CLSA sees lower demand for OLED displays in China in 2018, updates on OLED production ramp-up

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.

Oppo R11s photo

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.

Chinese OLED makers shipped almost 10 million OLED panels in 2017

Market research company Sigmaintell estimates that China-based display makers shipped 9.8 million OLED displays in 2017, mostly for smartphone applications. Everdisplay was the largest producer in terms of units, shipping 3.8 million displays (enjoying large orders from Huawei and Hisense), while Visionox was the top vendor in terms of display area shipped (30,000 square meters, out of a total 78,000 sqm produced in China in 2017).

Everdisplay HQ and 5.5-Gen Fab photo

Looking into 2018, Sigmaintell sees a large increase in production volume in 2018. Visionox landed orders from ZTE and Xiaomi and is expanding its production capacity, and BOE is also expected to increase shipments from its flexible 6-Gen AMOLED fab that will enter full capacity in Q2 2018. Finally, Tianma is also expected to increase production having won orders from Asustek Computer.

OLED Ink-jet printing market situation, early 2018

Many OLED producers believe that Ink-Jet printing of OLED emissive materials is the best way to achieve lower-cost OLED TV production, and to enable OLEDs to compete in the medium part of the TV market. Ink-Jet printing is an efficient process (less material waste compared to evaporation) and it can be very quick as well. The main drawbacks of inkjet are the limited resolution and the need for soluble emissive materials which are less efficient compared to evaporation ones.

A Kateeva OLED ink-jet printing system

These challenges are being overcome, and it seems that at least four groups (in Korea, Japan and China) are charging forward towards mass production of ink-jet printed OLEDs. Ink-jet printer makers and soluble material suppliers are also optimistic ink-jet printing commercialization will soon be here as the material performance gap is diminishing.

DSCC sees flexible smartphone OLEDs overtaking rigid ones for the first time in Q4 2017

DSCC estimates that 88 Million smartphone OLED displays were shipped in Q3 2017, which represents a 4% drop from Q2 2017 and a 13% drop from Q3 2016 - mostly due to delays in iPhone X shipments. Flexible OLED shipments were up 25% from Q2 2017 (30.4 million units).

Smartphone flexible OLED market shipments (2016-2017, DSCC)

Shipments are expected to grow significantly in Q4 2017, though, to reach 151 million units. Flexible OLEDs shipments (78.3 million) will grow 157% from last quarter and 544% from last year, and will surpass rigid OLED shipments (73.3 million) for the first time.

IHS: SDC will retain its RGB OLED market lead, will double its capacity by 2022

IHS analyst David Hsieh posted a very interesting article that discuss the global OLED industry with a special focus on China. Samsung is expected to retain its lead in this market - and will more than double its capacity between 2017 to 2022.

RGB OLED Capacity, 2012-2022 (IHS)

In five years (2022), Samsung will have a capacity to produce 16.6 million square meters of RGB OLED displays, or 52% of the global capacity. SDC will be followed by LG Display (11%), Tianma (6%), CSoT (5%), Visionox (4%) and EverDisplay (4%).

DSCC updates their OLED forecasts up, sees over $60 billion in revenues by 2022

Market research company DSCC has updated their OLED models, as the company sees more capital spending then before and a larger OLED market going forward.

OLED market revenue forecast (2016-2022, DSCC)

The OLED market in general will grow 57% in 2017, according to DSCC, to reach $23.2 billion. Growth will continue to be strong with a 50% increase in 2018 (to $34.9 billion) and a CAGR of 27% from 2016 to 2022. In 2022 the market will surpass $60 billion.

TianMa deploys Orbotech's optical inspection and testing systems in its new 6-Gen flexible OLED line in Wuhan, China

Israel-based Orbotech announced that TianMa selected the company's Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) and test systems in its new 6-Gen flexible OLED fab in Wuhan, China. Orbotech's systems will be used to optimize the quality, throughput and process efficiency at Tianma's new production line.

5.5-inch AMOLED panel produced at TianMa's 6-Gen AMOLED Fab in Wuhan

AMOLED panel produced at TianMa 6-Gen fab, Wuhan

Orbotech also reveals that Tianma's investment in this new fab will reach about $1.8 billion. The new fab has stated sample production recently and will ramp up to mass production by the end of the year. The new line capacity will reach 30,000 monthly substrates, and Tainma aims to double the capacity in 2018.

TianMa starts producing rigid and flexible AMOLED panels at its 6-Gen fab in Wuhan

TianMa Micro-Electronics announced that its 6-Gen LTPS AMOLED fab in Wuhan, China, is now starting to produce panels. This is the first 6-Gen AMOLED line in China to enter production. The new fab will produce both rigid and flexible OLEDs.

5.5-inch AMOLED panel produced at TianMa's 6-Gen AMOLED Fab in WuhanAMOLED panel produced at TianMa 6-Gen fab, Wuhan

According to reports TianMa is focusing on VR and AR devices, wearable devices and foldable devices. Last month TianMa demonstrated three OLED panels - a 5.5" FHD panel, a 5-inch FHD panel and a flexible 5.46" panel, so it's likely that the smartphone market is also in focus.

Is LG selling OLED equipment to Shanghai Tianma?

A report from SinoCast claims that LG has decided to sell OLED production equipment to Tianma. The deal was signed in May 2016 and deliveries of the equipment have now commenced.

TianMa 6-Gen AMOLED fab, Wuhan, architectural renderTianMa 6-Gen AMOLED fab, Wuhan

This is a rather strange report. First of all, the company mentioned was LG Electronics, which do not produce OLED displays - LG Display (the report does say that "LGD uses the same equipment").

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters