Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) says that in Q1 2018 OLED revenues dropped 33% compared to Q4 2017 (but grew 39% compared to Q1 2017) and amounted to $5.9 billion. DSCC says that OLED revenues will decline further in Q2 2018 but will recover in the second half of 2018. Full-year revenues are expected to reach $26.95 billion, while the market will reach $57.2 billion by 2022.
Samsung Electronics was the top OLED customer in the first quarter, and together with Apple (#2) the two companies consumer 79% of all OLED panels by revenue.
Sony only started to ship its 2018 AF8 OLED TVs last month, but apparently the company is already getting ready to release its next-generation OLEDs. Sony accidentally listed some new models on its support website - including the XBR-55A9F and the XBR-65A9F.
The page has been already removed, and we don't really know whether these new TVs are real, or maybe these are just future 2019 model numbers.
Sony launched a new OLED microdisplay, the ECX339A, which has the world's smallest pixel pitch (according to Sony) at 6.3um. The 0.5-inch microdisplay's resolution is 1600x1200 (UXGA) and it supports a frame rate of up to 240 fps. The maximum brightness is 1,000 nits.
Sony already started sampling this new microdisplay in January 2018, and mass production is planned for November 2018. The price of each sample is ¥50,000 - or about $460 USD.
The Nikkei Asian Review reports that LG Display aims to increase its OLED TV production capacity to 10 million units by 2021 - which is six times its capacity in 2017 (1.7 million). Next year LGD aims to produce around 2.8 million OLED TVs. LGD's investment in new OLED TV capacity will reach $18 billion by 2020.
LG Display is enjoying a surge in demand for OLED TVs, and OLED TVs sales account for around half of its high-end TV sales (TVs with a price tag of over $2,000). In 2018 OLED's share in LGD's premium TV panes will grow to 70%. LG Display is confident it could even sell 20 million OLED TV panels each year, if it could make them. LG is "betting all on OLED" and minimizes its LCD investments as much as possible.
Sony's announced the prices of its new 2018 OLED TV, the AF8. The 55" model will retail for $2,800 while the 65" one will cost $3,800. The AF8 will ship soon in the summer. You can pre-order now at Amazon.com, although prices are higher by around $500 then Sony's official price.
The AF8 is a premium TV series (55-inch / 65-inch) that feature Sony's X1 Extreme picture processor, Sony's Acoustic Surface tech and Google and Amazon voice recognition technologies.
According to Business Korea, LG Display signed an agreement with Sony to supply it with flexible pOLED displays for future Sony smartphones. Sony is not a major smartphone player globally, but in Japan it holds 14.9% of the market (second only to Apple).
During a wearable conference in Tokyo, Japan's ColorLink demonstrated its new VR and AR prototype devices, which both use OLED microdisplays. The company says that using OLED microdisplays it can produce more compact VR devices.
The ColorLink devices use 0.7" FHD OLED microdisplays, which are probably Sony's ECX335AF displays.
China TV maker Changhong is reportedly showing a wide range of OLED TVs at CES 2018. One of the TVs employs a similar design to Sony's 2017 A1E with the Acoustic Surface back stand. Interestingly Sony's discarded the design idea in its latest OLED TV, the AF8.
We do not have information about Changhong's other OLED TVs at CES, but it is likely they also had their latest 65" 4K AI-powered Q5A on display.
Analysts from CLSA returned from a journey to Asia with some interesting notes on the OLED industry. According to CLSA, spending in the OLED industry has peaked and OLED producers are not expecting to place any new equipment orders in the near future. This coincides with IHS estimates of over supply in the flexible OLED market in 2018.
According to CLSA, Samsung has a current capacity in its A3 and A4 (which should be ready by Q2 2018) OLED fabs to produce about 330-385 million OLED displays per year (11 lines, each about 15,000 monthly substrates) which SDC expects to be enough to satisfy Apple's and Samsung Electronics' demand. SDC does not see a strong demand from China's smartphone makers, surprisingly, due to the high cost of OLED displays. Without demand for larger displays (tablets/laptops) or perhaps for foldable devices, SDC's seem to be content with its current OLED capacity.