Despite slower demand from end market and panel price erosion, the large thin-film transistor (TFT) display market expanded in 2017 in all three aspects – unit shipments, area shipments, and revenue. Unit shipments of larger than 9-inch TFT displays increased by 4 percent in 2017 compared to a year ago, while area shipments rose 6 percent and revenues up 13 percent during the same period.
Revenue growth was higher than that of area shipments, which was again bigger than that of unit shipments. This indicates that the display market is moving to larger screens in all applications, and the penetration of high-specification products with a higher price tag, such as high resolution, wide viewing angle, and slim design panels, has increased. Large TFT display revenues reached USD 63.7 billion in 2017, according to IHS Markit.
By area shipments, TV displays, which grew 6 percent year-over-year (Y-o-Y), accounted for 78 percent of the total large TFT display market, leading the overall market growth. Despite ongoing decline in TV panel prices, which started in the middle of 2017, revenue continued to grow by double digits as panel makers have focused on high-end products, such as 4K TVs and 55-inch-and-larger TVs. Shipments of 4K TV panels amounted to 92 million units in 2017, up 46 percent Y-o-Y, making up 35 percent of the entire TV display market. OLED TV panels also continued its growth, marking unit shipments of 1.8 million with a 102 percent growth from 2016.
BOE led the large TFT display market with a 21 percent share in 2017 in terms of unit shipments, followed by LG Display with 20 percent and Innolux with 16 percent. It was the first time that a Chinese panel maker took the top position in an annual base result. However, in the TV panels market by unit shipments, LG Display retained its lead with a 19 percent share, followed by BOE with 17 percent. In terms of area shipments, South Korean panel makers remained strong, with LG Display accounting for 23 percent and Samsung Display for 17 percent.