LG Display Updates Its OLED TV Plans

By Bob Raikes
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In its quarterly investor briefing, LG Display (LGD) outlined how its business has been developing. In Q4, shipments were up 4% to 10.2 million m², boosted by demand for bigger TV sets, while small/medium also grew, which helped blended ASPs to rise 2%, despite falling panel prices because of the change in size mix.

TV panels are 34% of the business, but has nearly been caught by mobile, which is 32% (up 5% on Q3), with notebooks and tablets at 19% and with monitor panels now down to 15%.

OLED TV panel shipments for the year were at 400,000, with half the shipments in Q4. LG plans to keep up the same level of output this year, with a minimum of 200,000 panels each quarter and aiming for 1,000,000 over 2016. 65″ and above panels will represent 40% of the output, with 55″ taking the balance. Demand is said to be strong from the market.

In the second half of 2017, additional new capacity of 25,000 substrates per month (G8) will come on line to boost volume further from the current 34,000 level. (the capacity will come from the conversion of 50K of LCD capacity). The cost of this conversion is around 30% cheaper than the first generation of OLED capacity building.

LGD expects the market share of UltraHD panels in TV to go up from 4%/5% in 2014 and 14% in 2015 to 24% in 2016, but expects its own share to be higher than that. The firm’s M+ (RGBW) panels are 60% of the total, with price premiums at the low end from 10% to 20% over FullHD. 55″ panels will be around 50% UltraHD this year. In OLED, last year 40% was UltraHD, but the firm expects OLED to be 90% UltraHD in 2016.

In response to a question about OLEDs for IT applications such as notebooks and monitors, LGD said that although there is a lot of discussion, it wants to see more demand before committing to the application.