The IFA Global Press Conference is a pre-cursor to the main event in Berlin in September. This year it was held in Hong Kong and Shenzen, China, in mid-April. At the event, Paul Gray of IHS said that LG Display and Samsung Display will turn their attention away from TV sets and towards automobile displays.
“Selling television sets is a terrible market for display makers. The pricing is very low and television sets last a long time. There are other things that you can do with OLEDs such as automotive,” said Gray.
In order to boost the OLED market, both LGD and SDC will need to look at new product segments. LG, for example, will find automotive and aerospace its most attractive applications, now that Apple’s smartphone and tablet business is flattening out.
“Carmakers want OLED,” Gray continued. “They want the idea of curving the display into the dashboard because the car looks cool with it. Those applications for OLED are far more valuable, and working with auto companies, [LGD] can secure stable business for three to five years as opposed to consumer electronics technology that just continues to be fickle. I think automotive will end up as the more attractive business.”
SDC has been hesitant in the large OLED market, despite its dominance in the OLED smartphone category. Gray feels that, if SDC were to return to OLED TV sets, it would only be for flagship products.
LGD may be more able to shift production from TVs to automotive displays, as its policy is to do what is right for the business, rather than focusing on its vertical integration with LG Electronics. SDC, however, has been managed with more vertical integration and is tied in to the main supply chain of Samsung Electronics.
There is increasing demand for premium displays in all product categories, said Gray. More than 300 million UltraHD TVs are expected to be shipped in 2019, and over 1.4 million 8k TVs. HDR is also experiencing rapid growth. This rise in premium display demand has prompted about 11 display plants in China to operate G8 – G10 lines, optimised for 43″ – 75″ TVs.