South Korea was overtaken by Taiwan in TV panel market share last year, after it was outstripped by China in 2017.
Samsung Display and LG Display produced 656 million units (9 percent) and 104.4 million units (14.3 percent) of OLED and LCD TV display panels, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2019, market research company IHS Markit said on March 12. The two companies recorded a combined market share of 23.3 percent in the global market, down more than 8 percentage points from 31.6 percent posted in the same period last year.
In contrast, the market shares of Taiwanese companies such as Innolux, AUO, and Sharp rose, surpassed those of Korean companies. In particular, Innolux produced 11.72 million units (16 percent) in the fourth quarter, surpassing LG Display and emerging as the world’s second-largest display manufacturer. Taiwanese companies’ combined market share, including AUO’s 7 percent and Sharp’s 3.3 percent, reached 26 percent, second only to Chinese makers.
China’s market share passed 50 percent for the first time in 2019. Chinese companies such as BOE, which is the world’s No. 1 display maker, China Star, HKC, CEC Panda, and CHOT competitively increased output, boosting the total to 36.22 million units, which eclipsed the combined sum of Korean and Taiwanese manufacturers.
“It is not a matter of concern right now,” Korean display industry officials said about the trend of Chinese and Taiwanese companies expanding their market shares. “Rather, it reflects a smooth transition of Samsung Display and LG Display to next-generation products.”
Samsung Display is speeding up technology development by deciding to invest 13 trillion won in quantum dot (QD) displays by 2025. The company is planning to start mass production of large QD-OLEDs in the first half of next year. The company has reportedly transformed the L8-1 Line in Tangjeong of South Chungcheong Province, which has produced more than 5 million LCD TV panels (based on 55-inch panels) per year, into a QD line.
LG Display stopped producing TV panels at its eighth-generation LCD factory in Paju, Korea last year. This year it is planning to suspend LCD TV panel production as a whole in Korea. “We are planning to produce LCD panels for other products with high added value such as monitors, laptops, and tablets,” an LG Display official said.
In particular, LG is expected to significantly ramp up production of large OLED panels, one of LG’s next-generation strategic products, beginning the second quarter of 2020. The company’s OLED plant in Guangzhou, China is scheduled to start mass production of OLED panels in April. The Guangzhou plant has a production capacity of 60,000 units per month. When it goes into normal operation, LG Display’s total OLED panel production is expected to arrive at 130,000 units per month and more than six million panels annually.
Chinese companies will need to invest for more than 5 years in order to catch up with Korean companies in this next-generation technology, display market experts say.