Chinese panel manufacturers shipped more than one million AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) smartphone displays for the first time in the third quarter of 2016.
While the Chinese makers only make up less than 2 percent of the AMOLED smartphone panel market in terms of shipments, hitting the one million unit mark in a quarter shows significant improvements in their manufacturing technology, according to IHS Markit.
IHS Markit estimates that total shipments of AMOLED displays for smartphones set a new record of 101 million units in third quarter 2016. While Samsung Display continues to retain its dominant position with 99.7 million units, three Chinese panel makers -- EverDisplay Optronics (EDO), Tianma Micro-electronics and Govisionox Optoelectronics -- shipped 1.4 million units for the quarter, representing a sharp increase from the approximate 590,000 units in the previous quarter.
According to IHS Markit, AMOLED display penetration among Chinese smartphone brands is expected to increase from 8 percent in 2015 to 13.6 percent in 2016. However, due to the tight supply of AMOLED panels from Samsung Display, many domestic smartphone brands are turning to local Chinese panel makers. For example, after Xiaomi and Huawei failed to secure their orders of AMOLED panels from Samsung, they struck partnerships with EDO, the leading AMOLED panel suppliers in China, with the promise of mass production and product reliability. EDO, which started operating its Shanghai-based Gen 4.5 AMOLED fab in 2014, shipped one million units of AMOLED panels in the third quarter of 2016, up from 0.2 million units in the first quarter. Similarly, Tianma and Govisionox have also developed business relationships with ZTE as its secondary supplier of AMOLED smartphone displays.