Printed Electronics 2014 View of OLED Display Market

The 2014 Printed Electronics Conference (Santa Clara, CA, November 18-20) included a half day tutorial (masterclass) covering OLED, bi-stable and flexible displays, as well as OLED and LED lighting. One of the morning’s speakers, Dr. Guillaume Chansin of IDTechEx, presented his view of the current state of the OLED, bi-stable and flexible displays markets and technologies, particularly as they relate to printed displays. Dr. Chansin, by omitting information concerning mainstream LCD markets and technologies, was able to focus his presentation on emerging and LCD-alternative display markets and technologies.

Dr. Chansin divided the display universe into printable and non-printable segments. Among the printable displays, he addressed AC electroluminescent, OLED, light-emitting electrochemical cell (LEC), electrophoretic and electrochromic displays. Although Dr. Chansin discussed non-printable displays including interferometric (e.g. Pixtronix), electrowetting, electrofluidic and Qualcomm’s Mirasol technology, Dr. Chansin’s views on OLED, printed and flexible displays were of most interest to me. He presented IDTechEx’s forecast of the total market forecast for OLED display revenues from 2014 through 2024 as illustrated in the figure below.

IDTechEx projects strong growth in the market revenue for OLED displays of 14% CAGR over the next 10 years reaching a total market of $55 billion in 2024. This large revenue projection for OLED displays in 2024 suggests that IDTechEx sees OLED displays displacing some, though clearly not all and likely not the major portion of LCD display sales in this time frame. Nevertheless, $55 billion revenue for OLED displays in 2024 is a sizable market.

Dr. Chansin stated that OLED displays are now beginning their third wave of market penetration after early passive matrix OLED display applications in mobile phones and portable music players, followed by the second wave driven by Samsung’s use of AMOLED displays in the firm’s smartphones. IDTechEx sees OLED displays making new inroads in televisions, tablets and wearable devices. Finally, Dr. Chansin sees a future fourth wave of OLED display adoption for flexible displays and printed televisions. He forecasts that the growth of the OLED display market during the period 2014 through 2024 will break down by application segment, as illustrated below.

The cumulative annual revenue growth for OLED televisions forecast by IDTechEx is large – more than 40% during the decade period. The firm expects that OLED displays for tablets and televisions will continue to be targeted at the premium end of the market, commanding relatively high prices and suggesting that unit sales of LCD tablets and televisions will still dominate during the period. – Phil Wright