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VR AMOLED displays - market status

Dec 27, 2016
This is a premium OLED-Info article

Virtual Reality (VR) means a near-eye display that completely blocks the real world and replaces it with a simulated display. VR displays have been around for a long time - the first VR head mounted displays (HMD) were introduced in the 1960s, but these devices, and those devices that followed it for 50 years suffered from many problems due to primitive technology.

Oculus Rift consumer photo

Everything seems to have changed in 2012, when Oculus Rift raised $2.5 million on Kickstarter to develop its VR HMD. Less than 2 years later, the company was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion, and the VR market finally emerged. A good VR experience requires a high end display that features fast response time, high resolution, power efficiency, light weight, and more. OLEDs are the perfect choice for VR displays - especially due to the technology's low latency (as opposed to LCD displays, which are notoriously slow).

Trendforce sees a VR AMOLED display market shortage in 2017

Dec 27, 2016

Taiwan-based TrendForce says that HTC is the current leader in VR headsets - with a market share of 61.4% between April 2016 and November 2016, but the Taiwanese company will not be able to extend its lead into 2017 as it will be hit the hardest from the OLED market supply shortage.

HTC Vive photo

According to TrendForce, in 2017 HTC will ship 600,000 Vive units, while Sony will ship 2.5 million PlayStation VR units and Oculus is expected to ship 1.2 million units. Other brands, all combined, will ship 800,000 units. All of these VR headsets use OLED displays.

OLED Automotive Market Report

IHS: Chinese OLED makers ship over a million panels in Q3 2016

Dec 22, 2016

IHS says that combine OLED shipments from all active Chinese OLED makers reached over a 1.4 million panels in Q3 2016 . This is still small relative to Samsung's capacity (which made around 70 million panels in the quarter) but a step forward for these companies.

OLED display penetration in the Chinese phone market (IHS, 2015-2016)

IHS says that strong demand from Chinese smartphone brands (see chart above), mostly Oppo and Vivo boosted the demand for AMOLED displays. Coupled with the reported supply shortage at SDC this created an opportunity for the new OLED makers based in China. In Q2 2016 these Chinese OLED makers produced around 600,000 panels (so production more than doubled in the quarter.

SFA Engineering to supply OLED production equipment to Visionox in a $93 million deal

Dec 21, 2016

Korean manufacturing equipment maker SFA Engineering announced that it secured a $93.5 million order from China's Visionox. SFA will deliver the equipment by August 2017.

Visionox 4.85'' 604 PPI AMOLED prototype

Visionox has started mass producing AMOLED panels in June 2015, but the company's production capacity is still limited. Visionox's Gen-5.5 AMOLED line in Kunshan can currently produce around 4,000 monthly substrate, and once yields stabilize they will reach a full capacity of 15,000 monthly substrates. The company is mulling a $673 million investment to expand the capacity of this fab.

EverDisplay officially launches its 6-Gen flexible AMOLED fab in Shanghai

Dec 11, 2016

A few months ago we reported that China-based AMOLED producer Everdisplay is planning to invest $4.1 billion USD to build a 6-Gen AMOLED factory. Today the company launched this new AMOLED fab officially in a ceremony in Shanghai, China.

EverDisplay 6-Gen launch ceremony photo

On December 9th Everdisplay started constructing the new fab in the Jinshan Industrial Zone in Shanghai. Investment in the new fab, according to EverDisplay, will actually be 27.2 billion yuan - or almost $4 billion USD. The fab will be able to produce 30,000 monthly substrates (1500 x 1850 mm) and will be used to produce small and medium sized flexiblle AMOLEDs (1 to 15 inch).

Idemitsu Kosan expands its OLED production capacity in Korea to meet the expected rise in demand

Dec 08, 2016

Japan-based OLED material maker Idemitsu Kosan announced that it has decided to expand the OLED material production capacity at it's Korean subsidiary Idemitsu Electronic Materials Korea. Idemitsu said that decision is a response to the expected increase in demand for OLED materials due to increased penetration of OLED displays.

IDEL Korean OLED plant photo

The Korean factory currently has a capacity of 5 tons per year, and this will be increased to 8 ton per year. Combined with its factory in Japan, Idemitsu total capacity will grow to 10 ton per year. The new capacity is expected to be online by the end of the first half of FY2017 (which means by September 2017).

Is there a world-wide OLED replacement screen shortage?

Dec 02, 2016

Around August 2016 we started hearing reports of a tight OLED supply and a shortage of AMOLED panels. Chinese mobile phone maker Oppo, for example, confirmed this shortage of AMOLED display panels for the R9 (also known as F1 Plus), and the company's president announced that Oppo will release an LCD variant called R9km.

Xiaomi Redmi Pro photo

According to some new information we have, some countries (including the Netherlands and France, and some parts of the US too) are experience a shortage of replacement OLED screens for Samsung's mobile phones. This is true for Samsung's most popular devices - and for both rigid (glass-based) and flexible OLED screens.

Chinese phone makers are worried about tight OLED supply, may form an alliance to secure capacity

Nov 30, 2016

According to reports from China, several mobile phone makers, including Huawei, Oppo and Vivo (BKK) are worried about the tight AMOLED supply, especially as Apple's appetite for AMOLED displays may end up taking up all existing and future capacity in the near future.

The reports suggest that the three phone makers are discussing the forming of a new alliance that will secure AMOLED supply. The alliance will make investment into flexible OLED production by Chinese display makers, and secure capacity - in a similar fashion to what Apple is doing with Samsung and has done before with LCD makers.

Truly starts mass producing AMOLED displays

Nov 28, 2016

Hong Kong-based Truly Semiconductors started working on its AMOLED fab in 2014, and in May 2015 estimated that production will begin in Q1 2016. The fab was delayed, and a few months later it was estimated that production will begin in September 2016.

Truly have finally announced that the fab is now online, and the company is starting AMOLED mass production. Truly published the (rather overdone and weird) video you see above - and according to the video the company is targeting smartphones, wearables, VR and automotive applications.

Here are BOE's latest 55" OLED panel prototypes

Nov 24, 2016

A few days ago we reported that BOE Display started to supply OLED TV panels to Skyworth. Today we have this photo you see below, showing the new 55" UHD (4K) panels. The new panels were produced at BOE's 8.5-Gen pilot line in Hefei.

BOE 55'' UHD panel prototypes (Nov 2016)

Skyworth is currently using LGD WOLED panels for its OLED TVs, and in December 2015 the company launched its latest OLED and OLED HDR TVs . Skyworth hopes to sell 200,000 OLED TVs by the end of March 2017. Skyworth said its main problem with those OLEDs is that LG Display cannot supply them with enough panels, especially the 65" ones - so now it seems Skyworth found its answer with BOE Display.