Apple ships 3.5 million smartwatches in Q2 2018, holds a 34% market share

Canalys estimates that 10 million smartwatches were shipped in Q2 2018 (the 2nd largest quarter ever after Q4 2017 with 12.5 million). Apple is still the largest smartwatch producer - even though its market share fell to 34% in the second quarter. In 2017 Apple's market share in this market was around 60%.

Smartwatch market share - Apple and others (2017-2018H2, Canalys)

As LG Display is the exclusive supplier of Apple's smartwatch OLED displays, IHS says that LGD is the world's leading AMOLED supplier for smartwatches and wearables. In 2017 LGD shipped 10.64 million such AMOLED displays (a market share of 41.4%). In total 25.7 million smartwatch AMOLEDs were shipped in 2017.

CINNO Research details the mobile AMOLED market share by producers

Market analysts from CINNO Research estimate that Samsung Display produced 160.9 million AMOLED displays in H1 2018, which sets SDC's market share in the mobile AMOLED market at 93%. The two other large producers are LG Display and Visionox, both producing 3.5 million panels (2% market share).

AMOLED market share by produces (H1 2018, CINNO)

Both Everdisplay (EDO) and BOE produced 1.7 million panels in the first half of 2018 - or about 1% of the market each. AU Optronics and Tianma produced 0.7 million panels (0.4% market share) and Truly closes the list with a market share of 0.2% (400,000 panels).

Tianma to start constructing the 2nd phase of its 6-Gen flexible AMOLED fab in Wuhan

Tianma started producing rigid and flexible OLEDS in April 2017 at the company's 6-Gen fab in Wuhan, and on June 27th the company announced that it plans to construct the 2nd phase of the Wuhan AMOLED fab.

Tianma's Wuhan expansion project will cost around 14.5 billion Yuan ($2.12 billion USD) and will take about 25 months - so production at the 2nd phase is scheduled for September 2020. When the 2nd phase is complete' Tianma's flexible AMOLED capacity will be 37,500 monthly 6-Gen substrates.

Canon says demand for its OLED production equipment is lower than expected

Starting in 2016 or so, the world's leader in OLED vacuum evaporation equipment Canon Tokki, say a surge in OLED orders - which prompted the company to double its production capacity in 2016. But in 2018 the OLED market experienced a strong slump. OLED production started to recover in June 2018, but a recovery in the OLED equipment sector is still not here.

Canon ELVESS OLED production system photo

Canon today posted its Q2 earnings, and while profits increased, the company cut its full FY2018 outlook and said that demand for its OLED production equipment is lower than previously expected.

JOLED aims to produce TV and signage OLED displays in the future

Japan-based OLED maker JOLED has always focused on medium-sized displays - for monitors, tablets and laptop displays. At a recent conference, JOLED revealed that in the future also aims to produce large displays - for TVs and signage applications

JOLED applications slide (AMFPD2018)

Towards the end of 2017, JOLED started commercial production of its 21.6" 4K OLED panels at its low volume production pilot 4.5-Gen line. JOLED's mass production line will be established in Nomi City, Ishikawa Prefecture, with a capacity of 20,000 monthly 5.5-Gen (1300x1500 mm) substrates. JOLED plans to begin mass production in 2020 at the new fab - and to produce 10- to 32-inch OLED displays for automotive displays, high-end monitors and more.

OLED with fingerprint sensor: the perfect match?

This is a guest post by Dr. Guillaume Chansin, founder and principal consultant at Irimitech Consulting

New sensor technologies are being developed specifically for the integration of fingerprint scanning functionalities with OLED displays. The recent announcements indicate that the industry is moving away from capacitive sensors to focus their efforts on optical or ultrasonic detection. For display manufacturers, this could even present opportunities to innovate and offer their own solutions.

Once a premium feature, fingerprint sensors have become almost standard on smartphones. However, the latest design trend is to remove the bezels around the display, leaving no room for the fingerprint sensor. Some OEMs made the choice to move the sensor to the back of the device, which is not always convenient (for instance when mounted on a car dash).

Samsung's unbreakable OLED display certified by the US Department of Labor

Samsung Display announced that its unbreakable smartphone panel has been certified Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the official testing company for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor. This display was first demonstrated at SID 2018.

This display is not aimed for just smartphones - SDC sees it being used in the automotive market, the defense market, portable game consoles and tablet PCs. The display is a flexible AMOLED on an "unbreakable" substrate with an overlay plastic window securely adhered to it.

DSCC sees a recovery in OLED area production in H2 2018

DSCC says that while it is too early indeed to talk about an OLED recovery from an equipment supplier point of view, the smartphone OLED market is set for substantial growth in the second half of 2018.

Smartphone AMOLED area shipments (2017-2018, DSCC)

Samsung is seeing improved OLED fab utilization, and the company still has some unused capacity at its A4 fab. As the gap between rigid OLED and LCD has fallen to around $5, OLED adoption is rising. In addition, smartphone makers are increasingly using flexible OLEDs in high end devices.

LG Display sees its losses increase in Q2 2018, will cut its capex but will not slow its shift towards OLED technologies

LG Display reported its financial results for Q2 2018, with revenues decreasing 1% from the previous quarter and 15% compared to Q2 2017. The company's operating loss increased to $200 million USD. LGD's lower revenues were the result of softer LCD TV panel prices and lower display shipments for smartphones and other devices.

LG Display says that it will cut it 2018-2020 CAPEX by $2.7 billion as a result of these market conditions. This expenditure cut, however, will not effect its shift towards OLED technologies, so it will probably be centered on LCD technologies.

Audi's TT 20th anniversary to feature OLED rear lighting

Audi announced a special limited (999 total) 20th anniversary edition of its TT sports coupe - which will sport OLED taillights - similar to the ones Audi adopted in its 2016 Audi TT RS.

Audi TT 20th anniversary photo

The OLED used in the 2016 TT RS were produced by OSRAM. In April 2018 OSRAM announced it is pulling out of the OLED lighting market, but it will continue to support its customers until 2020, so it's likely that these new OLED modules will also be provided by OSRAM.

Atomic Force Microscopy for next-gen OLED processesAtomic Force Microscopy for next-gen OLED processes