Samsung denies it is developing QD-OLED TVs, will focus on Micro-LEDs and QLEDs

Last week we reported that ETNews claims that Samsung is developing a hybrid Quantum-Dots OLED technology for its future TVs.

Today Yonhap News reports that Samsung Visual Display Business VP, Han Jong-hee, denies this story, saying that Samsung sticks to its two-track strategy for the high-end TV market, developing both QLED (quantum-dots enhanced LED LCDs) and Micro-LED TVs. Han further says that Samsung will start selling its Wall Micro-LED TV in August 2018.

SmartKem announces a landmark deal with a Taiwan-based OLED and LCD maker to bring OTFT displays to market

UK-based OTFT developer SmartKem announced that it has signed a landmark deal with a leading display maker in Taiwan that will enable the display maker to commercialize SmartKem's OTFT technology in flexible displays.

SmartKem OTFT transistors photo

The agreement will see a complete technology transfer, including production line deployment and supply of materials. This agreement marks the culmination of the LOI signed in November 2017. SmartKem updates us that this agreement covers both LCD and OLED displays.

DSCC: it may be hard to justify the extra cost of flexible OLEDs compared to rigid OLEDs and LCDs

Display analyst firm DSCC posted an interested article stating that the latest range of bezel-less LCDs are very similar to the high-end flexible OLEDs in form (not in contrast or image quality), to the point that mid-smartphone makers find it hard to justify the extra cost of a flexible OLEDs. The following table graphs shows the current price gap between flexible OLEDs and LCDs:
Price of a smartphone flexible OLED vs rigid-OLED vs LCD (DSCC, Feb 2018)While a flexible OLED does enable a higher display-to-body ratio (82.9% on the iPhone X, for example), a high end LCD comes pretty close - the Oppo F5 reaches 78.1%.

DSCC: the OLED material market will reach $2.56 billion in 2022

Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) says that OLED material revenues grew 43% to reach $869 million in 2017. DSCC expects the OLED material market to grow at a 24% CAGR until 2022, when the market will reach $2.56 billion.

OLED material revenue by type (2016-2022, DSCC)

The small/medium display market accounts to about 59% of the total OLED material market, and this will continue until 2022. For the TV market, DSCC expects ink-jet printing to enable producers to make lower the material costs of OLED TV production, and OLED TV materials will grow at a rate of 23%, from $344 in 2017 to $963 million in 2022.

ETNews: Samsung is developing hybrid QD-OLED TVs

ETNews posted an interesting article, claiming that Samsung Display is developing a new TV technology that combines OLED emitters with quantum-dot photo-luminescence materials. The basic idea is to use blue OLED emitters and then convert the blue light to white light using quantum-dots combined with color filters (QDCFs) to add red and green colors.

Samsung OLED TVs (2013)

This seems to be a rather complicated design, but it could be much easier to produce compared to a true RGB OLED TV, as there is no need for precise OLED patterning. This is similar to LG's WRGB OLED TVs which use a white OLED source (made from yellow and blue emitters) and color filters on top.

Will Samsung target new applications now that its smartphone OLED lines are under-utilized?

In the past few weeks we heard many reports that following lower than expected OLED orders from Apple (due to disappointing iPhone X sales) Samsung Display has suddenly found itself with under utilized OLED production lines.

Samsung already said that it aims to find new customers for its OLEDs, mostly in smartphone makers in China. Some analyst say however that this won't be so easy as the higher costs of SDC's AMOLED displays deter some of its potential customers, who prefer to opt for lower-cost high-end 18:9 LCDs.

Nagase invests $4.6 million in TADF developer Kyulux

Japan-based chemical producer Nagase announced that it invested ¥500 million Yen ($4.6 million USD) in Hyperfluoresence TADF materials developer Kyulux. Nagase is currently offering materials for LCD producers, so this is likely to be a strategic investment for the company.

Wisechip Hyperfluoresence TADF emitters demonstration (TADF Workshop 2017)

Kyulux’s first aim is to develop commercial red, green and yellow hyperfluorescence emitter/host combinations, to replace the 2nd-Gen phosphorescent emitters currently used in OLED displays and lighting panels. In 2017 Kyulux announced a collaboration with PMOLED maker WiseChip to bring Hyperfluoresence TADF emitter based displays to the market by the year's end.

UBI: 440 million AMOLEDs were shipped in 2017, the market will reach almost a billion units by 2022

UBI Research estimates that AMOLED shipments reached 440 million units in 2017 (up 13.6% from 2016), with revenues reaching $27.1 billion (up 62.3% from 2016). Only yesterday did DSCC release its own estimates of $23.2 billion in revenues for the AMOLED market in 2017.

AMOLED market forecast (2018 - 2022, UBI Research)

The AMOLED market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.5% to reach almost a billion units in 2022. Revenues will grow faster at 22% and reach $80.5 billion in 2022.

UDC and Samsung Display sign new long-term PHOLED materials and technology supply agreements

Universal Display announced that it has signed long-term OLED material supply and license agreements with Samsung Display. UDC will continue to supply its PHOLED phosphorescent OLED materials and technology to Samsung Display for use in its OLED displays. The agreements are scheduled to run through December 31, 2022, and may be extended for an additional two-year period.

UDC PHOLED materials photo (2017)

UDC did not disclose the financial terms of these new agreements, but we do know that Samsung will pay a license fee throughout the agreement period. The previous UDC-SDC agreement ended on December 31st 2017, but for the past month and a half the two companies still conducted business of course as SDC's OLED production was not halted.

DSCC: OLED revenues reached a record $23.2 billion in 2017

DSCC says that OLED revenues reached $8.8 billion in Q4 2017, growing 62% from the previous quarter and 120% from Q4 2016. The main drivers of this growth are shipments for the iPhone X and OLED TV panel growth in the holiday season. In 2017, OLED revenues reached a record of $23.2 billion, a growth of 57% from 2016 ($14.7 billion).

OLED revenue and growth (Q1 2016 - Q4 2017, DSCC)

DSCC says that smartphone revenues accounted for 87.4% of the total AMOLED market, and OLED TV shipments had a 5.6% share ($1.3 billion in revenues). The 3rd largest application is smart watch panels (3.2%).