The global shipments of organic light-emitting diode (OLEDs) panels surpassed 90 million units in the first quarter of the year, with Samsung Display dominating the market, data showed Thursday. According to the data released by market researcher IHS, a total of 90.8 million OLED panels were sold in the January-March period, 96.2 percent of which, or 87.35 million, were for smartphones. The smartphone panels mark a 62.8 percent rise from a year earlier, the data showed.
The rise in OLED shipments for smartphones were attributable to Chinese smartphone manufacturers opting to adopt the power-saving panel.
Also, Apple is widely expected to adopt OLED panels for its new smartphone model, fueling demand for OLED panels.
The data showed that some 2.2 percent of global OLED shipments went for smart watches, and a total of 145,000 OLED panels were used for TV in the first quarter.
Samsung Display accounted for 97.7 percent of global OLED shipments in the first quarter, followed by LG Display with 0.9 percent, and Taiwan-based AUO with 0.7 percent.
Slowing OLED TV sales?
The outlook for the OLED TV market, which is being developed by LG Electronics, has shown a downward trend this year.
IHS predicted in its report on the second quarter that the size of the OLED TV market would reach 830,000 units this year. Also, its annual OLED TV market forecast stood at 1.4 million units in 2017, 2.36 million in 2018, 4 million in 2019 and 5.8 million in 2020.
The figures are lower than the previous forecasts made in the first quarter. IHS had earlier forecasts in the first quarter that the number of OLED TV shipments would be 870,000 units this year and 8.5 million in 2020. The new 2020 forecast was down 32 percent from 8.5 million units made three months before in the first quarter.
The adjusted the OLED TV market outlook could be attributed to lower OLED yield rate than LCDs, and the fact that Samsung Electronics, which focuses on quantum dot strategy, announced that it would not take part in the OLED TV market.
LG Electronics, the sole market leader in OLED TVs, sold 113,000 OLED TVs in the first three months this year, showing a threefold growth from a year earlier. The company also expects to sell 900,000 units this year, three times higher than last year’s sales.