Article last updated on: Jan 17, 2019

LG Display to lead a major R&D project in Korea to develop stretchable displays

LG Display announced that it has been selected by the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy to lead a national large-scale project to develop stretchable displays. LGD says that this project is a major part of the MOTIE's drive to help Korea's next-generation display industry.

SDC Stretchable AMOLED prototype (SID 2017)

A 9.1" stretchable OLED (Samsung Display)

LGD says that the goal of this project is to develop stretchable display products with a 20% elongation rate by 2024. The company believes such displays can vastly widen the scope of applications that displays can be applied to. 21 companies, universities and research institutes will take part in this government-supported project.

DSCC: OLED revenues in Q1 2020 were $6.7 billion, will reach $33 billion in 2020

DSCC says that OLED revenues in Q1 2020 were $6.7 billion (up 24% from Q1 2019, but down 18% from Q4 2019). Both Samsung and BOE gained market share in the quarter, as LGD had a weak quarter.

OLED revenue share by producer (Q12018-Q12020, DSCC)

DSCC sees the entire OLED market reaching $33 billion in 2020 (up 18% from 2019). Smartphone OLED sales will reach $26.6 billion, mostly led by a growth in flexible OLED sales. The OLED TV market will grow 19% to 4 million units in 2020. DSCC sees the laptop OLED market increasing significantly in 2020.

LGD's Guangzhou fab starts to produce 48-inch OLED TV panels

LG Display's original plan was to start producing OLED TV panels at its 8.5-Gen OLED fab in Guangzhou in October 2019, but following some technical issues, production was pushed back, several times. The latest report suggested that production will only begin in Q3 2020 - due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and lower market demand.

Business Korea reports today that LGD finally started to produce panels in the Guangzhou fab - 48" OLED TV panels. It seems as if LGD has not achieved mass production yet, but some panels are already being produced. Mass production will begin, according to BK, later this month.

The Elec: LG and Samsung will supply AMOLEDs to Apple's iPhone 12

The Elec reports that Apple ordered around 55 million AMOLED panels for its iPhone 12 smartphone series, which will be announced later this year. LG Display will supply around around 20 million AMOLEDs - which is a big increase from the 5 million OLEDs LGD supplied for Apple's previous generation phones.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro photo

According to The Elec, LG will supply the panels for Apple's iPhone 12 Max (6.1"), while Samsung will supply all the panels for the iPhone 12 (5.4"), iPhone 12 Pro (6.1") and iPhone 12 Pro max (6.7").

LGD pushes back production at its Guangzhou OLED TV fab to Q3 2020

LG Display's original plan was to start producing OLED TV panels at its 8.5-Gen OLED fab in Guangzhou in October 2019, but the company faced technical issues, pushed back production to the end of January 2020 - but fixing these issues took longer than expected.

The CoronaVirus outbreak caused LGD further delays, and mass production was again delayed to 'early' Q2 2020. The latest news from Korea suggests that now LGD has pushed back production in the Guangzhou fab to Q3 2020. The cause of these delays, is again yield issues, slow engineering work due to the Coronavirus isolation - and lower demand in the market (which seems to suggest that LGD is not in a rush to begin production).

DSCC details the iPhone 12 screens and OLED suppliers

DSCC posted an interesting blog post, in which they detail what they believe to be Apple's iPhone 12 smartphone family specifications.

Apple iPhone 12 range - specs and OLED suppliers (DSCC May 2020)

So we start with the iPhone 12, which will use a 5.42" 2348x1048 (476 PPI) flexible AMOLED display, produced by Samsung Display. DSCC believes the iPhone 12 will use a Y-OCTA integrated touch. DSCC believes that while BOE did not manage to get its panel to the iPhone 12, it may become a supplier in 2021 to the iPhone 12s - if all goes well with the iPhone 12 Max (see below).

DSCC - OLED material sales will grow from $951 million in 2019 to $2.69 billion in 2024

DSCC updated its OLED material market estimates, saying that AMOLED stack material sales will grow from $951 million in 2019 to $2.69 billion in 2024 - a CAGR of 23%. These new estimates take into account DSCC's reduced input area forecast due to the slowdown in demand cased by the Covid-19 pandemic.

AMOLED material revenues (2019-2024, DSCC)

DSCC says that incremental improvements in material utilization and price reductions, material costs per square meters will decline in the future. The unyielded cost of producing a square meter of a WOLED TV panel will decline from $95.21 in 2019 to $56.11 in 2024.

LG expects a 10% decline in OLED TV panel shipments in Q2 2020

According to reports from Korea, LG Display expects a decline of up to 10% in demand for OLED TV panels in Q2 2020, due to the CoronaVirus pandemic.

LG BX OLED TV photo

LGD's original plan was to ship over 6 million OLED TV panels in 2020 - which include the smaller 48" OLED TV panels launched at CES 2020. In its latest note, DSCC sees 4.5 million OLED TV panels being produced in 2020, while Omdia's forecast is for only 3.5 million TVs.

LG Display reports disappointing results for Q1 2020 as COVID-19 lowers demand for smartphones and TVs

LG Display reported its financial results for Q1 2020. LGD's revenues were 4.7 trillion Won ($3.8 billion USD), decreased 26% from the previous quarter and 20% from Q1 2019. The company's net loss in the quarter was 199 billion Won ($161 million USD).

LG GX OLED TV photo

LGD's revenues and earnings were below analysts expectations - the company's business was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic which caused lower demand for smartphones and TV panels (which were also hit due to the postponing of major sporting events). LCD panel prices have also taken a hit.

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