Financial analysts from CLSA released an interesting short report about OLED demand in China. According to IDC, OLED smartphone shipments in China was down 6% in Q4 2017 (compared to Q4 2016) to 36 million units - in line with total Chinese smartphone weakness (-8% in the same period). Total OLED smartphone shipments in 2017 reached 128 million, up 8% compared to 2016. OLED penetration was up only 1% (to 15%) in 2017.
CLSA sees lower demand in 2018 and 2019 compared to early estimates - 175 million in 2018 and 225 million in 2019. That's 11% (2018) and 20% (2019) lower than CLSA's earlier estimates. CLSA is less optimistic than before regarding the ramp-up at Tianma, Truly and CSoT.
CLSA however, sees first-tier Chinese OLED suppliers BOE and Visionox ramping up faster than earlier expected. BOE recently completed constructing its Miangyang 6-Gen flexible OLED fab and expects mass production to begin in May 2019. Visionox hopes to begin production in their new 6-Gen fab in the middle of 2018. CLSA also expects Visionox to become a public company using the shares of Blackcow which we always assumed was an investor in Visionox but it turns the relationship is tighter than we thought.