Posts

OLED Smartphone Launch Products Slows Down In The First Half of 2022

The number of OLED smartphone launches, which had steadily increased from 2019 to 2021 reached only 110 units in the first half of 2022. 137 units had been released in 2019, 166 units in 2020, and 225 units in 2021. If this industry trend continues in 2022, OLED smartphones expected release will only be similar to 2021 or even slightly fewer than it had been last year.
Most of the smartphones released in the first half of 2022 were made in China. 98 products from China accounted for 89% of market share, followed by 9 products from Korea, 2 from Japan, and 1 from India.
By size, 6.6-inch products were the most with 34 types, followed by 6.4-inch products with 31 types and 6.7-inch products with 21 types. The largest sized product was Vivo’s ‘X Fold’, which was an 8.03-inch foldable. Not including the foldables, Vivo’s ‘X Note’ was the largest at 7.0 inches. The smallest product was Sony’s ‘Xperia 10 IV’, which was 6.0 inches.
By design, 102 types of punch hole models were released, with 4 narrow bezel types, 2 notch types, and 2 UPC types. There were two types of smartphones with UPC (Under Panel Camera) applied: ZTE’s Axon 40 Ultra and Nubia Red Magic 7 Pro.

By resolution, 51 products with 300ppi range, 50 products with 400ppi range, and 9 products with 500ppi or higher were released. No products under 300ppi were released. The product with the highest resolution was Sony’s ‘Xpeia 1 IV’, which had a resolution of 643ppi.
There were three foldable phones released in the first half of the year: Vivo’s ‘X Fold’, Honor’s ‘Magic V’, and Huawei’s ‘Mate Xs2’. All three types of foldable phones have a punch-hole design. The resolution of ‘Mate Xs2’ was 424ppi, which is 10ppi higher than the average OLED smartphones released in the first half of the year. Whereas ‘X Fold’ and ‘Magic V’ were two products with the lowest resolution among OLED smartphones released in the first half of the year.

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

BOE, the largest display maker in China, produces UPC (Under Panel Camera) panels with transparent PI substrates.

UPC is a technology that makes a full screen of a smartphone possible by placing the front camera under the screen. The UPC technology that is currently commercialized is a method of patterning the cathode electrode and changing the resolution near the camera. However, this time it is expected that a transparent PI substrate will be additionally applied to the UPC panel supplied by BOE to Oppo.

Existing transparent PI substrates had difficulties in mass production due to the high process temperature of LTPS TFT. Yet, the recent test results of the panels with the transparent PI substrate produced by BOE reached most conditions of satisfactory levels even at the LTPS TFT process temperature.

The UPC OLED panel with the transparent PI substrate developed by BOE is expected to be installed in Oppo’s upcoming products.

 

Samsung Electronics widens the technology gap by applying new technology to ‘Galaxy Z Fold3’.

According to the ‘2021 OLED Components and Materials Report’ recently published by UBI Research, the ‘Galaxy Z Fold3’, which is expected to be released by Samsung Electronics in August, has UPC (under panel camera) and pol-less (or color filter on) encapsulation, COE) and S Pen technology are expected to be newly applied.

First, UPC, a technology that realizes the full screen of a smartphone by placing the front camera under the screen, has been mentioned using a transparent PI substrate and various technologies such as laser patterning, but in the end, the cathode electrode is patterned with a laser and the resolution near the camera is different. Thus, it seems that the maximum transmittance was secured. It is analyzed that the transparent PI substrate was not applied to the mass production process due to the high process temperature of the TFT.

Although many panel makers have developed pol-less technology, which replaces polarizers with color filters and low-reflection technologies, they could not be applied because they did not show as much anti-reflection effect as polarizers. The polarizing plate is effective in preventing external light reflection, but reduces the amount of light emitted from the OLED light emitting layer by more than 50%. If the polarizer is removed, more light can be emitted with the same power to the outside, so if the same luminance is implemented, battery consumption can be reduced. Samsung Display seems to have implemented pol-less technology by applying color filters, low-reflection films, and black pixel define layer (PDL).

The S Pen is finally applied with an electro-magnetic resonance (EMR) method, and the 30 um thick product used in the previous work is expected to be used as it is for the UTG. The AES method, which does not require a digitizer, was also considered due to the flexibility issue of the digitizer made of metal, but it is expected that the S Pen will eventually be applied in such a way that the digitizer is located on both sides of the panel.

The ‘2021 OLED Components and Materials Report’ published this time includes not only the development trend of foldable OLED, but also the development trend of mobile devices and materials for TV. It is expected to be of great help to related companies.

<‘Galaxy Z Fold3’ Expected Structure ©2021 UBI Research>

Announcement of sale of Samsung LCD P8-2 line

Recently, Samsung’s announcement of the sale of the P8-2 LCD line in Tangjeong was posted (announced on June 29).

Samsung has been steadily selling the old LCD line until recently, but since it has never posted a sale announcement, it is unusual to post a notice on the sale of this P8-2 line.

Prior to this, some facilities of the P8-1 line were converted to the newly invested QD display line, and only about 30K of TFT and 200K of CF out of all 200K-scale process equipment were sold to companies in China.

Shenzhen EFONLONG OPTRONICS DISPLAY CO., LTD, which acquired Samsung P8-1 line equipment, was founded in 2008 as a manufacturer of LCD modules , located in shenzhen, China. Hefengtai is known to attract investment from the government of Zhejiang, China, and install and operate a relocation facility in Zhejiang.

On the other hand, this P8-2 is known to sell the entire 200K-scale facility, and it is known that Samsung C&T is in charge of it, and the sale amount reaches 500 billion won.

Samsung is known to preferentially convert existing LCD facilities in line with the investment of QD Display, but due to the announcement of the sale of all volumes, it is expected that most of the investment facilities will be newly purchased in the future.

In view of this information, it is possible to carefully predict the possibility of a delay in the investment schedule of an additional 90K scale after the current QD display 30K investment or a change in the investment direction associated with QNED development status.

Apple’s last LCD phone, iPhone SE

The iPhone SE, the last product of the LCD smartphone that Apple has opened to the smartphone market, has been released.

Apple’s 2019 model iPhone 11 had three models, the base model iPhone 11 used a 6.06inch LCD, and the advanced specifications iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max used 5.85 inch and 6.46inch flexible OLED, respectively.

Samsung Display supplies both 5.85inch and 6.46inch flexible OLEDs, and LG Display has supplied only 6.46inch flexible OLEDs from the fourth quarter of 2019.

This year, Apple releases a four-model iPhone. There are three types of iPhone, SE2 which started selling this month, and 3 iPhone 12 which starts selling in September. Strictly speaking, since there are 2 models of the iPhone 12 Pro, 4 types of iPhones using OLED will be released in the second half of this year.

Apple’s current LCD phones are the iPhone 11 and the newly released SE2. Of the iPhone models released by Apple this year, only the LCD will use the SE2, and the SE2 is expected to be Apple’s last LCD smartphone.

Apple already mentioned that in 2019, all future iPhone displays will be replaced by OLEDs. Therefore, in fact, this is the reason that the SE2 released this time is expected to be the last LCD phone.

Most of the latest smartphones are more than 6 inches, but the iPhone SE2 released this time is a small 4.7-inch model using IPS LCD.

The reason Apple used a small display is believed to be a strategic product to target the mid-priced market of around $ 500. It’s currently $ 549.99 on eBay, but it’s on Amazon for $ 399.

Apple’s expected iPhone strategy is two tracks. First of all, in order to maintain the second largest market share in shipments, it is necessary to match shipments with products with a wide market of $ 500. And the operating profit creation is to fit the expensive iPhone 12 series using flexible OLED.

However, shipments of LCD phones are expected to gradually disappear after 2021, depending on the sales of 5.42 inches, the basic model of iPhone 12, which will be released in the second half of this year.

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

Reporter : Daejeong Yoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Samsung and LG fight for 8K TV picture quality

In response to 8K LCD TV quality disputes that LG Electronics compared and exhibited at IFA2019, Samsung Electronics raised the problem of burning of OLED TVs.

At the exhibition hall, LG Electronics displayed the same screen on its NanoCell 8K LCD TV and other companies’ 8K LCD TVs, and magnified images taken by precision cameras on the same screen area, allowing 90% reproduction of CM (contrast modulation) of NanoCell TV. However, it emphasized that other companies’ 8K LCD TV is only 12%. The company did not say what kind of company it was, but LG was recently emphasized that LG Electronics disassembled Samsung’s QLED TV after IFA and talked that QD-LCD using QD sheet does not produce good image quality. Thus the other 8K can be estimated as SEC’s QLED TV.

In response, Samsung Electronics publicly reported to the press that 8K OLED TVs disappear due to image sticking.

There is a very confusing dispute for consumers who do not have expertise in picture quality. Putting the two companies together, Samsung’s 8K QLED TV and OLED TV are both less qualified products.

In reality, however, the two products seen by the IFA were among the best of all existing TVs. OLED TVs have very high contrast ratios, so even in two-dimensional flat screens, the perspective is displayed as well as three-dimensional TVs. QLED TVs have very high HDR, which are delicately expressed from bright to dark screens. Also, the two products must be TVs with the highest precision at 8K resolution.

Korean media have expressed a lot of negative views about noise marketing of Samsung and LG, but it seems that the two companies’ TVs have been developed.

In fact, when Apple criticized the Galaxy for its low resolution, Samsung Electronics has grown to the world’s best product by raising the resolution of OLED to QHD level. In addition, Samsung Electronics made a negative offensive by pointing to the burning of OLED TVs, but OLED TVs expanded the market to nearly 50% of the premium TV market of more than $ 2,000. Of course, most of the burning has been eliminated.

Therefore, Samsung Electronics is also expected to be an opportunity to grow 8K QLED TV’s image quality into the world’s best LCD TV.

The two companies have a negative fight because of their own grievances. If OLED TV market share continues to rise in the premium TV market, Samsung Electronics expressed a sense of crisis as the QLED TV market shrank by that much. If 8K QLED TVs lower prices and target the premium TV market, LG Electronics should prevent the expansion of the QLED TV market in order to accelerate the growth of the OLED TV market.

In a strategy battle in which the spear and shield alternate, the TV fight of the two companies will be a good opportunity for Korean TV to maintain the world’s best level.

LG Display “OLED TV will account for more than 20% in total TV sales revenue.”

LG Display OLED TV maintained sales revenue, it through conference call, stated it recorded annual sales revenue of 24.3 trillion won and 92.9 billion won operating profit in year of 2018.

LG Display despite of heightened global competition and downward panel price made an operating profit thanks to OLED TV, super large size TV and high resolution products.

Especially large size OLED TV maintained stable productivity and enlarged consumer bracket which enabled 2.9 million shipment on a yearly basis. It recorded gross profit within 5 years of product introduction which resulted in more than 20% in total sales revenue.

4th quarter 2018 revenue of LG display marked 6.95 trillion won TV panels accounts for 36%, mobile panels 28%, notebook and tablet panels 22% and 14% for monitor panels.

Operating profit recorded 279 billion won, 528% increase compared to the same quarter last year, 99% hike compared to last quarter thanks to high priced IT products, new introductions of small and medium size products and high added value products. LG Display aims to focus on OLED business reconstruction Seo Donghee CFO of the company said, “the ratio of OLED revenue was almost nothing 5years ago, now it is 30% this year and we estimate it is going to reach 50% of the total business.”

He also said “we will put in all assets to create new values focusing on OLED business.”

He replied to the question of large size QD-OLED of competitor, it will strengthen ecosystem and overall OLED industry. To the question of 8K and over 70inch large size OLED mass production, he replied that 8K technology is already secured as exhibited at CES2019 and said that large size OLED mass production will utilize the existing know-how of LCD production. In 2019, LG Display’s OLED demand outlook question suggests that demand for more than 14% of all flexible OLED smartphones is expected.

Regarding the large-area OLED and p OLED capacity in 2019, LGD said that the large-area OLED capacity will be completed at 70K per month in Paju and 60K in Q3 in Guangzhou, China and the pOLED capacity is expected to add 30K to the domestic 45K in 2020.

He announced that capex is estimated 8trillion won in 2019 and 4trillion won in 2020, a half of this year. 60% will be for large size OLED and 40% for pOLED. And he said pOLED mass production is currently concentrated on smart phone and cars. He expects good news from car pOLED by end of this year. He also targets over 3.8 million units large size OLED production this year.

OLEDON, is to announce belt-plane source deposition technology for manufacturing ultra-high resolution and ultra-area OLED

Plane source technology, which was first developed by OLEDON in the world, has the principle of depositing the first organic material on the metal surface and evaporating it upwards to produce fine pattern of 2250 ppi, which is ultrahigh resolution. In this plane source process, three processes such as the first deposition, the plane source inversion, and the second evaporation are necessary, and the number of the high vacuum chambers is increased when the mass production is applied. The belt plane source FMM deposition technology introduced by OLEDON has a concept of carrying out the above processes at a time in one evaporation equipment. This is a continuous plane source supplying deposition technology in which the metal surface is formed in a belt shape.

Hwang added, “Using vertical plane source enables smooth deposition process for the 12th generation class area substrate for QD-OLED TV without sagging problem. Vertical belt-plane source evaporation equipment adopts the concept of depositing the substrate in a standing-up position so that the load on the framed glass chuck and the open mask is very low. Thus, easy transportation of the substrate, and uniform deposition process of thin film over a very large area in the static state are possible.” This technology is expected to be applicable not only to the 8th generation but also to the cluster type mass-production evaporator with substrate sizes more than 10 generations in the future.

<Vertical belt plane source evaporator for QD-OLED, Source: OLEDON>

Commenting finally that the company has successfully completed the material denaturation test for blue materials and the blue dopant deposition test, Hwang expected the plane source deposition technology to be applied to both small & medium sized OLED and large area OLED manufacturing in future.

On the other hand, OLEDON holds more than 30 related patents including original patents of plane source and belt plane source evaporator. Also, the company recently filed a patent related to a vertical belt plane source evaporator for mass production.

 

CYNORA announced that it has extended its joint development agreement for TADF commercialization with LG Display.

TADF developer CYNORA has announced that it has extended its joint-development agreement with LG Display. The two companies have been co-developing deep-blue TADF OLED emitters for two years, and have now decided to continue the cooperation towards the commercialization of TADF emitters in OLED displays.

The performance of CYNORA’s latest deep-blue material was presented at IMID 2018 held in August of the year. Among the performance introduced, the CIEy is 0.13, the EQE is 20% based on 1000 nits, and the LT97 is 15 hours at 700 nits.

CYNORA CEO Gildas Sorin commented, “Currently, CYNORA focuses on the development of deep blue TADFs for OLED TVs. Through the accumulated know-how to develop deep blue TADF, it also has plans to develop a light blue TADF for lighting applications and a green TADF for displays.”

[SID 2018] OLEDON, presented about X-mixing plane source deposition technology for AMOLED efficiency enhancement.

In SID 2018, Hwang Chang-Hoon, CEO of OLEDON, announced a new plane source FMM deposition technology that can produce ultra-high resolution AMOLED of 2,250 ppi.

According to the announcement, the linear source currently applied to mass production has a problem of causing superimposition of fine adjacent patterns in a high resolution implementation due to a shadow distance of 3 μm. But Hwang said he succeeded in reducing the shadow distance of the patterns by 0.18 um using plane source, which is the smallest shadow distance ever introduced.

<Shadow effect comparison between current process and the process applied with the plane source, Source: OLEDON>

Hwang added that he developed ‘X-mixing’ technology in which the host and dopant thin films were separately deposited on the metal surface and then the host molecules and dopant molecules were automatically diffused through the plane evaporation to form the light emitting layer. Hwang commented, “It is not easy to control the composition of the dopant by using the linear source evaporation technology, which vaporizes the host material and the dopant material at the same time. However, since X-mixing technology can control the composition, it is possible to achieve a material utilization rate up to 4 times higher than the conventional method.”

<SIMS data comparison between the emitting layer deposited by conventional method and the emitting layer deposited by the plane source, Source: OLEDON>

<Dopant gradient data of the emitting layer applied with X-mixing technology, Source: OLEDON>

Hwang said, “In case of green OLED produced by X-mixing technology, 40% improvement in the emitting efficiency was verified, compared to the existing technology. OLEDON is currently under development of the optimized X- mixing development for forming exciton and the mask aligner with new concept sub-micron precision.

<Luminance data for green OLED produced by X-mixing technology and green OLED produced by the conventional method, Source: OLEDON>

Finally, Mr. Hwang mentioned that based on the development results, he plans to install a plane source FMM evaporator capable of manufacturing ultra-high resolution micro OLED devices in Dankook University.  (Reference: OLEDON homepage: www.oledon.co.kr)

[iMiD 2017] JOLED announces printing-type OLED development trend and future road map

At the ‘IMID 2017 Business Forum’ held in COEX, Seoul from 18th to 19th, Toshiaki Arai, chief technologist of JOLED announced JOLED’s printing technology and future road map.

<JOLED’s Toshiaki Arai chief technologist>

Toshiaki Arai, chief technologist stated that a stable jetting technology at 220 ppi level has been currently secured; high resolution OLED with more than 300 ppi has been developed at Gen 8.5 but there are some issues such as jetting accuracy and stability.

Toshiaki Arai introduced TG-TAOS (top gate-transparent amorphous oxide semiconductors) TFT, which will contribute to saving the unit cost of OLED with excellent performance at low price.

He also announced the future strategy of JOLED, stressing that, instead of small and large OLED dominated by South Korean companies, the middle-sized OLED for tablet and monitor with more than 200 ppi. Joled is the only OLED panel maker that unveiled its 21.6 inch 4K RGB OLED in 2017, using printing process, and has pilot launched.

<JOLED’s 21.6 inch 4K OLED in application of printing method>

On the other hand, according to the Nihon Keizai newspaper in Japan, JOLED is reported to have invested 100 billion yen in mass production of printing-type OLED. In addition, Toshiaki Arai stated that the OLED test samples manufactured by printing process have been provided since this April and the mass production will realize in the second half of 2018.