Samsung Display eyes OLED mobile device panel output of 550 mn units in 2017

Samsung Display Co. aims to ship out more than 550 million units of small- and medium-sized organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels next year, up over 35 percent from this year’s output target, to meet burgeoning demand for OLED panels from Chinese smartphone makers, said an unnamed official at Samsung Display on Sunday.

“Production of small- and medium-sized OLED displays will increase sharply as Chinese companies are going to pour out OLED smartphones next year,” the official said. “We will achieve this year’s target of 400 million units and aim to expand the panel produce to more than 550 million units next year.” The official also said the company’s OLED panels produced for Chinese companies already surpassed 28 percent of its total OLED production as of last month.

With rising orders not only from Apple Inc. but also from Chinese companies like Huawei Technologies Co., the world’s third largest smartphone maker, Samsung Display’s reliance on Samsung Electronics, its largest customer, is also expected to decline to below 50 percent from the current 68 percent, the official anticipated.

According to global market research company IHS Markit, OLED panels accounted for less than 20 percent in the market for 9-inche or smaller displays in terms of sales last year, but its share grew to 35.1 percent at the end of June this year. OLED is expected to make up 52 percent of the market in 2020 to share the market equally with current mainstream liquid crystal display (LCD) panels.

Chinese smartphone makers are expected to further increase their purchase of OLED panels next year. Their OLED panel purchases are forecast to surge more than 70 percent to about 85 million units this year compared to last year. China’s largest smartphone maker Huawei will likely up the volume of its OLED smartphones from 2 percent to up to 8 percent in its smartphone portfolio. The country’s second largest smartphone maker Oppo is projected to expand production of smartphones with OLED screens to up to 39 percent and third-place runner Vivo up to 35 percent.

Samsung Display is a dominant player in the global market of small and medium OLED panels, commanding over 95 percent of the market, and it is expected to further tighten its grab in the market as Apple that has applied LCD panels supplied by LG Display, Japan Display and Sharp for its iPhones also decided to adopt OLED panels for future iPhone models.