Bernstein Warns on OLED Investment

By Bob Raikes

Analysts from Bernstein have been on a trip to Asia, visiting Samsung, Corning, LG Display Japan Display, Toppan, ULVAC, Tokyo Electron, Applied Materials, Kateeva, Idemitsu Kosan, Hitachi Chemical, and Nanosys among the 23 companies seen. In an article on the Barrons blog, Bernstein has warned on the potential trouble that will come from the big wave of investment that is currently being undertaken to aggressively ramp up OLED capacity. This is proving very positive for equipment makers at the moment. However, there is a big risk of over-supply in 2018, and could even start to be a problem in the second half of this year.

The firm believes that Samsung will be the supplier of OLEDs to Apple and that it will supply around 80 million flexible OLEDs to Apple in the second half of this year. The article quotes a price of $75 to $80 for flexible displays compared to around $30 for rigid OLEDs.

Bernstein charts OLED spending rampBernstein sees a big spending ramp for OLED investment. Click for higher resolution

Analyst Comment

We have heard Albert Moel, one of the Berstein analysts, speak several times over the years and he is well regarded in the industry, so his warning about over-capacity would be worth paying attention to.