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.
In June 2017 JOLED announced that it started to sample 21.6" 4K OLED panels, with plans to initiate low volume production at its 4.5-Gen pilot inkjet production line. JOLED announced today that it has began commercial shipments of these panels. We do not know JOLED's first customer but it is likely to be Sony.
UBI Research is tracking the price of premium TV sold on Amazon.com in the US. As competition intensifies, the price gap between OLED and LCD TVs keeps getting lower - to the point where is not much difference between a high end Samsung QLED TV and LG's OLEDC7 OLED TVs.
In December 2016, the price gap between a 65" LG OLED TV to a 65" Samsung SUHD TV was about $1,000. The price gap as of today is only about $300. The price gap for a 55" TV is even lower (around $200).
According to the Nikkei Asian Review, JOLED aims to raise 100 billion Yen (almost $900 million) from Japanese companies, and it has already approached Sony, Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon and Sumitomo. If this plans fails JOLED may turn to foreign companies, including Chinese ones.
According to Business Korea, Sony is enjoying "explosive" demand for its OLED TVs since the beginning of Q2 2017, and the Japanese TV maker has reached out to LGD asking to double OLED TV shipments.
Sony will receive a total of 300,000 OLED TV panels from LGD in 2017, and it aims to order more than 600,000 panels per year starting in 2019 (once LGD can increase its OLED TV capacity). The Korean report suggested that Sony may assist LGD with an investment to secure the capacity.
JOLED's CEO, Nobuhiro Higashiiriki, said in a conference that these first samples were shipped to Sony, which may become JOLED's first customer. JOLED says that the company managed to achieve a high quality and long lifetime, which was a challenge due to the printing process used.