Success for Chinese Makers in AMOLED is not Assured

david hsiehIHS’s David Hsieh has published a blog post that highlights the difficulties that Chinese companies are having in trying to catch up to the Korean makers of OLED displays. IHS identifies the companies as BOE, EverDisplay (EDO), Visionox, Tianma, Royole, Chinastar (CSOT) and Truly Display. Although huge efforts are being made and big investments, the volume of production is very low and fell in Q1 as soft demand in the smartphone market meant that they were squeezed out of the market. Total shipments were just 1.3 million in Q1 2017, down from 3 million in Q4 2016, with most panels going for use in smartphones – the rest going into smartwatches.

Smartwatch displays are a significant proportion of the sales of Chinese AMOLEDs

Two thirds of the panels that were shipped came from EverDisplay, although that company was also 58% down to 800,000 units. IHS reports that the company had won business from Huawei, but lost some of this back to Samsung because of quality issues. The second largest is Visionox, which has been supplying ZTE, but came to the end of a contract in Q3 2016, although it is supplying Nubia. BOE and Tianma have good relationships with smartphone makers, but also have strong LCD businesses, so are less troubled by the difficulties in OLED.

chinese local amoled shipment result by makerEDO and Visionox depend on AMOLED sales, but BOE and Tianma have bigger LCD businesses.

Analyst Comment

Although Chinese vendors have been successful in LCD, Hsieh is not yet convinced that it is certain that the companies can also succeed in AMOLEDs, which are much harder to make. Personally, I think that BOE will certainly get there and possibly Tianma, although the others may struggle. (BR)