it was produced by a Korean or Japanese company, and brand value order had switched. LCD TV quality produced by Chinese companies is already reached the top. They are no longer companies who produce cheaper knockoffs. Furthermore, LCD panel production technology of Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China can now be deemed equal.

 

The final reason that stops Japanese TV business from securing market is that they failed to suggest differentiation point in premium TV. Fundamentally, differentiation is not possible for LCD TV. The biggest differentiation factors in the current TV market are picture quality and design. Any company can produce thin LCD TV and curved LCD TV. Panel size, resolution, and QD-LED using color gamut that LCD can actualize can no longer be differentiated technology. The difference of LCD panel and TV manufacturing technology between Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China is already within a year. No matter what kind of product is released, market control has one year of expiration period. Considering the promotion period required in the market is approximately 6 months, the period where profit can be made is shortened even further.

 

So what is the solution for the Korean TV industry to survive?

 

As I have mentioned dozens of times for several years, what is left is OLED TV. What LCD cannot do in terms of picture quality and design, with OLED it is possible. Therefore, only the non-LCD products can enjoy the key factors of differentiation in premium TV market.

 

Existing premium TV is IPTV, a market that Japanese TV companies have been pursuing since early 2000s. Internet connection is possible through TV and allows for exchange of information in both directions. The basic concept of IPTV is watching TV while searching the information on TV via internet. But how useful is this concept at present? The usefulness of IPTV is becoming increasingly low as smartphone is used to search information, use the internet, and even watch TV. With no reason to use the internet via TV, TV companies should seriously consider whether TV with high white brightness is really needed. Rather than white TV with high brightness, it is time to place more importance in the functions of the TV itself. TV screen only uses 20-30% of full white brightness. Films, with outdoor shooting, falls under 20%, and for contents shot at night, black is more important.

 

Considering ‘blackness’ and design, anyone can find where the solution lies. If the foolish notion of trying to make OLED as bright as LCD is abandoned, there is hope.

 

LG OLED UHD TV, SID 2015

LG OLED UHD TV, SID 2015

 

Samsung OLED UHD TV, IFA 2013

Samsung OLED UHD TV, IFA 2013