Faced with a prolonged slump in the global liquid-crystal display (LCD) market, Chinese TV manufacturers are considering shifting to organic light emitting diode (OLED) panels. If Chinese companies, which are the main culprit of the oversupply of LCD panels, move into the OLED market, a “generation shift” in the global TV market will gain far more speed.
Industry watchers say that Chinese TV manufacturers, which are suffering from worsening profitability due to the oversupply of LCD panels and low-price competition, are considering increasing the proportion of OLED TVs. Indeed, the number of Chinese companies which have entered the OLED TV market rapidly increased from two in 2013 to nine this year.
This is also supported by data from HIS Markit, a market research firm. Sales of OLED TVs in the Chinese market are expected to reach 160,000 units this year, about one-seventh of 1,144,000 sold in the European market. However, the figure is predicted to rapidly rise to 455,000 next year, 693,000 in 2021 and 1,308,000 in 2022.
A surge in sales of OLED TVs is expected not only in China but also in other Asian nations including Korea and Japan. HIS Markit predicts that sales of OLED TVs in the Asian region will sharply increase from 927,000 units this year to 1,585,000 in 2020, 2,107,000 in 2021 and 3,609,000 in 2023.
Industry analysts say that Samsung Display's plan to begin production of quantum dot (QD) displays in 2021 will accelerate a shift away from LCD TVs. The LCD era, which started from the mid-1990s, is expected to reach an end after about 30 years.
Chinese companies’ shift towards OLED TVs will strengthen the status of Samsung and LG as the first and second player in the global TV market. In the OLED market, LG Electronics is the leader with its market share reaching 59.2 percent in the first half of this year.
“Thanks to its massive investment, China has surpassed Korea in the LCD market in a short time, but such an aggressive strategy has quickened the fall of LCD panels,” said an industry insider, adding that Korean TV manufactures should be prepared for China’s massive investment in the OLED sector.