OLED panels and TFT-LCD panels took up 27% and 73% respectively of display panels used in smartphones in 2014, but the proportion for OLED panels will exceed 40% in 2017 due to Apple's adoption for new iPhone and further rise to 58% in comparison with 42% for TFT-LCD panels in 2018, according to LG Display senior vice president and CTO Kang In-byeong at a keynote speech at Finetech Japan 2017 taking place in Tokyo during April 5-7.
In addition to Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and China-based vendors Vivo, Oppo, Lenovo, Huawei Technologies have adopted or will adopt OLED panels for flagship smartphones. The fast growing demand has motivated LG Display to extend production of OLED panels from TV-use large sizes to smartphone- and tablet-use small to medium sizes.
In addition to Samsung Display, currently the dominant supplier of smartphone-use OLED panels, and LG Display, China-based BOE Technology, EverDisplay Optronics (Shanghai), Kunshan Govisionox Optoelectronics, Tianma Micro-electronics and Truly Opto-Electronics as well as Taiwan-based AU Optronics have been setting up or expanding OLED production capacities. Consequently, global annual production capacity for OLED panels increased from 3.6 million square meters in 2014 to 5.3 million square meters in 2016 and will further increase to 14.7 million square meters in 2018.
LG Display supplied OLED panels for LG Electronics to launch a 55-inch Full HD OLED TV for sale at US$14,999 in 2014. In 2016, LG Electronics launched 55-, 65- and 77-inch Ultra HD OLED TVs for sale and reduced price for 65-inch models in particular to US$3,499. Global TV-use OLED panel shipments increased from 160,000 units in 2014 to 900,000 units in 2016 and yield rates for such panels are on the rise.
In addition to LG Electronics, Philips, Sony, Panasonic, Turkey-based Vestel and China-based Skyworth, Konka and Changhong have launched OLED TVs.
LG Display had 90% of consolidated revenues coming from TFT-LCD panels and 10% from OLED units in 2016 and expects the ratio to change to 50:50 in 2020.