DSCC’s Latest Long-Term OLED Forecast in OLED Shipment & Fab Utilization Report

Published December 18, 2019

Mobile OLED panel shipment revenue will increase to nearly $40 billion by 2023 and OLED TV panel revenue will add another $6.5 billion by that year, according to the Q4 update of the DSCC Quarterly OLED Shipment and Fab Utilization Report. The report includes Q3 actual shipments plus DSCC’s estimate for Q4 2019 for smartphone models for the top brands, along with shipment data by application for ten different applications for OLED display panels.

The report contains a wealth of information on OLED shipments, including pivot tables providing data on revenues, units, ASPs, Area, Areal ASPs, PPI, and Screen Size, with historical data from 2016-2019 by quarter, and forecast data for 2020-2023. Users can analyze all of these output parameters by panel supplier, by substrate type (rigid/flexible/foldable), by brand, and other splits.

First, we will take a look at the 2019 results by quarter. OLED Panel shipments for all applications increased to 181 million in Q3 2019, a 27% increase Y/Y, and we expect Q4 to come in at 173 million, an increase of 18% from Q4 2018. In revenue terms, Q3 panel revenues were $8.5 billion, up 5% from a year ago, and we expect Q4 revenues to amount to $8.04 billion, a decrease from Q4 2018 of less than 1%.

OLED revenues continue to be dominated by smartphone panels, as shown in the first chart here. OLED smartphone panel revenues came in at $6.9 billion in Q3 and we expect $6.4 billion in Q4, declines of 1% and 4% from their respective quarters in 2018. While TV remains the 2nd highest application by revenue, it is nearly matched by smartwatch revenue. TV panels will reach $639.1 million in Q4, followed by smartwatch revenues with $638.6 million. We estimate that smartwatch panel revenue will reach $1.88 billion for the full year 2019, an increase of 47% of 2018, while TV revenues of $2.4 billion manage only a 15% increase.

Quarterly OLED Panel Shipment Revenue by Application, 2018-2019

Next we can dig into the smartphone market detail for 2019; the next chart shows smartphone panel unit shipments by panel supplier. While Samsung continues to dominate the industry, its share of total smartphone shipments has declined from 97% in Q1 2018 to 88% in Q4 2019. Samsung OLED smartphone shipments have increased a modest 6% Y/Y to 432 million units, while BOE has grown 394% to 14 million units, Everdisplay has increased 546% to 10.5 million units and LGD has grown 126% to 9.6 million units.

Quarterly OLED Smartphone Panel Shipments by Panel Maker, 2018-2019

With a detailed supply chain perspective available in the report, we can look at the demand side of OLED smartphones, as shown in the next chart. Samsung continues to be the largest user of OLED panels, purchasing 224 million panels in 2019, an increase of 4% over 2018, followed by Apple with 59 million units. Apple’s purchases of OLED panels decreased 27% from 2018, with a sharp slowdown in the first half of 2019 as seen in the chart. Huawei was the #3 brand for OLED panel purchases with 50 million, an increase of 261% from 2018, and Huawei surpassed Apple in the first half. The full report shows OLED panel shipments to 24 different smartphone brands, but for simplicity we’ve included only the top 8 in this chart.

​Quarterly OLED Smartphone Panel Shipments by Brand, 2018-2019

Subscribers to the report can dig much deeper into the smartphone value chain, examining all these factors for sub-segments of the smartphone market such as rigid / flexible / foldable or different screen size groups.

Turning to the 2nd largest application by revenue, OLED TV panel shipments have increased 11% Y/Y in 2019 to 3.2 million units, with Q4 2019 registering a meager 3% Y/Y growth to 842,000 units. OLED TV shipments by LGD to various brands are shown in the next chart. While LGE remains the biggest customer for OLED TV panels, shipments to LG increased only 1% Y/Y in 2019 to 1.79 million units. LGD’s #2 customer Sony was a bit better with 18% growth Y/Y to 684k units. LGD made great strides in diversifying its customer base in 2019, with big increases in panel shipments to Hisense (+304% Y/Y), TPV (+59% Y/Y for the Philips brand), and Panasonic (+39% Y/Y) among others.

Quarterly OLED TV Panel Shipments by Brand, 2018-2019

While smartphone is dominated by Samsung, and TV remains the exclusive domain of LGD, in the #3 application, smartwatch, a genuinely competitive battle has emerged among panel makers. With the majority of shipments for the Apple Watch, LGD has been the leader in smartwatch panel revenues for every quarter since Q3 2018, but LGD’s revenue share in Q4 2019 is estimated at only 27% as Samsung, Everdisplay, BOE and others achieved substantial portions of the market, and JDI appeared for the first time in this market with sales to Apple.

Quarterly OLED Smartwatch Panel Shipments by Panel Maker, 2018-2019

Among other applications, OLED Notebook panels are starting to emerge in noticeable volumes, with 800k units in 2019, nearly half of which (395k) came in Q4. Notebooks crept up above 1% of OLED panel revenues with $92 million in Q4.

Turning to the longer-term forecast, we expect OLED panel shipments for all applications to increase at a 16% CAGR to 1.07 billion units in 2023, from 500 million units in 2018. Smartphone will continue to dominate the shipments in units, as we forecast smartphone to be 84% of all shipments in 2023, down only slightly from 87% in 2018. While they will make up only a small portion of units, the growth of IT applications will be impressive (albeit from a low base), with notebook panel shipments growing at a 281% CAGR to 12.1 million units in 2023 and monitors growing at a 157% CAGR to 2.0 million units.

The final chart in this article shows our long-term forecast of OLED panel shipment revenues by application. We expect OLED revenues to increase at a 12% CAGR from $26.6 billion in 2018 to $46.1 billion in 2023, driven by growth across all applications, but especially beyond smartphone. We forecast smartphone revenues to grow by only a 6% CAGR across this time horizon to $29.7 billion in 2023, while TV panel revenues grow by a more impressive 26% CAGR to $6.5 billion. TV revenue increases will be driven by an increase in average screen size and by the introduction of higher-priced Samsung QD OLED TV panels to the mix.

OLED Panel Shipments by Application, 2018-2023

Notebook will rise to the #3 application by revenue by 2023, registering a 286% CAGR from 2018 to 2013 and growing to $3.1 billion. In addition, smartwatch, tablet, and monitors will all represent markets with greater than $1 billion in revenue.
Compared to the Q3 edition of this report, some noteworthy changes made:

  • Apple's flexible demands for smartphone were revised down in 2019 and 2020.
  • Samsung's rigid demands for smartphone were revised up in 2019 and beyond.
  • OLED TV demand forecasts were revised down from 2019 and toward the future.
  • Total OLED demand forecast for smartphone is similar to previous forecast.

DSCC has recently released its fourth quarter Quarterly OLED Shipment and Fab Utilization Report with a five-year forecast of OLED shipments and revenues by application, supplier and size. The report also tracks and compares OLED and LTPS LCD fab utilization and provides analysis of the supply chain for all OLED applications. For more information about the report, please contact Gerry McGinley at 770-503-6318, e-mail gerry@displaysupplychain.com or contact your regional DSCC office in China, Japan or Korea

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Written by

Bob O'Brien