The OLED market size already reached USD13 billion in 2015 and technology adoption could be further accelerated once Apple starts applying OLED panels in its iPhones.
According to the market research firm, mobile phone is the largest applied market for OLED, and over 76% of OLED panels were produced for mobile phones in 2015. Though the market could diversify with OLEDs being increasingly used in emerging domains such as wearables, TVs, illumination, VR and cars.
Currently, the world’s OLED panel manufacturers are mainly concentrated in South Korea – Samsung Display and LG Display, among which the former focuses on medium and small sizes which are chiefly applied in smartphones, while the latter gives priority to large-sized products primarily for TV. Both companies are now increasing their production capacity.
Over the 2015-2017 period, Samsung Display will make total investments of USD3.6 billion to establish a novel OLED panel production line in South Korea, mostly for medium and small-sized OLED displays aimed at consumer electronics. In 2016-2017, Samsung Display will spend USD7.4 billion into the production equipment for Apple-used curved OLED display screen.
In September 2014, LG Display launched the world’s first 4K curved OLED TV. At the end of 2015, LG Display took over all the OLED illumination business of LG Chem. In July 2015, the company announced KRW1.05 trillion worth of investment to establish a 6th generation flexible OLED production line (code: E5) in Gumi Plant, Gyeongsang, South Korea for which it recently received OLED processing equipment. The planned monthly capacity of this production line is up to 7,500 pcs (be subject to glass substrates which have been put into), with mass-production to be operational by the first half of 2017.
In China, companies like EverdisplayOptronics, BOE, Tianma Micro-electronics, and Visionox are also tapping into the OLED field.
Everdisplay Optronics expects to develop flexible AMOLED display screens by 2017, foldable products by 2019, and curly products by 2020.
On November 21, 2015, BOE’s 5.5″ AMOLED production line was put into production in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, which is not only Chinese Mainland’s first 5.5″ AMOLED production line but also the world’s second 5.5″ AMOLED production line behind Samsung’s. In 2016, BOE will start the Chengdu-based 6th generation LTPS/AMOLED production line project and will add the investment of RMB24.5 billion to produce AMOLED display products, mainly targeting at medium and small-sized high-end display markets.
Tianma Micro-electronics began the construction of China’s first AMOLED pilot line in Shanghai in 2010 and has produced many samples since then. Tianma plans to build a 5.5″ production line and set up three independent OLED production lines.
In May 2015, Visionox launched its 5.5-inch AMOLEDs, sported by the concept vehicle Haval HB-02 of Great Wall Motor showcased in the Auto China 2016 exhibition.
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