Article last updated on: Jan 06, 2019

Digitimes: SDC's 15.6" 4K OLED laptops displays cost $50-60 more than comparable LCDs

In February 2019 Samsung Display started production its new 15.6" UHD (3840x2160) OLED laptop display panels. SDC is targeting premium laptops, as these ultra high resolution panels are optimized for gaming, graphic design and video streaming.

HP Spectre x360 15 photo

Samsung already signed up a few customers - including HP with its Spectre x360, Lenovo with the Yoga C730 and Dell with the XPS 15, Dell G7 15 and the Alienware m15. According to a new report from Taiwan's Digitimes, Samsung is aggressively seeking new customers for its OLED laptop displays - and the company has pricing its 15.6" OLEDs at only $50-60 above comparable LCD displays.

The OLED Handbook, 2019 edition

We are happy to announce the eighth edition of The OLED Handbook, the most comprehensive resource on OLED technology, industry and market - now updated for 2019. The OLED industry grows and changes very fast, and the new edition include new details on the OLED mobile display market, new production fabs in China, OLED TVs, flexible OLEDs and more.

Reading this book, you'll learn all about:

  • OLED technology and materials and production processes
  • How OLEDs compare to LCD displays
  • OLED TVs, flexible, foldable and transparent OLEDs
  • The OLED lighting industry
  • The future of OLED displays and the challenges ahead

The book also provides:

  • A history of OLED development
  • A guide to OLED investment
  • A comprehensive list of OLED companies
  • A list of existing and planned AMOLED fabs
  • An introduction to quantum dots, micro-LEDs and e-paper displays

The OLED handbook has been read by hundreds of display engineers, business developers, researchers, equipment vendors, OLED material companies, private investors and others who wished to learn more about OLEDs today and in the future. I truly believe that it is the best introduction to OLED displays and lighting!

DSCC sees 1.65 million foldable OLED panels shipped in 2019, will grow to 80 million by 2023

DSCC released its latest forecast for the foldable OLED market. According to DSCC 1.65 million foldable OLED panels will ship in 2019 - which will grow to 60 million panels in 2022 and just over 80 million panels in 2023.

Foldable OLED shipments forecast (2019-2023, DSCC)

DSCC says that foldable devices should "inevitably succeed" as device makers see these devices as a way to boost high-end smartphone revenues as this market has plateaued. DSCC says that the forecast may be even cautious - although if we compare to DSCC's previous foldable OLED estimates released at the end of 2018, they have lowered their predictions slightly.

Things we learned at the first day of OLED Korea 2019

The first day of the OLED Korea 2019 conference is almost over - with some interesting lectures and talks by leading OLED companies and professionals. Here are some of the things under discussion today (highlights only):

LGD's future plans for OLED TVs at OLED Korea 2019 photo

  • Some believe there will be a real market for >$2,000 foldable OLED devices, and some call for cost reductions before real adoption could take place
  • LG Display is optimistic regarding the future of OLED TVs
  • Samsung will not commit yet to its QD-OLED technology
  • Both Cynora and Kyulux are rapidly progressing towards a long lasting TADF/HF blue - but it seems there's still work to be done
  • Idemitsu Kosan is increasing its fluorescent OLED emitter efficiency
  • Universal Display's RGBB architecture is back on the table - and the company now highlights the architecture's low blue light emission. UDC seems more optimistic then ever regarding blue PHOLED commercialization
  • Equipment maker's focus is shifting to China as Korean OLED makers will not increase capacity in the near future

DSCC: OLED equipment spending fell 7% in 2018, will fall a further 59% in 2019

DSCC says that in 2018 OLED display equipment spending fell 7% compared to 2017 to reach $12.5 billion. In 2019, DSCC predicts that OLED spending will fall a further 59% as poor mobile OLED fab utilization is still low.

Display equipment spending (2016 - 2023, DSCC)Looking further in 2019, DSCC sees OLED spending to rebound by 111% to $10.9 billion (still quite lower than in 2017) but drop 40% again in 2021 - to only $6.2 billion.

DSCC details its estimation of smartphone OLED producers market share

DSCC released the interesting (but confusing, note the legend starts at 350M) chart below, detailing the market share of smartphone OLED producers in 2016-2019. As can be seen Samsung will remain the dominant producer, but its market share in 2019 will drop from 94% in 2018 to around 85%.

OLED shipments by producer (2016-2019, DSCC)

Non-SDC shipments will increase to 73 million units in 2019 - led by LG Display (~25 million units), BOE (around 20 million) and Visionox (around 15 million units).

DSCC lowers its 2019 OLED revenue forecast to $28.6 billion

DSCC has updated its OLED market forecast for 2019, and the company now expects OLED revenues to reach $28.6 billion (up from $26.5 billion in 2018 - but lower than DSCC's previous estimate). In terms of area shipments, 2019 will see a 25% increase compared to 2018, with strong growth in both the TV and smartphone market.OLED panel shipments TV/smartphone (DSCC, 2016-2019)

Looking at OLED applications, TVs will have a market share of 42% in terms of area production, but only 9% in terms of revenues. All OLED production will reach 572 million units, growing by 16% compared to 2018.

DSCC sees low flexible OLED utilization rates in Q1 2019

DSCC says that in January 2019 flexible OLED utilization rates dropped to 39% - due to seasonal weakness and Apple's slow iPhone sales. CLSA says that February will another bad month and utilization rates will even drop slightly to 37%. In March things will improve to almost 50% - following the launch of Samsung's Galaxy S10.

Mobile LCD and OLED utilization rates (DSCC, January 2018 - March 2019)

Looking at the entire quarter, DSCC sees utilization rates dropping from 68% in Q4 2018 to 41% in Q1 2019. Glass input for all flexible OLED fabs will be down 3% from last year. Rigid OLED utilization rates have been up in 2019 - from 44% in December 2018 to 49% in January 2019, and DSCC sees it continuing to climb in Q1 2019, as a result of increased adoption of rigid OLED by Chinese smartphone makers.

CLSA: Samsung plans to increase flexible OLED shipments by 48% in 2019

CLSA released an interesting investment note and details Samsung Display's 2019 plans and expectations. Samsung's A3 flexible OLED line suffered from low utilization (52% in 2018) and Samsung hopes to improve this to 70% in 2019. Samsung shipped 145 million flexible OLEDs in 2018 and aims to sell 215 million in 2019 (a 48% increase).

Samsung W2019 photo

In 2018 Samsung shipped 7 million flexible OLEDs to Chinese phone makers, and it aims to increase this to 40-45 million in 2019 (CLSA is skeptical of Samsung's ability to meet its target - even though the company seeks to cut its prices and offer volume discounts and offer the lower specification panels to mid-range smartphones). CLSA sees SDC's average flexible OLED price declining 15% in 2019.

UBI: the AMOLED market will grow 13.8% in 2019 to reach $32.2 billion in revenues

UBI Research estimates that the OLED market will reach $32.2 billion in revenues, up from 13.8% from 2018. UBI says the the growth will come from new applications - including foldable smartphone displays, 8K OLED TVs and rollable OLED TVs. Increased yields by Chinese AMOLED makers will also contribute to the growth.

AMOLED revenue and growth 2016 Q1 to 2018 Q4 (UBI Research)
AMOLED revenues in Q4 2018 reached $7.9 billion (down 3.7% from Q3 2018 and 10.4% from Q4 2017). In the whole of 2018, revenues reached $28.3 billion, up 7.1% from 2017 ($26.4 billion). UBI sees the oversupply in the flexible OLED market to continue as high prices prevent adoption in mid-end smartphones.