Samsung Electronics reported its results for Q4 2017, with a record quarterly profit of $11.2 billion driven by strong demand for memory chips and high-end displays. Samsung Display reports increased OLED shipments for premium smartphones.
Looking at Q1 2018, SDC says that its OLED business is likely to be affected be declining demand due to seasonality and increased competition from LTPS LCD. For the the whole of 2018, SDC expects OLED to increase its penetration in the smartphone industry, and the company aims to introduce new premium applications such as foldable displays and OLEDs for the automotive market.
One of the reasons Samsung expects a decline in Q1 2018 is lower shipments to Apple due to lower iPhone X sales. SDC however says that the company is seeking new clients and will reduce its reliance on a "certain customer" - and the company's business "will not be affected much by a certain customer".
According to ETNews, Samsung recently had to reduce the utilization rate at its rigid OLED production lines (A1 and A2) to half due to low demand for rigid OLEDs as phone makers adopt lower cost LTPS LCDs. Samsung may choose to convert some of its rigid OLED lines to flexible OLED production.
Samsung's remarks on the foldable display is interesting - during the conference call Samsung Electronics said that it plans to introduce its first foldable phone in 2018. According to reports Samsung Electronics' plan is to start producing a 7.3" foldable smartphone in November 2018.