OLED-Info: the OLED experts

OLED-Info has been the leading international OLED publication for over 10 years, with a readership of more than 120,000 professionals a month. We provide a multitude of services to the OLED market based on our extensive and up-to-date knowledge hub and close ties with industry leaders. Our consultancy services include market outreach assistance, display brokerage, business development, financial intermediation and more.

An OLED uses organic semiconductors to create thin light emitting panels. OLEDs are used to create thin, beautiful, flexible and efficient display and lighting panels, and are the future technology of choice.

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eMagin reports strong preliminary Q4 2017 results and a strong backlog into 2018

OLED microdisplay maker eMagin reported its preliminary financial results for Q4 2017. Revenues are expected to be between $6.2 million to $6.4 million - a 35% to 39% increase from Q4 2016 and up 44% to 49% from Q3 2017. The company's backlog for 2018 is $9.8 million - an increase of 53% compared to the backlog entering 2017.

eMagin XGA096 OLED-XL photo

eMagin says that the improvement in preliminary revenues reflects both the expected pickup in military demand as well as contributions from commercial projects. At the end of 2017 the company had $3.5 million in cash and equivalents and had a revolving credit loan balance of $4.0 million.

CLSA: BOE to ship 19 million smartphone flexible OLEDs in 2018 and 41 million in 2019

BOE started to produce flexible OLED displays at its first flexible AMOLED line, the Chengdu B7 6-Gen fab, in October 2017. Financial analysts from CLSA say that according to their checks, the ramp-up at the B7 is ahead of schedule, and CLSA expects BOE to ship 19 million smartphone OLEDs in 2018 and 41 million panels in 2019.

BOE Flexible AMOLED prototype photo

CLSA says that major Chinese smartphone makers will launch the first smartphones that use BOE's flexible OLEDs in February and March or 2018. CLSA says it won't be surprised to hear BOE announcing new OLED fab plans soon (in H1 2018).

DSCC: OLED equipment spending reached a record $15.5 billion in 2017

Display Analysts from DSCC says that 2017 was a record year for the display equipment market, with revenues reaching a record $24.7 billion (up 30% from 2016). OLED spending reached a record $15.5 billion - a 143% increase over 2016. Samsung's share of the OLED equipment market was 48%, followed by BOE with $24% (following a 229% growth from 2016).

OLED vs LCD equipment spending (2016-2020, DSCC)

OLED equipment revenues represents 63% of the entire display equipment market, surpassing LCD - which saw revenues dropping 27% from 2016. In 2018 DSCC sees the equipment market falling 9%, although booking will increase as growth will resume in 2019. The main reason behind the decline in 2018 is due to Samsung which will reduce its equipment orders by 64% in 2018. 2018 is expected to be the first year where China leads in OLED spending with a 64% to 36% advantage over Korea.

OLED Ink-jet printing market situation, early 2018

Many OLED producers believe that Ink-Jet printing of OLED emissive materials is the best way to achieve lower-cost OLED TV production, and to enable OLEDs to compete in the medium part of the TV market. Ink-Jet printing is an efficient process (less material waste compared to evaporation) and it can be very quick as well. The main drawbacks of inkjet are the limited resolution and the need for soluble emissive materials which are less efficient compared to evaporation ones.

A Kateeva OLED ink-jet printing system

These challenges are being overcome, and it seems that at least four groups (in Korea, Japan and China) are charging forward towards mass production of ink-jet printed OLEDs. Ink-jet printer makers and soluble material suppliers are also optimistic ink-jet printing commercialization will soon be here as the material performance gap is diminishing.

Some of Google's Pixel 2 XL P-OLED displays are better than originally reported

Google 's Pixel 2 XL (which started shipping in October 2017) is one of the first two phones to adopt LG Display's new 6" 1440x2880 (538 PPI) P-OLEDs (alongside with LG's own V30). While on paper these displays are superb, actual reviews were rather dismal - as both reviewers and customers complained about bad color reproduction, graininess and problematic viewing angles. In addition many users seem to report serious image retention issues.

According to reports in 2017, LGD faced very low yields at its 6-Gen E5 line, and so had to produce these smartphone displays at its Gen-4.5 flexible AMOLED line. Some users are now saying that these issues do not plague all of Google's phone - and some come with noticeable better displays. This should be good news for LGD and it's likely that as the company gains more experience with smartphone P-OLED production, it will produce better looking displays in better yields.