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Fierce Price Competition Amongst WOLED TVs, QD-OLED TVs, and Neo QLED TVs

We experienced fierce price competition in the first half of 2022 among premium TVs with a launch price of $2,000 or more. It will be interesting to see how the Amazon Prime Day event scheduled for July will affect TV prices.
2022 OLED TV prices until June 2022 was analyzed based on 65 inch TVs. The standard was the selling price on Bestbuy.com and Sony’s QD-OLED TV selling price on their official website.
LG Electronics’ WOLED TVs B2, C2, and G2 released in March were $2,300, $2,500, and $3,200, respectively. Samsung Electronics’ QD-OLED TV S95B was $3,000. Sony’s WOLED TV A80K was priced at $3,800 and QD-OLED TV A95K was priced at $4,000.

In June, the price of LG Electronics’ G2 model fell by $200, forming a price difference of $500 for each series. Samsung Electronics’ S95B model continues to maintain a price difference of $200 lower than LG Electronics’ high-end model G2. Sony lowered the price of the WOLED TV A80K by $300, while maintaining the price of QD-OLED TV A95K.
Samsung Electronics’ S95B and LG Electronics’ high-end OLED TV G2 are in heavy price competition. Sony is setting the price of QD-OLED TV higher than WOLED TV.
The price competition is also fierce between OLED TVs from each set makers and Neo QLED TVs with Samsung Electronics’ mini-LED technology.
As of June, the prices of Samsung Electronics’ 4K Neo QLED TVs, QN85B, QN90B, and QN95B, are $1,800, $2,600, and $3,300, respectively. The 8K Neo QLED TVs QN800B and QN900B are $3,300 and $4,800.

The prices of Samsung Electronics’ 4K Neo QLED TV series and LG Electronics’ 4K OLED TV series are similar. Within Samsung Electronics’ entire TV series, QD-OLED TV is located between 4K Neo QLED and 8K Neo QLED. Sony’s OLED TV series, which is highly evaluated in terms of picture quality, is competing in price with Samsung Electronics’ 8K Neo QLED TV series.
Although this price trend is expected to continue this year, aggressive marketing following the Amazon Prime event in the second half of the year and the Qatar World Cup is expected to be strong variables. Attention should be paid to how LG Electronics’ OLED TV with micro lens array technology, which is expected to be released next year, will affect the premium TV market in the future.

Analysis of 65-inch Premium TV Price Trends in the First Quarter of 2022

We analyzed the prices of 65-inch TVs of Samsung Electronics’ QLED TVs, OLED TVs from LG Electronics and Sony, and LG Electronics’ QNED TVs until March 2022.

The models we investigated at Samsung Electronics were 4K high-end model QN90A, 4K entry-level models QN85A and QN80A, and 8K models QN800A and QN900A. The models at LG Electronics were OLED TVs A1, C1, and G1 models and QNED TVs QN90UP and QN99UP. The models at Sony Electronics were OLED TV XR65A80J and XR65A90J.

The prices of Samsung Electronics’ 4K models QN90A, QN85A, and QN80A were $2600, $2200, $1700, respectively and the 8K models QN900A and QN800A were $5000 and $3500, respectively. The launch prices of LG Electronics’ OLED TVs A1, C1, and G1 were $2000, $2300, and $3000, respectively while the QNED TVs QNED90UP and QNED99UP were $1600 and $2700, respectively. Sony’s OLED TVs XR65A80J and XR65A90J were priced at $2800 and $4000, respectively.

 

As of March, the highest-priced 65-inch premium TV model was Sony’s XR65A90J. The lowest-priced model was Samsung Electronics’ QN65QN80A.

The prices of most of Samsung Electronics’ products have been falling since December. As of March, Samsung Electronics’ 80A, 85A, and 90A models are priced at $150, $200, and $500 lower than LG Electronics’ A1, C1, and G1 models, respectively, to induce consumption.

The price of LG Electronics’ OLED A1 and G1 models did not change after the last $100 price reduction in January and the C1 model has maintained the price of $1800 since October 2021. The price of LG Electronics’ QNED90UP did not change and the QNED99UP maintained a price of $2500, down $200 from its launch price.

Sony’s XR65A80J, which had dropped to $1800 in October 2021, recovered to $2000 in December and has maintained it until March. The XR65A90J has been steadily dropping in price since December 2021, forming a price of $3000 in March.

 

[MWC 2019] The new form factor, foldable phone wars heat up

Reporter : Daejeong Yoon

Smartphone makers are promoting the new form factor, foldable phones at MWC 2019 started on February 27 and it runs until 29 in Barcelona Spain.

The show is buzzing with products from big-name tech companies, including Samsung Electronics and Huawei,TCL, LG Electronics being unveiled. That includes a variety of phones with foldable screens.

Samsung unveiled foldable phone ‘Galaxy Fold’ to customer, highly touted at the Samsung Galaxy unpacked event.

In folding ‘Galaxy Fold’ features a 7.3-inch QXGA + resolution OLED screen and it was built to be compact size with 4.6-inch HD + resolution OLED when folded.

And Huawei announced its own foldable phone “Mate X” uses roll out foldable technology, it is surrounded by a 6.6-inch main OLED on the front and a 6.38-inch on the back. It is 8.7 inches when it is opened, 1.4 inches bigger than Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Fold.

Mate X’s front display has 2480 × 1148 resolution with a 19.5: 9 aspect ratio. The back OLED has a 2480 × 892 resolution with a 25: 9 aspect ratio. When you flip it open, the resolution is 2480 × 2200 with an aspect ratio of 8: 7.1. .

Also, TCL announced the prototype device uses the company’s proprietary “DragonHinge” mechanism to fold and unfold the screen, it has 7.2-inch screen.

According to TCL, this device will build a production version that is slated for release by 2021.

Lastly, LG showed off V50 which is similar to a folding phone, it does have an optional case with a whole second screen on it. With two near-identical phone displays next to each other, the functional split-screen allows multitasking and gaming easily.

55 inch and 65 inch OLED TV prices proximity to premium LCD TV

Recently, Sony’s 65 inch OLED TV, XBR65A1E, is price at US$ 300 more than Samsung’s QN65Q7 on the Best Buy basis. Prices of LED TV and LCD TV are becoming increasingly competitiveness in the premium TV market.

As of January 16, Best Buy compares the price of OLED TVs between LG’s C8 series, Sony’s A1E series and Samsung’s Q7F series.

<55 inch premium TV price comparison>

LG’s OLED 55C8 prices dropped 47% from March 2018 to US$ 1,700, which is only US$ 200 higher than Samsung’s QN55Q7.

<65 inch premium TV price comparison>

In the 65 inch TV market, LG’s OLED65C8 price dropped 30% from March 2018 to US$ 2,700, while Sony fell 40% to US$ 2,500, which is higher than Samsung’s QN65Q7 by US$ 500 and US$ 300. The prices gap has been greatly reduced.

In the premium TV market, OLED TVs are rapidly catching up with LCD TV prices because LG Display’s OLED production yield stabilization is the biggest factor.

LG Display is currently constructing Gen8 OLED lines in Guangzhou and Gen10.5 lines in Paju. As a result, the production of large size OLED will increase further, and the OLED TV market will become more prominent in the premium TV market.

LG OLED TV was selected as the best TV for 3 consecutive years

At the best 2018 TV released recently by Consumer Reports, US consumer magazine, LG Electronics’ 65-inch OLED TV ‘OLED65C8PUA’ was selected as the best product among all the products.

<LG Electronics’ OLED65C8PUA, Source: lg.com>

Consumer Reports notes that the OLED65C8 has a good balance of price and performance. With the excellent quality of images including excellent high definition, UHD performance, and infinite viewing angles, it mentions that ThinQ AI platform, an artificial intelligence platform, is also excellent.

LG Electronics’ OLED TV series has remained in the first place for three consecutive years since being selected as the best product in 2016. In particular, the OLED TV released this year was upgraded to higher quality by installing ‘Alpha 9′, a proprietary image quality chip developed by LG Electronics, to reduce noise to half compared with previous models, and to achieve accurate colors with more sophisticated color coordinates.

On the other hand, LG Electronics’ OLED TV continues to secure its position in the premium TV market. LG Electronics announced at the conference call held on April, 26th that the sales revenue and operating profit of its HE (Home Entertainment) business division were recorded KRW 4.12 trillion and KRW W577.3 billion, respectively in the first quarter of 2018. In particular, OLED TVs and UHD TVs led the growth. The operating margin reached 14.0%.

According to LG Electronics, it will continue to operate TV business with profitability. The proportion of OLED TV sales is expected to grow from 10 percent last year to mid 10% ~20% of the total TV sales this year.

2018 MWC- Release of LG Electronics’ V30S model, postponing announcement of new smart phone

LG Electronics released some of its stance, through 2018 MWC, on upgrading the entire mobile lineup, which led to lots of curiosities by the various related articles.

According to the exhibitors, the company will try various strategies from this year and will not necessarily follow its competitors in launching new models. In terms of the overall model reorganization of the G series and the V series, it has decided to concentrate on the essence of the phone for the time being rather than making a big change. With regard to the V30S’s release, it is said that V30S is different from V30 in terms of taking bright and clear pictures in the dark place by improving the illumination including AI application to the camera modules, and the enhancement of the stereo system. Also, V30 users might be able to experience soon the same performance as V30S through software upgrade.

Though it was not revealed at this MWC exhibition, the new premium mobile model to be launched this year will adopt the ‘ ThinQ AI’. It was announced that the new model was released after the V30 in a separate private booth; however, the release time has not yet been confirmed.

Regarding 5G, which is one of the biggest trends in this exhibition, North America and other regions are rapidly moving, and LG Electronics has also been working hard on this inclusive of the development of foldable smart phone.

Unlike last year’s show with various watch models, LG Electronics’ MWC booth is a little reduced as it seems to prepare for the next. The V30S is the only OLED display product, and most of the exhibits highlighted the enhanced performances of the V30S, such as the experience of a Hi-Fi QUAD stereo system through wearing a headset and the experience of a camera’s Bright Mode in the darkroom. In addition, the K10 (K10, K10 + – 5.3 inch HD) series, which are entry level models, has been released through this exhibition.

LG Electronics Will Expand OLED TV Shipments to More Than 5 Million Units by 2020

LG Electronics announced through its Q4 2017 earnings conference call, the sales of HE (Home Entertainment) Division increased by more than 10% compared to the same period of last year due to the demand for high-demand season of TV market and the sales of premium TV.

Regarding the 2018 forecast, “there are still external environmental risks such as exchange rate fluctuations, but the global TV market will increase with sporting events”, they added.

As a result, the HE Division will pursue sales growth through marketing centered on premium TVs while maintaining a stable profit structure through continuous cost-cutting activities.

They answered to the question when OLED TV shipments exceed 5 million units, “OLED TV shipments in 2017 were doubled compared to 2016 and the sales are expected to rise at a similar level in 2018”. And, “if this trend continues, that point will be 2020″, they said.

They also emphasized that it is more important for OLED TVs to have a premium position in the TV market rather than shipments, and how much they will secure OLED TVs.

On the other hand, the sales of MC(mobile communication) Division increased 9% QoQ to KRW3.655 trillion thanks to the release of LG V30, a premium smartphone equipped with OLED, in the fourth quarter of last year. However, the division posted an operating loss of KRW213.2 billion due to increased costs of smartphone major parts such as memory and marketing expenses.

In order to overcome these operating losses, MC Division plans to increase customer satisfaction by implementing the strategies that enhance product completeness and reliability.

The MC Division said, “We will release the next strategy model within the first half of the year when it is deemed to be ready enough after securing its competitiveness rather than pursuing the timing of competitors.”

In addition, the next strategic model will strengthen AI ​​function, audio and camera functions, which are the strengths of LG Electronics. Until the next strategic model is launched, we will continue to release upgraded and mid-priced models of LG V30 and G6. At the same time, we will minimize sales losses by reducing costs with our unique platform.

[CES 2018] OLED TV in 17 Types to be Displayed Compared to 2017, and OLED Manufacturers to be Expanded Further

By Hana Oh (hanaoh@ubiresearch.com)

The number of OLED TVs exhibited at CES 2018 increased to 31, which was a significant increase of 17 from CES 2017. The number of OLED TV companies that exhibited at CES 2018 were 7 including LG Electronics, Sony, Panasonic and Skyworth.

At CES 2018, OLED TVs were exhibited with 6 for 55-inch, 19 for 65-inch, and 6 for 77-inch. 65-inch OLED TVs were most on display, and it was noticeable that many companies were focusing on 65-inch OLED TV products. 77-inch OLED TVs in 6 types same as 55-inch were exhibited so that it was found to be included in the main lineup.

In addition, the display resolution of all OLED TVs was UHD because UHD products were mainly displayed according to consumers’ demand for high-definition TV. OLED TVs with FHD resolution had been exhibited until 2015, and only OLED TVs with UHD resolution have been on display since 2016.

Meanwhile, LG Display’s Vice Chairman Han Sang-beom said, “We will raise the sales portion of OLEDs to 40% of total sales by 2020” in a press conference on 8th local time, which implied that OLED TV market will be more expanded.

In addition, Vice Chairman Han Sang-beom said that two major Chinese companies will join the OLED market. As a result, the number of OLED manufacturers will grow from 13 to 15, including LG Electronics, Sony and Panasonic so that the OLED companies are expected to be expanded further.

OLED TV, which is currently leading the premium TV market, is expected to see a bigger rise.

[CES 2018] This is the era of “Connected”

By Hana Oh (hanaoh@ubiresearch.com)

“Connected” is the theme of largest number of exhibitors participating in 2018 CES. In the future, home appliances and electronic goods such as TV, washing machine, refrigerator, and automobiles will be connected to people and operated with artificial intelligence (AI).

CES 2018 is a chance for many set-makers, including LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics, to highlight both that electronic goods are connected with users as it is connected and converged going beyond single primary function and using electronic good equals to the user’s “life style”. “Connect” and “Expansion” is a way for many companies to show how they communicate with the upcoming new era: LG electronics launches new brand of Thin Q, Samsung Electronics suggests connected city phone and life style through connection of phones with consumer electronics, and Intel displays AI-applied applications, and autonomous cars.

<“ThinQ” of LG Electonics >

Now, display is changing in order to facilitate and enable the “Connectedness” of these electronic devices. If display was simply recognized as image projection in the past, now it becomes a tool of “Communications”. “Connected” without display seems incomplete as it recognizes the user through display and extend from information output to information selection and recognition of correct information.

OLED is expected to apply to 5G and AI favorably as it is applied to diverse electronic products including TV, mobile devices and automobiles thanks to flexibility of product design and superior color presentation.

<’AI’ of Intel>

< ‘connected city’ of Samsung Electronics>

[CES 2018] OLED TV exhibition from major set manufacturers

On 8 January 2018, the largest electronic show is held at Enclave Convention Center in Las Vegas, United States.

Major electronic companies such as LG Electronics, Sony, Vestel, Changhong, Skyworth presented OLED TV as main exhibition. In particular, Samsung Electronics’ “Micro LED” exhibition received a great deal of attention.  Samsung Electronics unveiled the world’s first “micro LED” technology-applied 146-inch modular TV, “The Wall.” People came to see the product and it was heated up in a hot issue. Samsung Electronics emphasized that this product is a future screen that is unlimited in image quality, size and form. Through the implementation of the local dimming 3000, “The Wall”, which was unveiled at the exhibition show is developed by brightness, contrast ratio, color reproduction and black display compared to the existing display.

<‘Micro LED TV ‘The Wall’ of Samsung Electronics’>

Especially, the existing “Mini LED” products were exhibited along with “The Wall” for comparison of exhibition. And the excellence of “Micro LED” was outstanding. “Mini LED” products was little far from the large display as pixels and the lines of each module were shown on the screen.

LG Electronics, Sony, Changhong and other companies presented 65-inch and 77-inch OLED TV display products including Sound Acoustic OLED TV products. In particular, Konka reflected the trend that TV is a part of furniture, not just electronic products and it consists of a set design that took advantages of Chinese traditional atmosphere.

In addition, many set manufacturers have demonstrated the advantages of OLED TV, which is the lightest and thinnest through “Wall Paper TV” and “Slim” concepts.

<A8F Bravia OLED TV of Sony>

<OLED TV of Kongka>

‘TCL’, which occupies a side of QLED TV showed more advanced QLED TV in image quality and color reproduction range. According to the person in charge of TCL, QD dominated the portion of the current market therefore, many manufacturers are producing Quantum dot LCD, and also considering OLED TV launches. The person in charge emphasized that they are building factories in China that produce only OLED.

LG Electronics is a leading OLED TV company and showed OLED which is being developed continuously through making tunnels of OLED TV. They revealed that LG Electronics is the world’s first OLED TV set manufacturer. People look forward to seeing OLED growth in the future through CES the first electronic exhibition show in 2018.

CES 2018: Expected to Showcase Low to Mid-End Smartphones

By Hana Oh (hanaoh@ubiresearch.com)

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are going to unveil low to mid-end smartphones at CES 2018 instead of their mainstream smartphones.

Samsung Electronics will showcase 5.6-inch Galaxy A8 and 6-inch Galaxy A8 Plus at CES 2018. The Galaxy A8(2018) series are expected to adopt a 18: 9 ratio full screen OLED similar to Galaxy S8 design with almost zero bezel.

<Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy A8, Source: news.samsung.com>

LG Electronics is going to introduce four K series, K3, K4, K8, and K10. Among them, K10 has a 5.3 inch FHD LCD and it is changed to X series in Korea and is expected to be released at the end of January.

Meanwhile, there is an opinion that Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics’ plan to release low to mid-end smartphones is a bulwark against Huawei which announced the entry into the North American smartphone market.

Huawei has recently partnered with AT&T to sell the Mate 10 series in the US from February 2018. Mate 10 has a 5.9 inch IPS LCD, and Mate 10 PRO has a 6-inch OLED. Huawei announced that it will aggressively advance into the North American market to become the world’s second-largest smartphone maker, outpacing Apple this year.

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics intend to strengthen their low to mid-end smartphone specifications up to the premium level as well as their flagship smartphones to dominate the smartphone market until new mainstream smartphones are launched and to check other companies including Huawei.

Meanwhile, more details such as the price and mobile provider of Huawei Mate 10 series to be released in North America will be disclosed at the CES 2018 exhibition.

<Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro, Source: GSMArena.com>

 

LG V30 + launched in Japan and India

According to ITmeadia of Japan, NTT docomo said that LG Electronics’ smartphone ‘V30 + L-01K’ and ‘JOJO L-02K’ started to be sold in advance as from 12:00 on December 20th at DoCoMo store and web site. The full-fledged release of V30 + L-01K will be at the end of January 2018, and that of JOJO L-02K is scheduled in March 2018.

<JOJO L-02K, Source: nttdocomo.co.jp>

V30 + L-01K is equipped with 6-inch QHD OLED, 16.5 and 13.1 megapixel dual cameras, and a wide-angle camera for panorama.

JOJO L-02K is a product celebrating the 30th anniversary of the JoJo’s odd adventure series- Japanese animation. The special edition of JOJO L-02K is limited to 10,000 and the price is 125,712 JPY. It is known that it is also equipped with AR camera mode to make an effect of being with a character.

V30 + has been also available in India since December 18th. Its price is RS. 44,900 (760,000KRW); aurora black and cloud silver will be released first, and other colors will be added later. It features one free display replacement and can be purchased only through amazon.in.

Flexible OLED Leading the OLED Panel Market from 2019

■ Flexible OLED is expected to ship 480 million units in 2019, surpassing Rigid OLED shipments.

■ Full-screen OLED among Flexible OLED is expected to have an average market share of 78.3% by 2022, dominating the market.

■ Foldable OLED is expected to ship in earnest from 2019.

Flexible OLED shipments are expected to exceed rigid OLED shipments in 2019. According to the ‘2017 Flexible OLED Annual Report’ published by Ubi Research, flexible OLEDs are expected to ship 480 million units in 2019, surpassing 409 million units of rigid OLED shipments. In addition, flexible OLED shipments will grow at a CAGR of 41% starting in 2018, reaching 1,285 million units in 2022 with forecasted revenue of US$ 59.4 billion.

<OLED Market Share Forecast by Substrate in 2018 ~ 2022>

Recently, as the hardware technology of mobile devices has been leveled up, set makers targeting the premium market are trying to differentiate their products by adopting OLED. Especially, set makers are beginning to introduce flexible OLED capable of full screen, as the needs of consumers who want a wider screen in mobile devices (even in the same sizes) on the increase.

 

Accordingly, panel makers are continuing to invest in flexible OLED mass production. Since Chinese panel makers such as BOE, CSOT and Visionox are expected to start mass production of Gen6 flexible OLED starting in 2018, flexible OLED shipments will likely grow at an average growth rate of 59% per annum, reaching 354 million units by 2022.

 

This report compares the structure and process of rigid OLED and flexible OLED, and analyzes the trends of technology development for foldable OLED implementation by layer. It also compares the flexible OLED application technology of Samsung Electronics, Apple, and LG Electronics which released mobile devices with full screen OLED. The report also forecasts the flexible OLED market from 2018 to 2022 by categorizing into various perspectives including flexible type, country and generation.

 

According to the report, full screen OLEDs of flexible OLEDs will ship 265 million units in 2018 with a market share of 82.1%, and 1,022 million shipments will be made in 2022, accounting for 79.5% of the market, leading the flexible OLED market. In addition, the foldable OLED, which has been receiving a great deal of attention recently, is expected to ship 5 million units from 2019 and 53 million units by 2022.

<Foldable OLED Shipment Forecast in 2018~ 2022>

 

OLED TVs which are driving forces of both LG Electronics and Sony′ performance

The director, So, Hyun-cheol, mentioned during the ′Closing seminar of OLED/Display′ held at COEX in Seoul on December, 7th about that OLED TV has made 9.9% of operating profits for LG Electronics in Q3, 2017. He forecasted there, Sony and LG Electronics who are producing OLED TV now will lead the premium TV market in the future also, in particular, while explaining about that the demands have highly increased as OLED TV entered into under $3,000.

The director, especially, explained that Sony took No.1 player in the premium TV market in 12 years, moreover, one of the driving forces for stock price rise of them at 445% in 2013 was OLED TV. He evaluated them such followings that “Sony has starting to improve the structure of operating profit by focusing on 55-inch and 65-inch TV, and “They built the TV business structure in stable through launching OLED TV in 2017”.

He also expected that the investment for 10th generation OLED producing line of LG Electronics will be moved sooner than expected. He also forecasted that demands on large-sized OLED TVs will rise due to the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeong-chang and World Cup in Russia next year, especially, its investment of OLED line will be accelerated, because Sony would also want it.

Subsequently, while the director mentioned that the cost savings will be accelerated by improvement of yield of OLED TV panel, he said, “Although, 55-inch LCD panel is difficult to improve the production cost more since it is already reached to enough yield as 232$, but, the price competitiveness in the 55-inch OLED production cost will be intensified more, because, there is still able to reduce it from current 545$ up to 378$ by the yield improvement”.

Lastly, Mr. So, expected that the sales volume of OLED TV panel will reach to 2.9 million units in 2018 by operating E4-2 line of LG Display in full. The panel business will be turned into profit-making, and operating profits of OLED TV business shall meet 17.3% in 2019.

The strategy of LG Display’s OLED TV, Source: Shinhaninvest

The number of OLED TV products in 2017 has doubled compared to last year

OLED TV models launched in 2017 have been highly increased rather than both 2015 and 2016. 16 types of OLED TVs were launched in 2016, while 29 kinds of OLED TVs were launched which covers that the number of products has nearly doubled from last year. By company, LG Electronics released total 10 types of products which are the greater number of products launched than competitors, and followed by Loewe with 5 types of products.

<Comparison of No. of OLED TVs by each year>

Meanwhile, OLED TV market led by LG Electronics, was taken attentions of publics when Sony decided to launch OLED TV first in the early of 2017. Sony which launched OLED TV first in CES 2017 to catch public’s eyes with “Acoustic Surface” technology that can make sounds without speakers, is leading the premium market with LG Electronics by producing 55-inch, 65-inch and 75-inch OLED TVs.

The number of OLED TV products are expected to increase in 2018 more and more. According to Flat Panels HD, Philips which launched only one model with 55-inch OLED in the early of this year, decided for releasing the 6 kinds of OLED TV such as 65OLED973, 65OLED903, 65OLED873, 65OLED803, 55OLED903, 55OLED803 and so forth. It is analyzed that the strategy is to aim at diverse consumers which divides OLED TV leading the premium TV market into high-priced line with 9xx model and low-priced line with 8xx model.

The shipment in 2018 is also expected to grow. In accordance with UBI Research, it expects that OLED panel with 55-inch and more will shipped over 2.4 million units in 2018, 9.1 million units in 2022. There is much attentions how OLED TV leading premium TV market will harden its positions all the more in 2018.

<Shipment forecasting of OLED panel in 55-inch and more in 2018-2022>

Price competition intensifies in the premium TV market- OLED TV price close to premium LCD TV

In the premium TV market, price competition is on the rise. The basic premium TV models (55 inch, 65inch, flat type) such as QN55Q7F and QN65Q7F (Samsung Elec.), OLED55C7, OLED65C7 (LG Elec.), XBR55A1E and XBR65A1E (Sony), launched in Amazon (www.amazon.com) in March 2017, are compared to one another).

<Comparison of 55 inch and 65 inch premium TV price>

As a result, the average price of 55 inch models of those three manufacturers dropped by 54.8% from March to October; especially Samsung Elec.’s QN55Q7F showed the highest drop from $ 2,798 in March to $ 1,598 in October. The 65 inch model showed a similar phenomenon. 65 inch dropped 60.0% on average from March to October while Samsung Elec.’s QN65Q7F showing the most dramatic decline from $ 3,998 in March to $ 2,498 in October.

Notably the price difference between 55 inch LG OLED TV and Samsung SUHD TV, both of which were released in 2016, was about $ 1,000 as of Dec 2016, and for 65 inch models, 1,500$ while those released 2017 showed a significantly narrowed price difference as of October 2017-55 inch 200$, 65 inch 300$.

The reason why OLED TV prices are catching up with the premium LCD TV prices is significantly due to stabilization of LG Display production yield. In particular, if the E4-2 line of LG Display, which has started operating since the second half of this year, is fully in operation from 2018, LG Display’s large OLED panel production is expected to increase by 41% to 2.4M units from about 1.7M units in 2017; the OLED TV will accelerate market expansion.

OLED TV, leading the premium TV market, LG Electronics HE division created the largest operating profit

On the 26th, LG Electronics announced its 2017 Q3 performance through conference call. LG Electronics recorded consolidated sales of KRW 15.2241 trillion in 3Q and operating profit of KRW 516.1 billion. Sales and operating profit grew by 15.1% and 82.2% YoY respectively. Sales are the highest in 3Qs ever.

In particular, sales of premium TV increased, and HE division posted record-high quarterly results with operating profit (KRW 458.0 billion) and operating margin (9.9%). In addition, operating profit (KRW 882.9 billion) and operating margin (9.2%) are the highest in the household appliances business including household appliances and TVs.

LG Electronics announced that its HE division posted sales of KRW 4.6376 trillion and operating profit of KRW458 billion, and sales of premium TVs such as OLED TVs and UltraHD TVs increased steadily, with 12.0% YoY growth. It is known that the operating profit and operating margin (9.9%) reached a record high on a quarterly basis due to improved profit structure by expanding sales of premium products.

LG Electronics said on Oct 11 that monthly sales of OLED TV have exceeded 10,000 units for the first time in Korea and that it is speeding up its popularization. LG OLED TV has been recognized for its image quality by being awarded the top spot in the performance evaluation conducted by non-profit consumer magazines in 11 countries including the US and UK this year and the price of the 55-inch OLED TV has dropped to the mid-2 million level, and It is regarded as the cause of goodness of its sales.

LG OLED TV accounted for about 30% of domestic TV sales of LG Electronics, and it is known to have completely settled in the market. LG Electronics official announced plans for the future, ” HE division plans to continue sales growth and stable profit structure focusing on premium products such as OLED TV and UltraHD TV.”

OLED TV with different characteristics and advantages by set makers

LG Electronics announced on last 11th that LG OLED TV is speeding up the popularization with the monthly sales volume of 10,000 units and above for the first time in Korea. In addition, Sony, which joins the OLED TV camp in 2017, is enjoying great popularity and continues to expand its market share in the premium TV market. As such, OLED TV is leading the premium TV market by improving cost competitiveness through cost reduction as well as excellent image quality.

OLED TVs are currently being mass-produced by LG Electronics, Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic. Although all set makers that produce OLED TVs use OLED of LG Display, they are producing OLED TVs with different characteristics and advantages.

First, LG Electronics mentioned OLED’s vivid image quality and wall paper design as advantages of OLED W7 which is a signature TV. LG Electronics mentioned that OLED, which is a self-luminous element, can express near-infinite contrast ratio and rich color close to nature, and supports Dolby vision HDR and HDR10 to experience vivid image quality. Also, introduced that a 4.6mm of thin panel provided the experience of seeing the theater screen and all parts except the panel were housed in a space called innovation stage and completed the perfect wall paper design.

<OLED TV W7 of LG Electronics, Source: LG Electronics>

Sony emphasizes sound, image quality and simple design as the advantage of 4K BRAVIA OLED TV A1E series. It mentioned that the TV screen, which attracted great attention in last year’s CES 2017, can provide an enhanced immersive feeling by applying the ‘Acoustic Surface’ that the TV screen vibrates and makes sound by itself. In addition, the ‘X1 extreme processor’ HDR chip has been applied to improve the picture quality of OLED TV, and the cable is housed in the stand on the backside so that the simple design is realized.

<Acoustic Surface of Sony 4K BRAVIA OLED TV A1E, Source: Sony>

Toshiba then mentioned a high color gamut of 100% DCI-P3 and a high brightness of over 800 nits as the advantages of the REGZA X910. It said that it increased the color reproduction rate to express natural colors and improved the brightness to express the bright and dark parts in richer gradations and strengthened HDR restoration function to realize sharp and realistic high-definition video.

<REGZA X910 of Toshiba, Source: Toshiba>

Lastly, Panasonic stated that it implemented full black and rich color expressions. Especially, it emphasized that it applied ‘Hexa chroma drive plus’ which is Panasonic’s high-definition technology to express high contrast and colors hidden in dark areas that were difficult to implement in LCD TV and reproduced the emotion that the video producer intended.

<Comparison of ‘Hexa chroma drive plus’ technology application of Panasonic, Source: Panasonic>

As such, OLED TV set makers are introducing different OLED TVs that emphasize their characteristics and advantages. In addition to the above four makers, LOEWE of Germany and B & O of Denmark are expected to continue to launch OLED TVs, including mass production of OLED TVs or preparations for mass production. Based on the unique technology of set makers, it is worth noting that OLED TVs with what kind of characteristics and advantages will be produced.

LG Electronics, Big step on popularization of OLED TV

<OLED TV of LG Electronics Source: LG Electronics>

LG Electronics OLED TV is speeding up its popularization with exceeding monthly sales of 10,000 units for the first time in Korea.

‘LG OLED TV’ was sold every four minutes last month. Compared to the beginning of this year, it’s double. LG Electronics expects sales increase of OLED TVs in the future and to rapidly increase market power.

The secret to increasing sales is recognition of outstanding image quality. LG OLED TV, this year, was first in the performance evaluation conducted by nonprofit consumer magazines in 11 advanced markets including the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Portugal and Australia. Unlike LCD TVs, the contrast ratio is high because it emits light without backlight. So it presents perfect black and realizes a lively screen.

Consumers consider picture quality the most when purchasing TV. According to a consumer survey conducted by LG Electronics, over 40% of the respondents cited image quality as the top priority when purchasing TVs. This percentage is the highest of all purchasing considerations.

Reasonable price is also the cause of good sales. LG Electronics has continuously developed technology for more consumer to experience OLED TV image quality so as to reduce the. 55-inch OLED TV prices have fallen to the mid-2 million won. It is no different from premium LCD TVs. In 2013 when LG Electronics first launched OLED TV, it was worth 15 million won.

‘LG OLED TV’ accounted for about 30% of LG Electronics domestic TV sales this year and settled perfectly in the market.

Son, Dae-Gi, LG Electronics Korea HE Marketing FD, emphasized “we will expand sales to allow more customers to enjoy ‘LG OLED TV’ image quality and have a solid profit structure by raising premium market power”.

LG Electronics, watching bigger and clearer on ‘OLED FullVision’

<Source: LG Electronics>

LG Electronics will have a strategic premium smartphone equipped with OLED in the 2nd half this year.

LG Electronics will apply OLED FullVision, an 18: 9 aspect-ratio OLED display completely filling the entire screen panel to a strategic premium smartphone in the 2nd half. The size of the display is 6inch wide- larger than 5.7 inches of the previous model LG V20, but the size of the product is rather smaller by reducing the size of the bezel.
Based on the display technology obtained from LG OLED TV, which has been recognized as the world’s best premium TV, LG Electronics plans to provide a different level of visual experience of smartphone; “With OLED technology which has been accumulated over the years, we have completed the differentiated high-class design of the subsequent strategic premium smartphone.”
In the LG Electronics’ strategic premium smartphone, the “bezel bending” technology has been embedded in, which makes the circuit and insulating layers at the bottom of the panel bent backwards and the lower bezel reduced by about 50% compared to the previous model V20. Toughened glass on the outer layer of display is curved all around edge and is smoothened along the contour line of the backside to emphasize a sense of unity on the design,

OLED FullVision has a QHD + (1,440×2,880) resolution and an optimized screen quality algorithm equipped with a color gamut of 148% based on sRGB, default color space for photography and internet, and 109% based on digital cinema color standard DCI-P3.

LG Electronics stated that OLED FullVision should present a deep and vibrant screen with excellent contrast ratio and fast response time will provide a full-fledged screen without afterimages for fast-moving video or games.

LG Electronics also said, “The durability of the display has been upgraded as well, considering the portability of smartphone. OLED Full Vision is stronger than glass substrate displays because it is based on P-OLEDs with pixels placed on plastic substrates,”; “Cutting edge technologies are embedded in such as Corning®’s latest tempered glass ‘Gorilla® Glass 5’ and shatter-resistant technology that prevents the glass powder from scattering when the glass breaks. ” LG added.

Additionally LG Electronics said, “We have applied hardware and software technology to enhance durability. Also encapsulation technology that minimizes oxidation by covering the pixels with a protective film to prevent air contact, and pixel scanning program that identifies heavily used pixels and reduces their power consumption. OLED technology has minimized the burn-in phenomenon that can occur on the display. ”

Joon-ho Cho, president of LG’s MC business director emphasized, “We will provide a high end smartphone with a different level of design and screen quality, integrating the world’s best display technologies proven by LG OLED TV.

LG Electronics, “Sales of the Premium TV in 2017 would hold 60%”

LG Electronics spoke that “The portion of premium TVs in total TV sales will be increased from about 40% in 2016 to around 50% in first half of 2017 and up to 60% in the end of this year.” at the conference call in Q2 2017, which was held on 27th.

The performance in Q2 for HE area of LG Electronics showed 4 trillion and 234.9 billion won in sales, and 343 billion won in operating profit. The QOQ on sales was declined to 2.1%, and the demands of the global TV market are continuously reducing, but the sales of the same quarter in last year showed 1.9% growth through the sales expansion of the OLED premium TVs.

Jin-ho, Ha, the HE director of LG Electronics said that “The Q2 performance was slightly decreased in QOQ and same quarter in last year due to the panel cost increase and marketing promotion for the new product launching, but we sustained healthy profit structures through the expansion of the premium TV sales and the improvement of cost structures consistently.” And also expected, “There are concerns on the slowdown in growth of worldwide TV market for the interest rate hikes and the oil price decrease, nevertheless, the premium TV market will steadily grow according to the demand increase on OLED TV and UHD TV.”

Subsequently, he answered on the question of the counterstrategy for the SONY, “It is not just right time to judge the OLED TV of SONY yet, but until now, we think that the OLED TV of us is quite superior regarding the aspect of design of products, image quality, and its lineup and so on.”

On the recent investment for large-sized OLED of LG Display, “LG Display and LG Electronics, both of us, will wisely take and proceed the world best strategy together of premium TVs by strengthening the premium status of OLED TV.”

He explained on the TV business of LG Electronics, “We have been improving the profitability focusing on the premium lines, and also completely avoiding the quantitative competition. We plan to continuously sustain the quality-oriented rather than quantity.” He added, “We will pursue the activities to intensively keep the premium image of OLED.”

They stated to be maintaining the stable profit structures with aiming at continuous sales expansion of premium products through the marketing promotion for the premium TV-oriented to prepare the high-season for the TV market in second half.

LG Electronics concentrates on ‘product competitiveness not price competitiveness’ in the premium TV market

LG Electronics reported that they plan to focus on product competitiveness rather than price competitiveness in the premium TV market in future through the conference call in Q1 of 2017 which was held on 27th, April. During the Q&A session on ‘the sales strategy of OLED and premium TV’, Jin-ho, Ha, the director of HE (Home Entertainment) said that “we will continue to expand OLED position in the premium TV market and also in future what the competitiveness we need in the premium TV market is product competitiveness rather than price’s.”

The performance in Q1 of HE in LG Electronics was 4 trillion 3261 billion won of sales volume and 3822 billion won of sales profit. It has been reduced 4600 billion won versus previous quarter under the influence of off-season. Nonetheless, YOY (Year on Year) has been kept at the same level. The sales volume was grown up in the area of North America, South Korea and Latin America for the reason of sales expansion of premium TV, though the market in Asia was decreased versus QoQ for the lack of sufficient demand.

Jin-ho, Ha, the director of HE in LG Electronics said that “We improved the profitability versus previous quarter by expansion of premium product sales, improvement of cost structure and flexible management for the panel price rise.” He also expected that the stagnant demand in whole TV market would be continued, but the demand would be increased in the area of North America, Latin America and Asia where are holding relatively high sales ratio.” In addition, “We would maintain sound profit structure and strengthen premium position by diverse global launching of products which leads the market such as ‘LG Signature OLED TV W’.”

He answered the questioning of in future panel price expectation and OLED TV line-up idea, “The panel has been significantly rising from in Q4 of 2016, and it has reached up over 60% versus June where is the lowest point last year”, and “We will design completive line-up composed of ‘premium, best, middle and low’ to aim the premium market within OLED TV group.”

For the question of the strategy in TV market in future, “In present which panel cost is increasing, we would operate the strategy based on the profitability by avoiding a simple volume competition, and we think that the market share in low price TV market is not meaningful. So that we plan to go forward the improvement of quality as a response based on the premium TV market having over 2000~2500 dollars.”

The strategy in TV market of LG Electronics announced at the conference call in Q1 2017 is consistent development of premium TV lineup which brings better profitability with high value-added product. They also expressed that will firmly build their position in the premium TV market with product competitiveness by image quality and technology rather than price competitiveness related to panel price.

2017 Premium TV Market Structure due to the Different Prices of Premium TVs and Sony’s Joining in OLED TV Market

Some line-ups of Samsung Electronics QLED TVs including the Q7 and Q8 introduced at CES 2017 are starting to be unveiled and preordered on its official U.S website and Amazon. The products for preorder are 55, 65, and 75-inch flat TVs of Q7 line-up, and 55 and 65-inch curved TVs of Q8, the higher lineup than Q7. QN65Q7F 65-inch flat TV cost US$ 3,499.99 on Amazon, as of 16th, and QN65Q8C 65-inch curved TV was US$ 4,499.99. It was 20% more expensive than ‘SUHD TV’, the premium TV line-up launched in 2016, and it was intended to build premium TV’s own image by highlighting high price range and enhanced picture quality.

On the other hand, LG Electronics OLED TV prices keep on decreasing. OLED65C6 65-inch curved OLED TV was launched last year at US$ 3,197.00 on Amazon as of 16th, and that was 50% cheaper than US$ 6,000.00 on June, 2016. In addition, the lunch price of OLED65C7 65 inch-curved OLED TV to sell this year is set as US$ 4,000.00 on Amazon as of 15th, which was a 30% cheaper than 2016 and US$ 500.00 cheaper than Samsung’s QN65Q8C 65 inch curved TV. As LG Electronics are leading the OLED premium TV market, it is likely to pay more attention to popularization due to is low price.

<Price Comparison of 2017’ 65-inch Curved TV New Products, Source : Amazon.com>

Due to similar prices of OLED TV and QLED TV in the premium TV market, high-quality picture, brand image, consumer needs satisfaction are gaining importance. Color reproduction among high-quality picture factors has similar performance, whereas OLED TV still gain a competitive advantage in contrast range and response speed. Besides, Sony that has kept a strong brand power and status in the premium TV market showcased OLED TV with higher-quality picture upgraded by ‘Acoustic Surface’ technology that produces sound without speaker and ‘X1 extreme processor’ HDR chip, attracting a lot of attention at CES 2017. Its release date and price have not yet been announced, but it is expected to greatly influence the premium TV market.

There’s a keen interest on, how the 2017 premium TV market will change due to the different price strategies of premium TVs to be released and Sony’s joining in OLED TV.

LG Electronics, OLED TV volume of sales 2 times in the 3rd quarter

LG Electronics revealed that OLED TV volume of sales was enlarged two times than last year through the conference on the third quarter performance having been progressed on the 27th, and currently OLED TV occupied over 10% among total TV sales. Also they expect that volume of the fourth quarter will be increased two times vs. the third quarter.

Regarding countermeasures on quantum dot TV of Samsung Electronics, they have no notion of competing prices with OLED TV, and emphasizes that they will strengthen recognition such like best TV is OLED TV by thoroughly sustaining premium strategies. They explains that market position of OLED in the market of over USD 200, or USD 300 has been actually increasing rapidly

HE Business Division achieved operating incomes (381.5 billion won) and sales profits of top levels (9.2%) in the third quarter. Sales amount was 4 trillion and 141.5 billion won, and there was not large change with previous quarter (4 trillion and 157.2 billion won).
LG Electronics forecasts that TV demands will be increased due to entering high-demand season in the fourth quarter, and needs on premium products such as OLED TV and UHD TV will be expanded further vs. previous quarter centering on the advanced market especially. Though profitability is expected to be decreased vs. previous quarter owing to effects from increases of panel price and expanded marketing expenses, they reveals their willingness such like responding to seasonal demands on large-size premium products including OLED TV and UHD TV etc. will be made successfully.

Meanwhile, according to UBi RESEARCH, they forecasts that OLED TV in premium TV market will achieve high-speed growth while forming the market of 69.1% in 2012 from 16.7% in 2016.

LG’s 77 inch OLED TV at KRW 40 Million, Is the Price OK? Comparison with Competitors…

출처=LG전자

LG`s 77 inch OLED TV Picture Source = LG Elec.

Hyunjoo Kang / jjoo@olednet.com
LG Electronics recently announced 77 inch OLED TV, and its factory price at KRW 41 million received much attention. With the diverse public opinions regarding this, OLEDNET looked into price trend of TV of similar size.
According to UBI Research, Samsung Electronics’ 78 inch SUHD TV product is being sold at USD 7997.99 ~ 9997.99 (lowest price at Amazon). Released in April, these products utilize quantum dot film attached LCD panel.
For Sony which uses LCD, 75 inch product released in January costs approximately KRW 6.7 million as of July, and 85 inch product costs approximately KRW 9 million. Sony products are less costly than Samsung and LG products.
The actual market price of LG Electronics’ 77 inch OLED TV is not yet exactly known. However, the comparison with its factory price of KRW 41 million shows it is about 4 times more expensive than Samsung Electronics’ 78 inch product and Sony’s 85 inch product.
Compared to LCD TV, existing large OLED TV of same size is about twice as expensive. Although the gap has been recently reduced, this is due to LG Electronics’ OLED TV price reduction. While it is true that OLED TV is pricier, that does not mean it is not marketable. In fact, LG Electronics announced that Q2 2016 OLED TV sales increased by 4 times compared to previous quarter through conference call.
However, some believe that the fact the difference is approximately 4 times, rather than twice, will bring down the competitiveness. Regarding this issue, Choong Hoon Yi of UBI Research explained that considering that the yield drops rapidly as the size increases, the price of LG’s 77 inch new product is not totally out of order. He added that the price will drop with yield improvement, and looking at TV market trend so far, the market price could eventually be half of the factory price.
LG Electronics’ 77 inch OLED TV could fall to about KRW 20 million from KRW 41 million, reducing the price gap against LCD TV of similar size to approximately 2 times. Yi further added that despite being twice as expensive as LCD TV, OLED TV has been solidifying its position in the market.

LG Elec.`s operating profit is 505.2 billion KRW 1Q 2016…65.5%↑

LG Elec. announced its preliminary earnings results for the 1Q of 2016(Source=LG Elec.)

LG Elec. announced its preliminary earnings results for the 1Q of 2016(Source=LG Elec.)

Hyunjoo Kang / jjoo@olednet.com

LG Electronics Inc. (LG) today announced its preliminary earnings results for the first quarter of 2016.
Tentative consolidated revenues for the first quarter of 2016 is 13.36 trillion KRW and operating profit is 505.2 billion KRW. Revenues are expected to be 4.5 percent lower than the same period the year prior while operating profit will be 65.5 percent higher year-over-year.

These figures are the tentative consolidated earnings based on K-IFRS. This tentative earnings is provided as a service to investors prior to LG Electronics’ final earnings results including net profit and details regarding each division which will be announced officially later this month.

Foxconn Takes Over Sharp…what will happen to Samsung·LG?

Hyunjoo Kang / Reporter / jjoo@olednet.com

Foxconn Decided to Buy Sharp for Approx. $ 3.5 billion, Source: Foxconn

 

On March 30, 2016, Taiwan’s Hon Hai’s Foxconn agreed to buy Sharp for about $ 3.5 billion. With this decision, there is much focus on how it will affect Korean display and set companies including Samsung and LG.

 

Foxconn, primarily an electronics contractor manufacturer, became responsible for Apple’s iPhone production and continued its growth. The fact that through this takeover Foxconn now possesses display mass production ability can greatly affect Korean companies that are currently leading the display and set market.

 

◆ Competition with Samsung·LG for iPhone Panel Supply Intensifies

 

A possible scenario for future includes Foxconn becoming a strong competitor for Samsung Display and LG Display in smartphone OLED sector for Apple’s iPhone.

 

Although Sharp is a company that produces LCD, it is estimated that Foxconn will invest in Sharp to mass produce OLED.

 

Apple is expected to release OLED equipped iPhone from 2017, and it is known that Samsung Display, strong in OLED, have agreed to supply the initial volume. As Apple has been close with LG in supply and demand of display, some believe that LG Display will become the biggest supplier in future.

 

However, if Apple’s key collaborator Foxconn begins to produce OLED, it could become a strong rival for Samsung and LG.

Sharp Headquarters, Source: Wikipedia

Sharp Headquarters, Source: Wikipedia

 

◆ Suggestion of Foxconn’s Own Brand Set Production Prospect

Foxconn, despite being a contract manufacturer, became widely known with great growth. As such, the company could branch out into producing sets under their own brand name. Furthermore, with the display mass production now possible with the Sharp takeover, this scenario is gaining traction. According to market experts, Foxconn is now able to expand its smartphone and TV set business. As Chinese set companies are rapidly growing to threaten Korean companies, the prospect of Foxconn’s set business cannot be ignored.

 

One display expert explained that as a key collaborator of Apple, Foxconn can successfully enter the smartphone panel market. He further analyzed that with Foxconn’s expertise in set production, their own brand set release is not too much to expect, and that this will be easier with the takeover of Sharp.

Blossoming April… Hurt by LCD, Heal with OLED

Hyunjoo Kang / Reporter / jjoo@olednet.com

Flexible OLED from LGD(CES 2016)

From April, the display industry is estimated to start mending the damage carried out by LCD with OLED.

 

In Q1 2016, Korean display industry suffered due to oversupply of Chinese LCD panels. Market experts believe that Samsung Display and LG Display will announce large Q1 deficit in April due to LCD.

 

However, the display market is expected to actively improve its performance from April.

 

Dong-won Kim, analyst with Hyundai Securities, estimated that great increase in profit is expected from Q2 2016 due to the increase in OLED operation rate and yield improvement. Also because of profitability improvement effect following LCD panel’s price rebound, the deficit will decrease.

 

LG Display’s performance in OLED sector is expected to noticeably improve. Over 90% of LG Display’s total mass production line is LCD at present. Hence, the fall of LCD price in Q1 is expected to have hit hard and OLED business is also showing deficit.

OLED TV from LG(CES 2016)

◆ After Harsh Q1, Warm Breeze of OLED… Spring for Equipment Industry Too

 

However, this will change from Q2. Analyst Hyeoncheol So of Shinhan Investment forecast that LG Display’s OLED TV sales volume and revenue in Q2 2016 will increase by 144% and 106% respectively. He added that the business deficit of OLED TV sector will greatly decrease.

 

LG Display is anticipating that the deficit will turn to profit in H2 2017, with the business profit of up to 1 trillion KRW in 2017, an increase of 115%.

 

Samsung Display, whose LCD and OLED ratio is 50:50, is expected to show 900,000 million KRW in deficit in LCD sector this first quarter. However, this is estimated to be compensated to some degree by the profit in OLED.

 

Samsung Display and LG Display are actively carrying out investment in OLED panel mass production line in Q1. As well as the investment in turning the existing LCD line to OLED, investment in new OLED line establishment is actively being carried out.

 

As such, with the optimistic outlook on OLED within the display market, flexible OLED manufacturing equipment companies such as Tera Semicon, Viatron Technologies, and Dong A Eltek had been discussed as the favorites of securities companies. In fact, Samsung Display’s flexible OLED manufacturing equipment related key collaborator AP Systems showed remarkable growth recording 12,100 million KRW in business profit last year.

 

UBI Research forecast that Korean companies will strengthen their dominance with their 2016 AMOLED shipment’s 95% occupancy of the global market. As OLED is becoming stronger in the TV, smartphone, and VR market, this will become a huge growth engine for global panel companies such as Samsung and LG.

 

LG G5 to Begin Shipping Worldwide

Hyunjoo Kang / Reporter /jjoo@olednet.com

Source : LG Elec.

Source : LG Elec.

Starting this week, LG Electronics (LG) will begin reaching global markets with its highly anticipated LG G5 modular smartphone. The LG G5 will debut in South Korea on March 31 and the United States on April 1 to be followed by countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, among others. Approximately 200 carriers and operators worldwide have committed to offer the G5 in their local markets.

As demonstrated at its unveiling at Mobile World Congress last month in Barcelona, LG G5 is a showcase of cutting-edge technologies and rich features thoughtfully designed deliver a more playful user experience. MWC attendees seemed to agree with the philosophy behind the G5 as the device walked away with a record 33 awards including Best New Smartphone at MWC 2016 from the GSMA’s Glomo Awards, the mobile industry’s longest established awards platform for innovation, excellence and achievement.

“Since MWC, LG G5 and Friends have captured the imagination of consumers everywhere with its engaging take on mobile technology,” said Juno Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “Modularity has been talked about for years but no one was able to consumerize it until now and we’re happy to take on the mantle.”

Engagement comes in the form of dual 78- and 135-degree camera lenses for ultra wide angle shots, an Always-on Display that requires no button-pressing to get the latest information and Dolby Digital Plus and 7.1 channel audio for cinema-style sound that delivers dialogue and nuanced effects clearly even in loud environments. LG G5 also supports IFTTT (If This Then That), a smart solution that allows users to create a series of action programs called recipes to boost productivity and efficiency.

LG simplified the graphical user interface with a simple, flat look while applying a bright color combination and a semi-transparent blur effect to the GUI. In addition, animation and feedback effects are choreographed at the right moments to deliver a playful and enjoyable experience (https://youtu.be/WqJvMtkmyZI).

The following companion devices, or Friends, will be available in select markets at the time of the G5 rollout or soon after: CAM Plus, LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY (with pouch), 360 VR, 360 CAM (with case), Rolling Bot, TONE Platinum, H3 by B&O PLAY

Prices and exact date of availability will be announced separately in each local market.

“Can’t Cope Because of LCD”… Samsung·LG, in Despair over Large Deficit

Hyunjoo Kang / OLEDNET / jjoo@olednet.com

 

<CES 2016 Exhibition. Many Chinese Companies’ LCD TV Were Present.>

Due to the oversupply of LCD panel in global display market, the opinion that Samsung Display and LG Display will also not be able to avoid large amount of deficit is becoming stronger.

 

As of March 28, according to market experts including securities industry, Samsung Display and LG display will both face sizable deficit in LCD sector this quarter.

 

For Samsung Display, Q1 LCD sector is expected to record up to 900,000 million KRW. The company is estimated to reduce the overall display industry deficit with the OLED profit of approximately 400,000 million – 500,000 million KRW. Consequently, Samsung Display is to record approximately 400,000 million – 500,000 million KRW of deficit in Q1 2016.

 

LG Display, whose over 90% of the current production line is for LCD, is estimated to be hit more directly. LG Display has been showing profit in LCD until 2015, but is expected to turn to deficit in Q1 2016. LG Display has been showing deficit in OLED, and market experts are also expecting more deficit in Q1 2016.

 

◆ Unlike Samsung and LG’s High Quality, China Floods Cheaper LCD

The main reasons that display industry is having difficulty include oversupply of Chinese LCD, and overall market depression. Chinese companies’ affordable LCD supply, backed by active support of Chinese government, is damaging Korean companies.

 

Particularly, companies such as BOE, which greatly improved productivity with much assistance from Chinese government including corporate tax exemption, have been pressuring Samsung, LG, and others in the global LCD market. As the Chinese companies are still aggressively investing in LCD facilities, the LCD oversupply is analyzed to continue until 2018.

 

Accordingly, the majority of the industry believe that both Samsung Display and LG Display will carry out LCD production line restructuring. In a recent conference hosted by information company IHS, senior analyst Jeong Du Kang revealed that LG Display could restructure Gumi’s P2, 3, 4 production lines, and added that some thinks L6 production could stop following the same of L5 production line last year.

 

As expected, both companies do not officially comment on these forecast. However, most of the industry players believe that the production line changes of the 2 companies are inevitable.

 

One display expert explained that “unlike Samsung and LG which do not accept even small faults, Chinese companies are pouring out products with slightly lesser quality armed with lower price, and will dominate the mainstream market”.

 

He also estimated that as Samsung and LG are nearing the situation where they have to give up LCD, the speed of which OLED will settle as the main player within the global display market will increase.

Samsung, Even if OLED TV is Released, Different from LG

Hyunjoo Kang / Reporter / jjoo@olednet.com

<LG Elec. is Introducing OLED TV in CES 2016>

 

Within the TV market, there is an opinion that even Samsung Electronics which believes it is not yet the time for OLED panel cannot continue to insist on LCD. Experts estimate that even if it is the same OLED TV, Samsung Elec. will differentiate the actualization method from competitors’ including LG Electronics. One of the possibilities suggested is Samsung’s selection of ink-jet printed OLED TV panel.

 

Hyun-Suk Kim, Samsung Elec. Visual Display department’s vice president, who recently announced new LCD based SUHD TV mentioned that OLED TV is premature and also needs technological improvements.

 

However, it looks to be difficult for Samsung to insist on LCD TV only in the long term. China is threatening Korean companies in LCD panel market with superior price competitiveness; there is too much risk for Korean display companies such as Samsung Display to invest further in LCD production line. Although Samsung Elec. is not receiving panel supply exclusively from Samsung Display, Samsung Display is the biggest supplier. Therefore, Samsung Display’s LCD investment reduction is also expected to affect Samsung Elec.’s TV business.

 

Furthermore, Samsung Elec. is in the position of having to emphasize OLED’s superior picture quality over LCD in smartphone business, but highlight the opposite in TV. This is also an issue that needs to be tackled.

 

Despite these issues, Samsung cannot easily start on OLED TV as several problems such as price competitiveness have not been solved.

 

<Hyun-Suk Kim, Samsung Elec.’s Vice President, is Introducing New SUHD TV>

 

◆ Ink-jet Printing, Can it Solve OLED for TV Price Issue?

 

According to Dong-won Kim, analyst with Hyundai Securities, Samsung Display, with Samsung Elec. as the biggest client, has unfavorable structure for reducing production cost as 65 inch OLED TV panel production efficiency is low in Gen8 line.

 

Kim estimated that Samsung Display will apply solution process ink-jet printing technology to OLED TV with 2018 mass production target in order to solve this problem.

 

When producing OLED TV panel, WRGB OLED method, which uses evaporation method, can only reduce production cost by certain amount as the material usage efficiency is low. On the other hand, ink-jet printing RGB technology finely deposits ink in liquid form and can reduce materials cost. Additionally, RGB OLED has fewer organic layers compared to WRGB OLED and processes can be decreased.

 

For these reasons, some believe that Samsung will select ink-jet printing method rather than evaporation for OLED TV in future. There is also a view that LG Display, which is currently using evaporation method, will also actively consider producing ink-jet printed OLED TV panel in the long term.

 

A display expert explained that although ink-jet printing processes are simpler than evaporation method, that does not necessarily mean materials cost is always cheaper. The ink-jet printing technology is not yet perfect, and particularly for blue the efficiency issue has not yet been solved.

 

He added that Samsung Elec. has strong tendency to differentiate itself from competitors such as LG, and even if Samsung Elec. releases OLED TV, it is likely that ink-jet printing, which is different from LG, will be the preferred method.

LG Electronics Launches 58:9 Signage…Transforms Columns and Corners to Billboards

Hyunjoo Kang, Reporter, OLEDNET

<LG Elec. Launched 58:9 Ultra Stretch Signage. Source: LG Elec.>

 

On March 23, LG Electronics launched world’s first 86 inch 58:9 commercial display Ultra Stretch.

 

Ultra Stretch signage allows places which have been difficult to install signage, such as columns and corners, to be used as billboards.

 

LG Elec.’s Ultra Stretch has the widest screen ratio of the signage released. The display is 2,158 mm wide and 349 mm long, and can be installed horizontally or vertically.

 

Ultra Stretch can be used on media pole, which is integrated into columns within buildings such as airports or hotels, and billboards above building entrances. Total of 16 units of Ultra Stretch, maximum 4 units lined horizontally and vertically, can be tiled. When installed on a separate stand, Ultra Stretch can be moved to where needed.

 

This product uses LG IPS panel, and with ultra HD resolution (3840 x 600), small writing as well as customary images are clearly shown. The IPS panel has wide viewing angle of 178°, and clean images can be viewed from any directions.

 

With consideration for commercial use of signage, it was designed to for easy editing of contents as well as other amenities. The display can be divided into 4 screens maximum and provide diverse information simultaneously.

 

For example, if installed in an airport, the display can be divided into 4 sections and each can show information such as weather, traffic information, news, advertisement, and others. This will allow foreign visitors to easily receive information.

 

SuperSign W media editor is equipped for easy transformation of existing contents to 58:9 ratio. Ultra Stretch also includes around 30 sample styles specific to the product.

 

LG Elec.’s Korean B2B Marketing representative explained that Ultra Stretch is a signage never been experienced and will lead the new commercial display market.

[Analyst Column] CES 2016 Press Conference Comparison Analysis, Samsung Elec. TV vs. LG Elec. TV

Choong Hoon Yi, Chief Analyst, UBI Research

 

When Samsung Electronics, CES’ most important company, holds a press conference, members of the media wait longer than an hour anticipating the new world the firm will show. For LG Electronics’ press conference, the waiting period is relatively shorter.

 

However, the press conferences at CES 2016 were not as anticipated. In CES and IFA, the representative of electronic appliances companies is TV. However, the TV in Samsung Electronics’ event was merely the same SUHD TV as shown before. Instead, ICT area, such as VR, USB adaptor, and Samsung Pay, was emphasized. During the last year’s CES, Samsung Electronics received much acclaim with curved design added SUHD TV. The only difference for this year’s TV from CES 2015’s was the text ‘Quantum Dot Display’ underneath the SUHD.

 

 

Samsung Electronics is considered the rule maker of the market with new designs and aggressive marketing. The fact that Samsung Electronics only added the words quantum dot to the already applied SUHD TV LCD panel is analyzed to be a desperate measure demonstrating the LCD TV’s development limitation.

 

On the other hand, during their press conference, LG Electronics provided a vision where the TV market can have another growth spurt through the introduction of the improved OLED TV with 800 nit peak brightness. Particularly, NASA’s video of vivid deep black of the space and dynamic fiery red of the sun on the OLED TV brought the audiences to cheer and applause. What could only have been seen by astronauts can now be seen by everyone through OLED TV. This was an event where everyone could feel what a true display really is.

 

 

Of course, as the largest market of the consumer market is smartphone, it would be illogical to discuss Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics with only TV. However, Samsung Electronics’ smartphone business also remained stationery last year and all businesses, excluding semiconductor, is falling downward. As such, for Samsung fans who have high expectations it is of much concern.

 

The reason that the companies that led electronic appliance industry for the past half century such as Sony, Panasonic, and Toshiba are falling is because they did not have paradigm changing technology and product when the market was stalling. The same unfortunate sign is coming from Samsung Electronics.

 

Chinese set companies including TCL also brought quantum dot technology applied LCD TV to CES 2016. 8K TV was also exhibited. Although the picture quality control technology of the Chinese TV companies still falls short compared to companies such as Samsung Electronics, LC Electronics, and Sony, the set exterior reached similar standards and the price is less than 70% of the early starters’. The difference in the picture quality is difficult to distinguish for those who are not TV or display experts. The quality of Chinese products does not reflect the cheaper price, and cheap and good products are pouring in from China.

 

For Samsung Electronics that cannot produce OLED TV, in order to repeat the last year’s popularity in international events such as IFA in later this year, a big issue and product that can represent the company are urgently needed.

 

[CES 2016] Skyworth’s 2016 OLED TV Sales Target is 200,000 Units

Skyworth, the most enthusiastic Chinses TV company, placed OLED TV on the front of the CES 2016 booth, the largest space.

 

 

The exhibition concept, same as IFA 2015, was promotion of OLED TV’s superiority over LCD in terms of picture quality and fast response time through car racing game.

 

Furthermore, all OLED TVs exhibited this year are UHD resolution aiming for the premium TV market.

 

According to Skyworth, 2015 OLED TV sales performance is 45,000 units, with the target of 200,000 units in 2016. In 2015, the performance was weak as the OLED panel supply from LG Display was not smooth. However, compared to last year, in 2016 the panel supply from LG Display increased, and as OLED TV is a very popular product in Chinese market due to its superior picture quality compared to LCD the sales target of 2016 became much higher.

 

What is different about this exhibition is the fact that the video clip used in the Skyworth OLED TV booth is the same as the NASA video produced by LG Electronics for promotion. Previously, each companies presenting OLED TV used different contents on the screen. However, in this exhibition, by showing the same video of the sun within the space, they emphasized OLED TV’s superiority in contrast ratio and picture quality of black.

 

 

This is considered LG’s ecosystem strategy to secure OLED TV territory by sharing the video contents and increasing the consumers and attendees’ OLED TV awareness.

[CES 2016] OLED TV Passes UHD Alliance Standards

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As a press event of CES 2016 (January 6-9), UHD Alliance, which was created by TV manufacturing companies, contents companies such as film studios, and picture and sound quality related companies to energize the declining TV market, gave a presentation on future UHD TV market and UHD Alliance activities.

 

The TV market recorded approximately 230 million units in 2015. However, this is 20 million units fewer than 2014’s 250 million, and CES reported that 2016 performance will be similar to 2015. 2016’s estimated UHD TV market, which is the premium market of 55 inch or larger, is 21% of the total TV market with approximately 48 million units.

 

The 4 key factors that UHD Alliance is pursuing in UHD TV are image resolution, color bit depth, color palate, and high dynamic range.

 

LCD TV and OLED TV that satisfy these factors are to be available from this year. In order to respond to OLED’s vivid color realization, LCD TV companies developed quantum technology. Also to draw near OLED’s contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 they are continuing technology development, but the LCD contrast ratio remains around 3,000:1.

 

It is worth noting that UHD Alliance provided 2 HDR specs: more than 1,000 nits peak brightness at less than 0.05 nits black level, or 540 nits brightness with 0.0005 black level.

 

LG Electronics already achieved UHD Alliance’s HDR spec of 540 nit peak brightness last year, and this is analyzed to provide foundation for more invigorated future OLED TV market. Based on this, OLED TV is expected to be the main force within the UHD TV market.

 

Additionally, UBI Research estimated that 2016 OLED TV market will record 1,200,000 units.

 

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Reviewing 2015 OLED Industry through Keywords

  1. OLED TV

OLED TV, first released in Q4 2013, recorded approximately 50,000 units of shipment each in Q1 and 2 this year. The shipment increased to 100,000 units in Q3, more than twice the amount of each quarter in H1 2015. As it is estimated that close to 200,000 units were released in Q4, over 90% of LG Display’s 2015 target is expected to be achieved. This is considered to be showing price competitiveness against other TV as the price of OLED TV fell to 1/2 of the initial price and effectiveness of aggressive marketing emphasizing the advantages of OLED TV compared to newly released LCD TV. In Q3 earnings results announcement, LG Display revealed their plan of 1,000,000 units of OLED TV panel shipment in 2016 and forecast OLED TV’s growth. For the industry, 2015 has been the year that secured foothold for OLED TV’s market expansion.

 

  1. Galaxy S6 Edge

At the time of Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge’s release, Samsung Electronics estimated the initial supply to be 50:50. However, Galaxy S6 Edge showed 70% in actual demand and this led to shortage in supply. Samsung Display met the demand by starting flexible AMOLED line operation earlier than scheduled. 2015 proved future market growth potential by opening consumers’ wallets through designs possible only with flexible AMOLED panel.

 

  1. Samsung Display Supply Diversification

During the Q3 earnings announcement, Samsung Display revealed their plan to expand non-Samsung clients by 30%. Accordingly, in Q3, when smartphone market’s growth was expected to slow down, the sales performance improved by 13% compared to its previous quarter through key client’s new product release and expansion of client base. Particularly, the market occupation of AMOLED panel shipped toward China is analyzed to have increased within the global mobile market as Chinese set companies released AMOLED panel equipped smartphones.

 

  1. Apple’s OLED Application

Apple, which has been using LCD panel for all products, first applied flexible AMOLED panel, produced by LG Display, to 2015 smartwatch Apple Watch and drew much attention. In H2, Apple diversified suppliers by using Samsung Display’s flexible AMOLED panel. This move is analyzed to be groundwork for flexible OLED application to smartphone following smartwatch. 2015 has been a year with much interest in when flexible AMOLED panel equipped iPhone will be released.

 

  1. OLED Lighting

Global OLED lighting industry went through a great transformation in 2015. OLEDWorks announced they will acquire key parts of Philips’ OLED lighting business, relevant production facilities, and intellectual property. With this take over, OLEDWorks greatly expanded business through widened product portfolio and simultaneous lighting panel mass production in the US and Germany. LG Chem. transferred OLED lighting business to LG Display. The value of transfer is 1.6 billion KRW, and it is seen to be a strategy to increase competiveness by transferring the business to LG Display with their OLED panel mass production knowledge and to focus on existing materials business. The take over and business transfer of the main players in OLED lighting industry, OLEDWorks and LG Chem., are following their own business strategy. However, following these moves, related investment is expected to be delayed for some time and eyes are on how these will affect the OLED lighting business overall.

 

[Analyst Column] LCD Industry Administration to Worsen after 3 Years

Choong Hoon Yi, Chief Analyst, UBI Research

 

 

BOE is intending to carry out a large amount of investment in order to operate Gen10.5 LCD line from 2018. Meanwhile, key set makers including Apple, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, and Panasonic are devising strategy to move from LCD to OLED for smartphone and premium TV displays. As such, it is becoming more likely for the LCD industry to be in slump from 2018.

 

At present, the area where LCD industry can create profit is LTPS-LCD for smartphone. The forecast smartphone market for this year is approximately 15 billion units. Of this, Samsung Electronics and Apple are occupying 20% and 15% of the market respectively. OLED equipped units are less than 2 billion.

 

However, from 2018 the conditions change greatly. Firstly, Apple, which has been using LCD panel only, is estimated to change approximately 40% of the display to OLED from 2017 earliest and 2018 latest. Apple is testing flexible OLED panels of JDI, LG Display, and Samsung Display, and recommending them to invest so flexible OLED can be applied to iPhone from 2017. The total capa. Is 60K at Gen6. As new investments for Gen6 line of Samsung Display and LG Display are expected to be carried out from 2016, supply is theoretically possible from 2017.

 

Source: UBI Research Database

Source: UBI Research Database

 

If 5inch flexible OLED is produced from Gen6 line, under the assumption of 50% yield at 60K capa. 65 million units can be produced annually, and approximately 1 billion units if the yield is 80%. If Apple’s iPhone shipment in 2017 is estimated to be around 2.7 billion units, within the 50-60% yield range approximately 25% of the display is changed to OLED from LCD, and if yield reaches 80% around 40% will change. The companies that are supplying Apple with LCD for smartphone, LG Display, JDI, and Sharp, are expected to show considerable fall in sales and business. These 3 companies could be reduced to deficit financial structure just from Apple’s display change

 

Furthermore, as Apple is not producing low-priced phones, under the assumption that future iPhone could all have OLED display, Apple could cause the mobile device LCD industry to stumble after 3 years.

 

Samsung Electronics also is gradually changing Galaxy series display to OLED from LCD. Of the forecast 2015 shipment of 3 billion units, 50%, 1.5 billion units, has OLED display, but Samsung Electronics is expected to increase flexible OLED and rigid OLED equipped products in future. Particularly, as Apple is pushing for flexible OLED application from 2017, Samsung Electronics, whose utilizing OLED as the main force, is estimated to increase flexible OLED usage more than Apple. It is estimated that all Galaxy series product displays will be changed to OLED from 2019.

 

 

Under these assumptions, of the estimated smartphone market in 2020 of approximately 20 billion units, Samsung Electronics and Apple’s forecast markets’ 7 billion could be considered to use OLED.

 

Samsung Display is strengthening supply chain of set companies using their OLED panels. Samsung Display is supplying OLED panels to diverse companies such as Motorola and Huawei as well as Samsung Electronics, and also expected to supply rapidly rising Xiaomi from 2016. If smartphone display is swiftly changed to OLED from LCD from 2017, Chinese display companies that are currently expanding TFT-LCD lines are to be adversely affected.

 

Additionally, in the premium TV market, LG Electronics mentioned that they will focus on OLED TV industry at this year’s IFA2015. As a part of this, LG Display is planning to expand the current Gen8 34K to 60K by the end of next year. Furthermore, in order to respond to the 65inch market, Gen9.5 line investment is in consideration. In the early 2015, Panasonic commented that they were to withdraw from TV business but changed strategy with new plans of placing OLED TV on the market in Japan and Europe from next year.

 

As Samsung can no longer be disconnected from the OLED TV business, there are reports of investment for Gen8 OLED for TV line in 2016. Although OLED TV market is estimated to be approximately 350 thousand units this year, in 2016, when Panasonic joins in, it is expected to expand to 1.2 million units. The OLED TV’s market share in ≥55inch TV market is estimated to be only 4% but in premium TV market it is estimated to be significant value of ≥10%.

 

 

 

 

If Samsung Display invests in Gen8 OLED for TV line in 2016, from H2 2017 supply to Samsung Electronics is possible. As OLED Gen8 line’s minimum investment has to be over 60K to break even, it can be estimated that Samsung Display will invest at least 60K continuously in future.

 

Under these conditions, LCD industry can only be in crisis. Firstly, it becomes difficult for Sharp to last. Sharp, which is supplying TFT-LCD for Apple’s iPhones and LCD for Samsung Electronics’ TV, will lose key customers. Secondly, BOE, AUO, and JDI, the companies selling LCD panels to these companies, are not ready to produce OLED and therefore damage is inevitable.

 

BOE is carrying out aggressive investment with plans to lead the display industry in future with operation of Gen10.5 LCD line. Therefore, from 2018, as the main cash cow items disappear, administration pressure could increase.

 

LG Electronics Bets on OLED TV

LG Electronics actively began aggressive marketing for OLED TV.

 

In IMID Exhibition (October 14-16), LG Electronics installed an OLED comparison experience zone to allow the visitors to see OLED TV and LCD TV at once. This direct comparison exhibition with OLED and LCD is the 2nd one after one in WIS 2015. In this exhibition in IMID Exhibition 2015, LG Electronics presented their new 2015 release 55inch UHD LCD TV and 55inch UHD OLED TV. This is considered a reflection of LG Electronics’ determination to target the market through OLED TV rather than LCD TV.

 

LCD TV is illuminated through BLU and therefore difficult to achieve perfect black. Through IMID Exhibition 2015’s comparison experience zone, LG Electronics emphasized OLED TV’s merits such as perfect black, perfect viewing angle, and ultra slim design.

 

Since the release of OLED TV, LG Electronics continued presentations that emphasized OLED TV’s advantages in diverse exhibitions. However, recently they are pursuing aggressive promotion focusing on OLED even exhibiting comparison against their own latest LCD TV. On the other hand, their rival Samsung Electronics is maintaining their 2-track strategy of using OLED and LCD in different applications each. The industry is focused on how these development will affect the large area TV market.

 

OLED Comparison Experience Zone, LG Display, IMID 2015

OLED Comparison Experience Zone, LG Display, IMID 2015

Samsung and LG’s Shared Vision for OLED

On the first day of OLEDs World Summit (October 27-29) held in Berkeley, USA, Samsung Display and LG Display gave their talks back to back. Samsung Display’s Vice President Chang Hoon Lee and LG Display’s Joo Soo Lim discussed their thoughts on OLED under the titles of ‘The Future of OLEDs’ and ‘A Future Game Changer’ respectively.

Samsung Display’s Lee, who gave his presentation first, reiterated Samsung Display’s leadership position in the mobile market and how Samsung Electronics’ recent mobile display reflects this. Comparing RGB pixel structure and their own diamond pixel structure, Lee drew comparison between human eyes and diamond pixels; due to cell distribution in eyes, humans are more sensitive to green colors and that diamond pixels reflect this by having twice as many green subpixels as blue and red ones. The diamond pixels also maximize the sub-pixel packing and increases the PPI.

Regarding the advantages of OLED display, Lee gave 2 examples using Samsung Electronics’ latest smartphone models. Utilizing the fact that selective control of each pixel is possible in AMOLED displays, Samsung provided Vision Aid to help people with color blindness. OLED’s ability to achieve total black is used in Super Dimming function where screen brightness can be reduced to 2nits to be used in the dark environment.

LG Display’s Lim revealed that an adult in the US spends 9 hours 40 minutes a day on average looking at one form of display or another. Highlighting the need and importance of quality display, Lim also discussed advantages of OLED display over LCD such as total black, 3D effects, and color gamut.

As the future OLED display, Both Lee and Lim placed slightly more emphasis on flexible (plastic) OLED than transparent or mirror display. Samsung Display discussed requirements necessary for a successful flexible display in more depth touching on the need for suitable cover window, flexible touch (sensor), flexible encapsulation, and flexible backplane. On the other hand, LG Display discussed flexible display’s design freedom and its influences on the wearable, mobile, and automotive markets. Lim also placed much importance on how flexible OLED can be used in virtual reality display market. The 2 speakers ended their talks affirming the need for new display market and innovation through OLED technology and new applications.

The presentations given by the 2 apparent leaders in the OLED display industry were remarkably similar with both speakers underlining major points of OLED in broad strokes. The need for solutions for future OLED, whether it be flexible, transparent, or mirror display, through innovation and technological advances is an absolute truth if not maybe too obvious. There also may be some comfort to be had in the shared vision within the OLED community. However, it is also a fact that numerous attendees of the conference commented on the similarities of the 2 presentations and the lack of any surprises.

LG UHD OLED TV Price Falls Once More

The price of OLED TV by LG Electronics is falling fast. The 55inch flat UHD OLED TV (55EF9500), released last month, fell to $3,999 in 3 weeks, a 27% decrease from the initial $5,499. This price decrease is much faster than that of LG Electronics’ curved model of 55inch UHD OLED TV released in April.

 

Samsung Electronics’ 55inch SUHD TV, UN55JS9000, showed approximately over $2,500 price difference in comparison with 55EF9500 between the 1st week and the 2nd week of September. However, in the 3rd week, UN55JS9000 and 55EF9500 each showed 4% and 15% of decrease rate to record $2,497 and $3,999 respectively, with approximately $1,500 difference. This is the highest reduction rate for LG Electronics’ OLED TV.

 

lg oled tv price fall

 

In addition to the price reduction, LG Electronics is marketing their products aggressively. They are in the process of installing OLED TV this month in 39 key airports in 23 countries including the US, Germany, and Russia, with plans to install approximately 200 units of OLED TV by the end of October.

OLED TV, Pay Attention to China and UHD

IFA 2015 that opened on September 4, closed its curtains on 9. This year’s IFA was similar to IFA 2014 in terms of diverse OLED TV exhibition, but when analyzed in detail there were several differences.

 

First, the emphasis on UHD TV greatly increased. The percentage of UHD resolution of exhibited OLED TV was approximately 71% in IFA 2013, and 70% in IFA 2014. However, in IFA 2015, the percentage increased to approximately 92%. If the main theme for IFA 2014 was curved OLED TV products, UHD was the keyword for IFA 2015.

 

Another important factor is increasing participation by Chinese companies. In IFA 2013, only Haier exhibited OLED TV but this increased to 2 companies, Changhong and TCL, in IFA 2014. In IFA 2015, 3 companies, Haier, Changhong, and Skyworth, presented OLED TV. It is estimated that the OLED TV exhibition attendance by Chinese electronics companies will continue to consistently increase.

 

There is much attention on how many more Chinese companies will participate with OLED TV in IFA next year, and whether a new keyword following UHD will appear. Although IFA 2015 ended, OLED TV market continues to move.

 

uhd china graph 1

 

uhd china graph 2

 

uhd china graph 3 2

Minus Growth for H1 OLED Material Market with Mere US$ 564 Million*

According to UBI Research, the 2015 H1 OLED material market recorded approximately US$ 564 million; this is a 14% increase compared to 2014 H2, but a 24% decrease against 2014 H1.

 

Despite reports that Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are selling much larger volumes of flexible OLED applied Galaxy S6 Edge and OLED TV respectively compared to last year, the OLED material market is gradually stagnating.

 

The main reason for this OLED material market’s downward turn is Samsung Display’s operation level which remained stationary at 50% in H1. This led to stationary material usage compared to the year before. LG Display is producing flexible OLED and large size OLED panel for TV. However, approximately only 100,000 units of OLED panels were sold in H1 and material usage was also lowl. The current capa. is 34K but as the OLED material cost spent in H1 is approximately US$ 36 million, the operation rate is analyzed to be only 30% of the total capa.

 

The OLED material market is decreasing because the supply price is rapidly falling without increase in production volume. OLED material companies are frustrated at the 10-15% price decrease per quarter. At present, as the only clients are Samsung Display and LG Display, material companies are compelled to reduce the price as the failure to do so could lead toward the termination of business. OLED material companies spend several thousands of millions of dollars annually on development to meet constant improvement demanded by clients. There is much difficulty for OLED material companies as display companies continue with one-sided demands without compensation regarding development cost.

 

For OLED industry to maintain its continued growth, it requires more than success of panel companies. Material companies that play a pivotal part within the industry have to continue development and production of quality materials in order to create a healthy growth cycle. However, display companies are destroying the ecosystem.

 

What OLED material companies currently crave is for Chinese display companies to mass produce OLED panels as soon as possible.

 

* 1 USD = 1,100 KRW

 

OLED Material Market Revenue 2014 H1 – 2015 H1

OLED Material Market Revenue 2014 H1 – 2015 H1

[IFA 2015] Directions for LG Electronics’ OLED TV?

During the media day event for IFA 2015 (September 4 – 9), LG Electronics introduced diverse products centering around OLED TV such as LCD TV, G4, and G Watch Urbane.

 

LG Electronics clearly confirmed that the ultimate TV for the company is OLED TV. At the company booth under the title of the Evolution of TV, LG Electronics revealed that the TV’s final destination is OLED TV.

 

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LG Electronics, IFA 2015

 

At this exhibition, the OLED TV presentation theme returned to the flat design from HDT’s emphasis on black and previous curved design. Until now, curved design focused OLED TV were exhibited, but with the spotlight on flat design in IFA 2015, LG Electronics strongly hinted that future LG OLED TV will switch to flat products.

 

Competitors greatly improved contrast ratio through application of LCD TV and HDR. LCD’s basic contrast ratio is approximately 1,000:1, and in premium products currently being mass produced it has improved to 3,000:1. However, as OLED TV does not use backlight, the minimum contrast ratio is 100,000:1 with maximum of infinite contrast ratio. Through IFA 2015 LG Electronics is planning to actively release HDR technology applied products. In order to achieve this, the company will demonstrate HDR transmission with broadcasting companies such as BBC and publicize OLED TV’s black and white’s superiority over LCD TV.

 

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LG Electronics, IFA 2015

 

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LG Electronics, IFA 2015

 

 

 

LG Electronics provided ‘perfect color’, ‘perfect black’, and ‘perfect angle’ as the superior characteristics of OLED TV. These advantages are inherent characteristics that LG’s WRGB OLED TV can provide that show excellence over LCD TV in any environment.

 

However, the OLED TV presented in this exhibition did not show much improvement from one in IFA 2014, leading to disappointment. It is a point of concern whether WRGB OLED TV has already reached its limitation.

UHD OLED TV, Rapidly Catching Up to SUHD TV Price

OLED TV price, once again, dropped down by a large margin. LG Electronics’ new 2015 model 65inch 4K Ultra HD curved OLED TV (65EG9600) on Amazon (www.amazon.com) fell to US$ 6,999 which is a drop of US$ 2,000 from previous US$ 8,999. The price for 55inch 4K Ultra HD curved OLED TV fell US$ 1,000 to US$ 4,499 from its release price of US$ 5,499. The 2015 new model EG9600 series has panel with improved brightness of 450nit from previous 400nit.

 

The price of Samsung Electronics’ SUHD TV, similar premium product to LG Electornics’, is US$ 4,997 for 65inch (UN65JS9500), and US$ 2,497.99 for 55inch; there is a difference of approximately US$ 2,000 between LG Electronics’’ UHD OLED TV of same size.

 

The comparison between 2015 65inch UHD OLED TV and SUHD TV shows that approx. 40% price difference was shown in April 2015. However in July 2015, the difference was approx. 30%, showing that UHD OLED TV price further fell by approx. 10%.

 

These show that the UHD OLED TV price reduction is occurring rapidly. It is analyzed that the biggest factor for LG Electronics’ UHD OLED TV price fall is production cost reduction due to UHD panel yield increase and competition with set companies that actively began OLED TV sales.

UHD TV Price Trend, Source : UBI Research

UHD TV Price Trend, Source : UBI Research

[Analyst Column] Korean TV Industry, Where to Go?

Dr Choong Hoon Yi, UBI Research Chief Analyst, ubiyi@ubiresearch.co.kr

 

 

Korean TV industry, according to recent reports by media, is showing a red light not being able to escape the deficit structure.

 

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics possess high market share in costly premium TV market. However, in 30inch grade market, the two companies struggle against economically priced sets. In order to maintain sales, Samsung Elec. and LG Elec. are managing diverse product portfolio but business profit keep falling. Due to this, LCD panel stocks produced by Samsung Display and LG Display are steadily increasing.

 

LCD panel business is sinking into a pit.

 

What is the reason that Korea’s LCD TV and LCD business values can only become worse?

 

This can be forecast from looking at Japan’s TV and LCD business. Until the early 2000s, Japan was one of the leaders in electronics. However, Japan’s TV business is gradually dying out. Japan’s leading companies, Sony and Panasonic’s TV business began to be deteriorate because of Korean mid-low price products. In succession, Sony ended up spinning off the TV business, and Panasonic stopped TV business other than for domestic supply. Korean TV companies began to dominate the market. However, only a few years since then, Korean TV industry is losing commercial value, pushed aside by mid-low price products manufactured by China and others.

 

Second is display investment. As Japanese TV industry began to crumble, Japanese display companies had no choice but to stop the investment. The companies could not see a way to make profit through investment even if TV market grew as client companies’ panel purchasing power fell. Korea is the same. Samsung Elec. and LG Elec.’s TV business profitability deterioration led toward Samsung Display and LG Display’s halting the investment. On the other hand, Chinse display companies began Gen10.5 line investment. TV industry relies on assembly business and business network and therefore initial investment cost is low. In comparison, display industry is high risk as it requires large scale investment from early stages. If the business profit falls without investment cost return, companies face great loss and business closure is also not easy.

 

The third reason that Japanese TV companies are dying out is because they could not produce premium TV. Sony, which lost its competitiveness in LCD TV, tried to strengthen its market leadership through 4K TV. However, the brand value was already down and with the lack of marketing value, Sony easily gave up the market to companies in pursuit such as Samsung Elec. and LG Elec. LCD TV already had no difference in quality whether it was produced by a Korean or Japanese company, and brand value order had switched. LCD TV quality produced by Chinese companies is already reached the top. They are no longer companies who produce cheaper knockoffs. Furthermore, LCD panel production technology of Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China can now be deemed equal.

 

The final reason that stops Japanese TV business from securing market is that they failed to suggest differentiation point in premium TV. Fundamentally, differentiation is not possible for LCD TV. The biggest differentiation factors in the current TV market are picture quality and design. Any company can produce thin LCD TV and curved LCD TV. Panel size, resolution, and QD-LED using color gamut that LCD can actualize can no longer be differentiated technology. The difference of LCD panel and TV manufacturing technology between Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China is already within a year. No matter what kind of product is released, market control has one year of expiration period. Considering the promotion period required in the market is approximately 6 months, the period where profit can be made is shortened even further.

 

So what is the solution for the Korean TV industry to survive?

 

As I have mentioned dozens of times for several years, what is left is OLED TV. What LCD cannot do in terms of picture quality and design, with OLED it is possible. Therefore, only the non-LCD products can enjoy the key factors of differentiation in premium TV market.

 

Existing premium TV is IPTV, a market that Japanese TV companies have been pursuing since early 2000s. Internet connection is possible through TV and allows for exchange of information in both directions. The basic concept of IPTV is watching TV while searching the information on TV via internet. But how useful is this concept at present? The usefulness of IPTV is becoming increasingly low as smartphone is used to search information, use the internet, and even watch TV. With no reason to use the internet via TV, TV companies should seriously consider whether TV with high white brightness is really needed. Rather than white TV with high brightness, it is time to place more importance in the functions of the TV itself. TV screen only uses 20-30% of full white brightness. Films, with outdoor shooting, falls under 20%, and for contents shot at night, black is more important.

 

Considering ‘blackness’ and design, anyone can find where the solution lies. If the foolish notion of trying to make OLED as bright as LCD is abandoned, there is hope.

 

LG OLED UHD TV, SID 2015

LG OLED UHD TV, SID 2015

 

Samsung OLED UHD TV, IFA 2013

Samsung OLED UHD TV, IFA 2013