There will likely be a shortage of large-sized OLED panels used in TVs starting in 2024, UBI Research CEO Choong Hoon Yi said.
Yi based his forecast on the production capacity for large-sized OLED panels and t here expected demand going forward.
Demand for large-sized OLED panels is expected to be around 7.2 million units this year, but this will increase to 10 million units in 2023 and 12 million units in 2024, Yi said at an online conference on Friday.
LG Display is currently the sole supplier of large-sized OLED panels. Its current production capacity for the panels is around 10 million units a year. It has production lines in Paju, South Korea and Guangzhou, China.
Unless the company expands its capacity, demand will outpace supply by 2 million units in 2024, the CEO noted.
Yi said LG Display may commence expansion of its capacity earlier than scheduled in light of this possibility.
Last year in January, the South Korean display panel maker had said it plans to start spending in expanding its Gen 10.5 (2940x3370mm) OLED production line in 2023.LG Display currently manufactures its OLED panels in Gen 8.5 (2200x2500mm) OLED lines. Using the larger Gen 10.5 substrate can increase productivity for the firm. A Gen 10.5 substrate can make eight 65-inch panels or six 75-inch panels. In contrast, a Gen 8.5 can make six 55-inch panels and three 65-inch panels.
Yi said LG Display will start investing no later than next year as it will take more time to secure the needed yield rate in a Gen 10.5 line, considering that the firm has no prior experience using such a large substrate in production.
However, the CEO also said LG Display doesn’t necessarily need to focus on Gen 10.5 and can upgrade its existing Gen 8.5 lines to expand production capacity.
Yi also said his demand forecast is based on those from LG Electronics, Sony and other exiting OLED panel customers.
If Samsung Electronics were to start procuring large-sized OLED panels from LG Display, the shortage will happen sooner by a year, he noted. In this scenario, LG Display will need to start expanding its capacity this year.
Meanwhile, the UBI Research CEO also said 1,8 million units of large-sized OLED panels were shipped in the second quarter, an 186% increase from the second quarter of 2020. It was also a 13% increase from the first quarter of 2021. LG Display began operating its Guangzhou OLED plant in the third quarter of last year and its capacity has increased since then, Yi said.
The tablet market will also lead to expanded shipment of mid-sized OLED panels, the CEO said. Previously, the launch of foldable products was expected to cannibalize the tablet market but Apple was delaying its foldable phone launch and planning to introduce a OLED iPad next year, Yi said.
For OLED panels used in notebooks, shipment reached 2 million units in the first half of this year, he said. A minimum of 4 million units is expected to be shipped this year. Samsung Display is the only company that manufactures notebook OLED panels.