LGD to start OLED TV mass production in Guangzhou in Q3 2019, does not commit to pOLED expansion

LG Display reported its financial results for Q4 2018 - it reported an operating profit of ₩279 billion ($250 million USD) due to strong shipments of IT panels and OLED TVs. LGD however gave a weak outlook to 2019 (for its LCD business).

LG 2019 ThinQ AI OLED TV ad

LGD says that it will invest $7.1 billion in 2019 in capacity expansion, and $3.5 billion in 2020. It will divert all of its investments into OLED displays - with 60% going to large area OLED TV production and 40% going to small/medium pOLED production.

DSCC sees a slow recovery in SDC's flexible OLED utilization rates, details its smartphone OLED prices and production costs

DSCC released its cost and prices estimates for Samsung's smartphone OLEDs. For rigid OLEDs production costs range from $23 for a 5.5" FHD AMOLED to $32 for a 7.21" 2244x1080 one (see chart below). For some of its rigid OLEDs, SDC enjoys a high operating margin of 30%.

SDC rigid OLED production cost and price (Q4 2018, DSCC)

Flexible OLEDs are of course much more expensive - a 5.5" 2560x1440 panel costs almost $70, while a 6.46" 2688x1242 panel costs around $90 (as can be seen in the chart below). As in rigid OLEDs, the larger displays have a higher operating margin (up to 26% for the 6.46" panel).

You can compare DSCC's production costs estimates with the recently released IHS production costs here. IHS estimates a 5.7" rigid OLED at $18.62 (DSCC: 5.8" at $23) and a 5.8" flexible OLED at $22.61 (DSCC: 5.5" costs $70 - that's quite a difference!).

DSCC: SDC 7.3" foldable OLEDs cost $180 to produce, will drop to $90 by 2022

DSCC says that Samsung's foldable 7.3" 2152x15236 AMOLED panel (the one that will be used by Samsung's first foldable OLED device) currently costs almost $180 produce (and SDC will actually lose a bit on every panel sold).

Samsung foldable 7.3'' OLED production cost and price (2019-2022, DSCC)

SDC will be able, though, to quickly lower its production costs which will reach around $90 for each panel in 2022. Cost reductions will enable SDC to maintain a good profit margin on these foldable displays from 2020 onwards. The main reason for the current high prices are SDC's low yields on foldable AMOLEDs.

DSCC details the screens Samsung will use in its upcoming Samsung Galaxy 10 smartphone

DSCC says that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10 will come in three models:

  • The Galaxy S10 Light will use a 5.75" 2340x1080 flexible AMOLED display
  • The Galaxy S10 will sport a 6.11" 3120x1440 flexible AMOLED
  • The Galaxy S10 Plus will sport a large 6.44" 3120x1440 flexible AMOLED

DSCC also details the production cost and panel price at SDC, for the large GS10+ 6.44" AMOLED display - and how it changed from Q1 2018 (with a forecast of up to Q4 2019).

Galaxy S10+ panel cost and price estiamtes, Q1 2018 - Q4 2019 (DSCC)

DSCC: BOE managed to triple its flexible OLED production yields, increases capacity to over 1 million flexible OLED panels per month

Market research firm DSCC says that BOE managed to dramatically increase its yields - which have tripled to over 30% by the end of 2018. The company is expected to continue and improve its yields which will reach, according to DSCC, to almost 60% by the end of 2019.

Flexible OLED yields, Q1 18 - Q4 19, BOE vs SDC (DSCC)
The increased yields enabled BOE to increase its flexible OLED production at its first B7 line from 125,000 units per month in Q3 2018 to almost 1 million panels per month in Q4 2018. BOE's main customer is Huawei - with its Mate 20 Pro. The increased yields means that panel production costs are falling - and DSCC actually expects BOE's production costs to fall below SDC's by the end of 2019 as BOE's fab costs are subsidized - as can be seen in the image below.

Here come the OLED laptops - SDC to start producing 15.6" UHD OLEDs next month

Samsung Display announced that it will start mass producing its new 15.6" UHD (3840x2160) OLED display panels in February 2019. 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

At CES we saw three companies that announced 15" OLED laptops - HP with its Spectre x360, Lenovo with the Yoga C730 and Dell with the XPS 15, Dell G7 15 and the Alienware m15. It is likely that at least some of these laptops will start shipping in March 2019 when SDC can start supplying the panels.

InZiv raises $2.5 million to develop next-generation OLED inspection tools

Israeli-based InZiv announced that it has successfully closed a Series A round, raising $2.5 million from Maverick Ventures Israel.

Using proprietary technology, InZiv designs and manufactures inspection equipment based on highly specialized nano-scale optics and near-field microscopy. InZiv's equipment is specifically designed to test next-generation display - such as OLEDs, Micro-LEDs and QLEDs. InZiv says that its nano-optical and metrological inspection equipment offers the ability to study a wide variety of defects not detectable with existing tools.

Business Korea: LGD delays the construction of its P10 fab

Towards the end of 2015 LG Display announced that it plans to build a new OLED fab (P10) in Paju in a $8.7 billion investment. The P10 was supposed to produce both LCD and OLED displays (mostly OLED TV panels, but also mid-sized flexible OLEDs), and production was planned to begin towards the end of 2018.

LG P10 fab building (December 2018)

In 2017, we heard reports that LGD decided to cancel the LCD production at the P10 fab and focus exclusively on OLED displays. A new report from Business Korea confirms this report - and says that LG also decided to postpone the production at the P10 as the shift to OLED technologies is challenging - especially as LGD intends to produce OLEDs on 10.5-Gen substrates for the first time at the P10 fab.

BOE announces plans for its fourth flexible OLED line, in Fuzhou, Fujian

Earlier this month we reported that BOE started to construct its 3rd 6-Gen flexible AMOLED production line in Chongqing's Liangjiang district (the B12 line). The Chongqing line will join BOE's first flexible 6-Gen OLED fab in Chengdu (the B7) and its second line in Mianyang.

BOE now announced plans for another large investment in a new flexible OLED fab, this one in Fuzhou, Fujian. This fab will be similar to BOE's other fabs - a 6-Gen (1500×1850 mm) line with a capacity of 48,000 substrates. The investment will total 46.5 billion Yuan (about $6.75 billion USD). This fourth line will bring BOE's total flexible OLED capacity to 192,000 monthly substrates.

BOE starts to construct its 3rd 6-Gen flexible OLED fab in Chongqing

According to reports from China, last week BOE started to construct its 3rd 6-Gen flexible AMOLED production line in Chongqing's Liangjiang district (the B12 line). The investment in the new fab will total 46.5 billion Yuan, or about $7.3 billion USD.

The B12 line will have a capacity of 48,000 monthly substrates - which will bring BOE's total flexible OLED capacity to 144,000 monthly substrates (second only to Samsung).

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