This year, the performance of Samsung’s display panel business is somewhat unsatisfactory. In the second quarter of 2018, the revenue of Samsung’s display panel business was 5.67 trillion won (about US $5.1 billion), a year-on-year decrease of 27%; The operating profit was 140 billion won, a year-on-year decrease of 92%.
In the financial report, Samsung Electronics attributed the poor performance of the display panel business to the slowdown in the demand for flexible OLED panels and the decline in the sales and price of LCD TV panels.
According to DSCC data, Samsung’s share in the OLED panel market was 86% in the first half of 2018. Specific to the small and medium-sized OLED market, consulting firm IHS said Samsung accounted for 90.1% of the market share. However, LGD, which currently monopolizes the large-size OLED market, is also actively entering small and medium-sized markets such as mobile phones and smart watches.
Samsung’s display panel business is not satisfactory
In this regard, Qiu Yubin, deputy general manager of Jibang consulting photoelectric research center, said that even if LGD and domestic backward manufacturers continue to invest in the production of small-size flexible OLEDs, SDC (Samsung display Co., Ltd.) can basically maintain its advantages in production capacity, yield, customer composition and product portfolio in the next 2-3 years.
The decline in LCD TV panel sales is also due to Samsung’s initiative to shut down the LCD production line. According to media reports, Samsung has closed two generation 5 LCD production lines and one generation 7 LCD production line in the past few years. Xie qinyi, senior research director of IHS, also said that Samsung is even evaluating the closure of an 8.5 generation production line because the revenue of OLED panels is three times that of LCD panels.
Due to the existence of a “cash cow” such as small-size OLED in the panel business, which alleviates the pressure on revenue and profit, SDC’s ink accumulation in the LCD business is really not as good as that of other competitors. In addition to meeting the needs of Samsung brands of the same group, other resources tend to lock in the separation of medium and high-end products.
In addition to continuing to use LCD panel TVs, Samsung Electronics has also vigorously promoted Samsung TVs using qled technology in recent years.
Meanwhile, in the second quarter of this year, Samsung officially announced that the next quantum dot development stage is qd-oled. Qd-cf originally attached to LCD technology has been officially abandoned, which shows Samsung’s ambition to create a new technical route of quantum dots.
According to DSCC, Samsung will start trial production of qd-oled in 2019, with 5000 8.5 generation substrates per month. If successful, Samsung will double its production capacity in 2020 and add another 30000 substrates a year in 2021 and 2022. The material revenue of Samsung qd-oled TV will reach US $56 million in 2022.
However, DSCC also acknowledges that the forecast may change due to several technical challenges Samsung faces before launching commercial qd-oled TVs – SDC is likely to cancel the project, or increase production at a faster rate, or even to generation 10.5.
According to DSCC, the two main challenges of qd-oled are efficient blue OLED emitters and good quantum dot color converters (QDCC). Light management in this architecture is also a severe challenge.