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OLED Panels To Reach 3 Percent Penetration In 2021

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Persistently narrowing price gap with LCD panels is driving OLED growth, says TrendForce

Thanks to TV manufacturers' aggressive procurement activities, global TV panel shipment for 1H21 reached 135.2 million pcs, a 3.5 percent YoY increase, according to TrendForce's latest investigations.

Notably, high-end OLED TV panels and 8K LCD TV panels showed diametrically opposed movements. The former product category reached a 2.6 percent market share in 1H21 (with room for further growth going forward) due to LGD's capacity expansion as well as the narrowing gap between OLED panel prices and LCD panel prices.

On the other hand, the latter's market share fell to a mere 0.2 percent in 1H21 as panel suppliers were generally reluctant to manufacture 8K LCD TV panels due to these panels' poor yield rates.

TrendForce's findings indicate that Chinese panel suppliers were able to achieve a 58.3 percent share in the TV panel market, which was nearly 5 percentage points higher than their 1H20 market share, thanks to their growing number of production lines. Conversely, Taiwanese suppliers saw their market share drop by 2.2 percentage points from 1H20 levels to 21.1 percent in 1H21.

This decline took place because of their limited production capacities and because they reallocated some of their production capacities for TV panels to IT products instead. Korean suppliers likewise experienced a decline in market share to 14.3 percent after SDC shuttered its Korea-based LCD fabs L7-2 and L8-1-2 and sold its Suzhou-based Gen 8.5 fab to CSOT. Finally, Japanese suppliers' market shares increased to 6.3 percent as a result of SDP's Gen 10.5 capacity expansion.

Regarding OLED TV panels, which are relatively high-end products, it should be pointed out that LGD is the sole supplier of these panels. Not only did LGD expand the production capacity of its Guangzhou-based OLED panel fab, but LGD's clients in the TV sector were also increasingly willing to procure OLED panels in light of the narrowing gap between OLED panel prices and LCD panel prices.

Hence, the penetration rate of OLED panels in the TV panel market grew to 2.6 percent in 1H21, with about 3.556 million pcs shipped throughout the period. Furthermore, now that the Guangzhou fab's OLED panel capacity reached 90k sheets/month in 2Q21, TrendForce expects annual OLED TV panel shipment for 2021 to reach 8 million pcs, with a 3 percent penetration rate in the overall TV panel market.

On the other hand, 8K LCD TV panels reached a mere 0.2 percent penetration rate in the TV panel market in 1H21 because panel suppliers' concerns about profit and yield maximization resulted in their relatively low willingness to manufacture these products. On the demand side, clients were also unwilling to procure these panels due to persistently high quotes from suppliers.

With regards to panel suppliers, CSOT in particular benefitted from the unique structure of its client base, which allowed it to dominate more than half of the 8K LCD TV panel market, with AUO taking second place. The respective market shares of CSOT and AUO currently sit at 54.4 percent and 22.6 percent.

TrendForce forecasts a 0.2 percent penetration rate for 8K LCD TV panels for 2021 as the growth of these products is constrained by their relatively high prices and the current paucity of 8K content.

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