Samsung Display


2022-03-31

[Russia-Ukraine] Repercussions of Russian-Ukrainian War and Rising Inflation, E-sports LCD Monitor Shipments Estimated at Approximately 26.1 Million Units in 2022, Annual Growth Reduced to 14%, Say TrendForce

According to the latest TrendForce research, although factors such as panel and component mismatch and supply issues and the fading effects of the stay-at-home economy influenced shipments of e-sports LCD monitors (defined as refresh rates above 100Hz) in 2021, many brands targeted e-sports LCD monitors in 4Q21 with a strategy of aggressively reducing e-sports product pricing to prompt a volume surge and successfully boosted shipments of e-sports LCD monitors to 22.8 million units in 2021, with an annual growth rate of 24%. However, growth momentum will slow in 2022. In addition to long lead times, the most significant variable remains the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian war. If the war continues, it will impair European market demand and affect the shipment performance of e-sports-related products. In addition, the Russian-Ukrainian war has triggered a surge in the prices of crude oil, metal, and agricultural commodities, spiking previously growing inflationary pressure. Thus, TrendForce conservatively estimates shipments of e-sports LCD monitors at 26.1 million units in 2022, with an annual growth rate of 14%.

In terms of product types, the market share of flat-screen e-sport LCD monitors reached 59% in 2021, officially surpassing the 41% of curved monitors. Last year, when Samsung Display (SDC) faded out of the supply chain, it caused a shortage in the supply of curved panels, increasing the magnitude of price hikes. In addition, the supply of flat IPS e-sports products continued to increase, resulting in a decline in the competitiveness of the curved panel market. In 2022, the market share of flat and curved panels will remain unchanged but the supply of curved gaming panels from the two major suppliers, AUO and CSOT, will continue to grow with curved e-sports panel pricing the first to fall. The cost-effective advantage of whole curved e-sports devices has reemerged, which will bump the market share of curved e-sports LCD monitors to 43%.

In terms of e-sports product resolution, FHD (1920×1080), QHD (2560×1440), UHD (3840×2160), and Ultra-wide (2560×1080/3440×1440/5120×1440, etc.), in 2021, FHD captured the highest market share at 62.9% followed by QHD, Ultra-wide, and UHD. TrendForce believes, in addition to continuously improving e-sports product specifications, the simultaneous improvement of resolution will assist monitor brands in maintaining or improving profitability. Especially since, starting from 4Q21, the supply of 34-inch (21:9) wide-screen VA products increased significantly. This coupled with noticeable panel price reductions, expands profit margin and allows monitor brands more room to operate and is expected to drive wide-screen monitors to compete for a 13.4% market share in 2022.

2022-03-15

OLED TV Panel Shipments Performed Well in 2021, Korean Panel Manufacturers Completely Dominating Supply

Continued oversupply in the LCD display industry has led to a decline in the YoY profitability of panel manufacturers. As one of the key countries leading the technological development of the global display industry, Korean panel manufacturers took the lead in announcing a cutback in LCD TV products and a transition to OLED distribution.

The capacity of OLED large generational fabs building gradually, market share seized through slight price reductions

In 2021, the production capacity of LG Display’s Gen8.5 line in Guangzhou and Paju, South Korea continued to climb, obviously contributing to an increase in shipments. In addition, as OLED pricing dipped and LCD pricing advanced, the price gap between OLED TV panels and LCD panels diminished to a multiple of 2.5 in January, with the differential narrowing to a multiple of 1.8 by the middle of the year. In addition to the dwindling price divergence, OLED TVs are positioned as high-specification products, priced higher than ordinary LCD TVs at retail. After the contraction in profits posted by LCD brands, these companies delved industriously into the OLED market, driving growth in annual shipments of OLED TV up as much as 70.8% to 8.0 million units.

Supply completely dominated by Korean panel manufacturers, the trend will change in 2024 at the earliest

As an industry leader, LG Display officially began mass production of white OLED TV panels in 2017. LG Display’s hold on the exclusive supply of OLED products was broken after Samsung Display officially mass-produced QD OLED TV panels at the end of 2021. However, due to differing technologies, LG remains an exclusive supplier in the realm of white OLED TV panels.

In terms of Taiwanese manufacturers, AUO and Innolux have focused on the rollout of Mini and Micro LED panels but have not put much effort into large generational fabs for OLED panels. Japanese panel makers Sharp Display & SPDG likewise have not given OLEDs much thought. In terms of Chinese panel makers, although these companies are actively building small and medium generational fabs for OLED panels, the rollout of large generational fabs for OLED panels is still relatively slow. Therefore, the entire market structure may need to wait until 2024, when TCL’s T8 Gen8.5 inkjet OLED production line hits heavy volume before there is a chance to see any changes. However, according to the capacity observation currently planned by TCL, overall supply will be quite limited in the initial stages. Although HKC’s Changsha plant has a planned production capacity corresponding to a large generational fab for OLED panels, there is no clear plan for a specific mass-production timeframe. Thus, TrendForce expects that Korean panel makers will remain the vanguard of the trend towards OLED TV panels in the next 3 to 4 years.

(Image credit: Unsplash)

2021-12-29

Non-Apple notebook manufacturers still unlikely adopt Mini LED displays while SDC aggressively ventures into notebook display market with OLED panels

Despite their similar physical dimensions, notebook panels and tablet panels entail drastically different market conditions. Being two of the strongest performers in the relatively oligopolistic tablet market, Apple and Samsung collectively possess a nearly 60% market share, thereby forcing other brands to adopt a relatively passive strategy that prioritizes conserving market share over adopting emerging technologies. In contrast, the notebook computer market has remained competitive throughout the years, with market leaders HP, Lenovo, and Dell holding the absolute advantage in the commercial notebook segment. Even so, Acer and Asus still enjoy some degree of dominance in the consumer segment, not to mention the fact that Apple has carved a niche market of its own thanks to the absolute differentiation of MacBooks from the rest of the field.

With greater diversity of brands comes greater competition in the market. As such, companies must now continue to refresh their product specs and product ranges in order to stay competitive. In this regard, Mini LED products would appear to be likelier to see adoption in the notebook computer market than in the tablet market. It should be pointed out that SDC (Samsung Display Co.) holds the sole patent for OLED tablet panels – the main competitor of display solutions featuring Mini LED backlights and LCD panels. Although SDC is still figuring out its medium- and long-term strategies in the tablet market, it has been relatively aggressive in capturing share in the notebook market. For instance, SDC’s OLED notebook panels have been gradually cannibalizing market shares from LCD notebook panels since 2021. To date, more than four million notebook computers featuring Samsung’s OLED panels have been shipped, accounting for a nearly 2% market share. In addition, almost all mainstream notebook brands have started carrying their respective lineup of OLED notebooks.

The meteoric rise of OLED models in the notebook market this year can primarily be attributed to SDC, which is the sole supplier of OLED notebook panels. Whereas SDC previously allocated most of its production capacity for OLED (Rigid OLED) panels to smartphone displays, the successive ramp-up of Gen 6 production lines for OLED (Flexible OLED) panels in China has resulted in a hypercompetitive market with plummeting quotes that both placed significant downward pressure on the existing price band of rigid OLED panels and negatively affected demand for rigid OLED panels. Given that the aforementioned factors are unlikely to reverse course, SDC has therefore decided to reallocate their production capacity for rigid OLED panels from smartphone displays to notebook displays instead, since the former has continued to decline as an added value while the latter appears to have much more potential for growth.

Incidentally, SDC has spent considerable time cultivating its presence in the notebook computer market. The company formerly positioned its OLED solutions exclusively in the flagship market segment, with UHD/4K being the only resolution available on its OLED notebook panels. The adoption of these products was lukewarm at best due to OLED panels’ prohibitive prices and the very limited target audience for UHD models. Moving to 2020, however, SDC adopted a more ambitious approach to the notebook market and subsequently released a host of OLED panels featuring Full HD resolution in accordance with the mainstream market’s demands. By doing so, SDC was able to not only substantially lower its OLED notebook panel quotes, but also align its products with the enormous total addressable market of mainstream notebook consumers, in turn skyrocketing notebook brands’ willingness to adopt OLED panels.

Not only have OLED displays enjoyed a longstanding presence in the high-end smartphone and TV segments, but most consumers also generally understand that OLED panels are superior to traditional LCD panels with respect to such specifications as color saturation, contrast levels, and even physical thickness. For notebook computer brands, adopting OLED panels in their displays allows said brands to cut down on costs that would otherwise have to be spent on either educating the average consumer on popular science topics related to display technology or marketing the brands’ display solutions, as OLED displays’ superior specs are already widely known. That is why almost all mainstream brands, ranging from Asus to HP and Dell, have released OLED-equipped notebook computers, some of which even boast consumer-oriented product positions and consumer-friendly retail prices.

On the other hand, although the integration of Mini LED backlights significantly bolsters LCD panels’ traditionally weak contrast levels, significant marketing costs are required to ensure consumers understand the benefits of this new backlighting technology. While OLED solutions are already widely recognized in the market, Mini LED products’ vast marketing costs represent a significant competitive weakness against OLED products. Furthermore, manufacturing costs of display solutions that feature Mini LED backlights and LCD panel modules are about 30-50% higher than those of equivalent solutions featuring OLED panel modules due to the former’s complex design, high number of components, and limited economy of scale. Hence, high manufacturing costs are yet another obstacle preventing brands from investing in Mini LED development.

(Image credit: PikiWizard)

2021-08-16

Annual Curved Monitor Shipment for 2021 Expected to Reach 15.6 Million Units Due to Component Shortages in 1H21 and Slowing Demand in 2H21, Says TrendForce

Shipment of curved monitors for 1H21 was constrained by the shortage of such components as panels and scaler ICs, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. As countries begin to lift pandemic-related restrictions following increased vaccinations in Europe and the US in 2H21, consumer demand generated by the stay-at-home economy has undergone a noticeable slowdown as well. Taking these factors into account, TrendForce, therefore, expects annual curved monitor shipment for 2021 to reach about 15.6 million units, a 10% YoY increase.

TrendForce finds that curved monitor shipment for 2Q21 reached about 3.41 million units, a 6.1% QoQ decrease. Samsung once again took a leadership position with a quarterly shipment of 1.09 million units and a 32% market share. Coming in second place was AOC/Philips, which posted a 12% market share with a shipment of 410,000 units. Finally, MSI and Dell each took third place and fourth place with 10% and 8% in market share, respectively.

It should be pointed out that, SDC, the largest supplier of curved monitor panels last year, reduced their production of LCD monitor panels considerably in 1H21. As a result, brands which had heavily relied on SDC’s panel supply, including Samsung Electronics, AOC/Philips, HP, and HKC, experienced QoQ declines of 21%, 36%, 64%, and 32%, respectively, in their shipments of curved monitors for 2Q21.

Conversely, LGE, Acer, and Dell saw QoQ increases of 110%, 47%, and 38%, respectively, in their curved monitor shipment for 2Q21 against the market downtrend. These companies’ growths can be attributed to the fact that they did not adopt SDC panels for most of the models in their curved monitor lineups while SDC was the predominant supplier of curved monitor panels. LGE, in particular, did not procure panels from SDC at all. Instead, these aforementioned companies have mostly been sourcing panels from AUO or CSOT for their newly released curved monitors, meaning they will be relatively unaffected by SDC’s shuttering going forward.

For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Display Research, please click here, or email Ms. Vivie Liu from the Sales Department at vivieliu@trendforce.com

(Cover image source: Unsplash)

2021-07-27

High-End Notebook Panels Projected to Surpass 20% Market Share in 2022 as Spotlight Falls on Oxide/LTPS/OLED Technologies, Says TrendForce

The massive rise in market demand for notebook computers in response to distance learning needs and WFH applications from 2020 to 2021 has generated not only a double-digit growth in notebook panel shipment, but also a price hike of more than 40% for notebook panels, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. As various suppliers subsequently scramble to manufacture OLED, LTPS, and oxide panels, TrendForce forecasts these high-end notebook panels to reach a 17.8% market share in 2021 and 21.4% in 2022.

Panels based on OLED technology are primarily supplied by SDC, whose OLED notebook panel shipment for 2020 reached 800,000 pcs. SDC is expected to ship more than four million pcs of OLED notebook panels in 2021, with room for further growth in 2022. In addition to SDC, EDO is also expected to begin mass producing OLED notebook panels in 2H21-1H22. As such, TrendForce expects OLED panels to reach a 1.3% penetration rate in the overall notebook panel market this year. Although BOE and CSOT are currently fully engaged in Hybrid OLED development, Hybrid OLED panels will not enter mass production until 2023 due to technological and cost-related bottlenecks that are yet to be resolved.

The top three suppliers of LTPS panels are, in order, AUO, CSOT, and Tianma. Thanks to such advantages as low power consumption and narrow borders, LTPS panels are widely used in high-end notebook computers. In the overall notebook panel market, LTPS panels are expected to reach a penetration rate of 3.7% this year. With regards to LTPS suppliers, AUO will likely expand its L6K fab’s production capacity of LTPS notebook panels in 2022. Innolux, on the other hand, currently allocates the LTPS production capacity in its Luzhu-based panel fab primarily for smartphone displays. Innolux is expected to mass produce LTPS panels for notebooks some time in 2H21. CSOT and Tianma will likewise gradually increase the share of LTPS notebook panels in their overall panel production in spite of their lack of capacity expansion plans at the moment.

Finally, oxide panels are primarily supplied by LGD, Sharp, and BOE. Much like LTPS panels, oxide panels have the advantage of low power consumption and narrow borders. However, oxide panels are relatively more cost-competitive compared to LTPS panels, as the former require fewer mask layers during the manufacturing process. Hence, oxide panels currently possess the highest market share among all high-end notebook panel types. TrendForce expects oxide panels to reach a 12.8% penetration rate in the notebook panel market this year. With regards to suppliers, IVO and HKC are expanding the production capacities at the Kunshan-based Gen 5 fab and Mianyang-based Gen 8.6 fab, respectively, for oxide panels this year, while CSOT is also planning the same for its new Gen 8.6 fab in Guangzhou. Once these three suppliers finalize their expansion activities, their oxide panel capacities are expected to exceed 70K sheet/m, and these capacities will be gradually available for mass production across 2022-2024.

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