DSCC sees 1.65 million foldable OLED panels shipped in 2019, will grow to 80 million by 2023

DSCC released its latest forecast for the foldable OLED market. According to DSCC 1.65 million foldable OLED panels will ship in 2019 - which will grow to 60 million panels in 2022 and just over 80 million panels in 2023.

Foldable OLED shipments forecast (2019-2023, DSCC)

DSCC says that foldable devices should "inevitably succeed" as device makers see these devices as a way to boost high-end smartphone revenues as this market has plateaued. DSCC says that the forecast may be even cautious - although if we compare to DSCC's previous foldable OLED estimates released at the end of 2018, they have lowered their predictions slightly.

DSCC: OLED equipment spending fell 7% in 2018, will fall a further 59% in 2019

DSCC says that in 2018 OLED display equipment spending fell 7% compared to 2017 to reach $12.5 billion. In 2019, DSCC predicts that OLED spending will fall a further 59% as poor mobile OLED fab utilization is still low.

Display equipment spending (2016 - 2023, DSCC)Looking further in 2019, DSCC sees OLED spending to rebound by 111% to $10.9 billion (still quite lower than in 2017) but drop 40% again in 2021 - to only $6.2 billion.

DSCC details its estimation of smartphone OLED producers market share

DSCC released the interesting (but confusing, note the legend starts at 350M) chart below, detailing the market share of smartphone OLED producers in 2016-2019. As can be seen Samsung will remain the dominant producer, but its market share in 2019 will drop from 94% in 2018 to around 85%.

OLED shipments by producer (2016-2019, DSCC)

Non-SDC shipments will increase to 73 million units in 2019 - led by LG Display (~25 million units), BOE (around 20 million) and Visionox (around 15 million units).

DSCC lowers its 2019 OLED revenue forecast to $28.6 billion

DSCC has updated its OLED market forecast for 2019, and the company now expects OLED revenues to reach $28.6 billion (up from $26.5 billion in 2018 - but lower than DSCC's previous estimate). In terms of area shipments, 2019 will see a 25% increase compared to 2018, with strong growth in both the TV and smartphone market.OLED panel shipments TV/smartphone (DSCC, 2016-2019)

Looking at OLED applications, TVs will have a market share of 42% in terms of area production, but only 9% in terms of revenues. All OLED production will reach 572 million units, growing by 16% compared to 2018.

DSCC sees low flexible OLED utilization rates in Q1 2019

DSCC says that in January 2019 flexible OLED utilization rates dropped to 39% - due to seasonal weakness and Apple's slow iPhone sales. CLSA says that February will another bad month and utilization rates will even drop slightly to 37%. In March things will improve to almost 50% - following the launch of Samsung's Galaxy S10.

Mobile LCD and OLED utilization rates (DSCC, January 2018 - March 2019)

Looking at the entire quarter, DSCC sees utilization rates dropping from 68% in Q4 2018 to 41% in Q1 2019. Glass input for all flexible OLED fabs will be down 3% from last year. Rigid OLED utilization rates have been up in 2019 - from 44% in December 2018 to 49% in January 2019, and DSCC sees it continuing to climb in Q1 2019, as a result of increased adoption of rigid OLED by Chinese smartphone makers.

DSCC: the production costs of a 55" QD OLED TV will reach almost $800 in 2019, will fall to $450 by 2022

DSCC says that production costs for a 55" QD-OLED TV panel at Samsung Display's 8.5-Gen fab will reach almost $800 in 2019. While this will fall to around $450 in 2022, Samsung will still lose money on every panel sold if DSCC has its price and cost estimates right.

QD-OLED production cost estimates (2019-2022, DSCC)

It is important to note that most of the cost is depreciation costs - which means that in terms of cash on each panel, SDC's margins will actually be around 40%. Part of the reason for he high cost of required equipment is the need to use 12 TFT masks.. SDC is apparently looking to reduce the mask number which will lower production costs.

DSCC sees a slow recovery in SDC's flexible OLED utilization rates, details its smartphone OLED prices and production costs

DSCC released its cost and prices estimates for Samsung's smartphone OLEDs. For rigid OLEDs production costs range from $23 for a 5.5" FHD AMOLED to $32 for a 7.21" 2244x1080 one (see chart below). For some of its rigid OLEDs, SDC enjoys a high operating margin of 30%.

SDC rigid OLED production cost and price (Q4 2018, DSCC)

Flexible OLEDs are of course much more expensive - a 5.5" 2560x1440 panel costs almost $70, while a 6.46" 2688x1242 panel costs around $90 (as can be seen in the chart below). As in rigid OLEDs, the larger displays have a higher operating margin (up to 26% for the 6.46" panel).

You can compare DSCC's production costs estimates with the recently released IHS production costs here. IHS estimates a 5.7" rigid OLED at $18.62 (DSCC: 5.8" at $23) and a 5.8" flexible OLED at $22.61 (DSCC: 5.5" costs $70 - that's quite a difference!).

DSCC: SDC 7.3" foldable OLEDs cost $180 to produce, will drop to $90 by 2022

DSCC says that Samsung's foldable 7.3" 2152x15236 AMOLED panel (the one that will be used by Samsung's first foldable OLED device) currently costs almost $180 produce (and SDC will actually lose a bit on every panel sold).

Samsung foldable 7.3'' OLED production cost and price (2019-2022, DSCC)

SDC will be able, though, to quickly lower its production costs which will reach around $90 for each panel in 2022. Cost reductions will enable SDC to maintain a good profit margin on these foldable displays from 2020 onwards. The main reason for the current high prices are SDC's low yields on foldable AMOLEDs.

DSCC details the screens Samsung will use in its upcoming Samsung Galaxy 10 smartphone

DSCC says that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10 will come in three models:

  • The Galaxy S10 Light will use a 5.75" 2340x1080 flexible AMOLED display
  • The Galaxy S10 will sport a 6.11" 3120x1440 flexible AMOLED
  • The Galaxy S10 Plus will sport a large 6.44" 3120x1440 flexible AMOLED

DSCC also details the production cost and panel price at SDC, for the large GS10+ 6.44" AMOLED display - and how it changed from Q1 2018 (with a forecast of up to Q4 2019).

Galaxy S10+ panel cost and price estiamtes, Q1 2018 - Q4 2019 (DSCC)

DSCC: BOE managed to triple its flexible OLED production yields, increases capacity to over 1 million flexible OLED panels per month

Market research firm DSCC says that BOE managed to dramatically increase its yields - which have tripled to over 30% by the end of 2018. The company is expected to continue and improve its yields which will reach, according to DSCC, to almost 60% by the end of 2019.

Flexible OLED yields, Q1 18 - Q4 19, BOE vs SDC (DSCC)
The increased yields enabled BOE to increase its flexible OLED production at its first B7 line from 125,000 units per month in Q3 2018 to almost 1 million panels per month in Q4 2018. BOE's main customer is Huawei - with its Mate 20 Pro. The increased yields means that panel production costs are falling - and DSCC actually expects BOE's production costs to fall below SDC's by the end of 2019 as BOE's fab costs are subsidized - as can be seen in the image below.