FPD Revenues to Increase 28% in 2021 to Record $151 Billion

Published April 26, 2021

Strong demand for flat panel displays (FPD) across a range of applications, combined with a dramatic increase in panel prices, will lead to a 28% Y/Y increase to a record $151B in FPD revenues in 2021, based on DSCC’s newly released Quarterly FPD Supply/Demand Report. While the surge in revenues is not expected to be repeated beyond 2021, industry revenues will settle at a new, higher plateau, allowing better profitability for the entire display supply chain.

DSCC’s Quarterly FPD Supply/Demand Report covers three distinct and important areas. The first chapter addresses FPD demand, covering flat panel display shipments across eight different applications, with technology split between LCD and OLED. The report includes a regional breakdown for smartphones and TVs and units, area and revenue history and forecasts for all applications with quarterly data from 2016 to 2024. The second chapter covers FPD supply, including extracts from DSCC’s comprehensive database of both LCD and OLED fabs. Finally, the third chapter covers the supply/demand balance with an analysis of distinct industry segments.

The first chart here shows our forecast for display revenues by application. After declining in 2018-2019, total revenues increased by 6% Y/Y in 2020 to $118B and will jump by 28% in 2021 to $151B driven by continuing strong demand and higher LCD panel prices. While mobile phones (smartphones plus feature phones) remain the application with the highest revenue, the main revenue growth will come from larger sized applications. We expect TV panel revenue to increase 51% to $41B as both OLED TV and LCD TV show big revenue increases. Revenues for monitors, notebooks and tablets are expected to grow by 40%, 35% and 25%, respectively, to a total of $36B.

Flat Panel Display Revenues by Application, 2018 - 2024

Source: DSCC Quarterly FPD Supply/Demand Report
Source: DSCC Quarterly FPD Supply/Demand Report

After 2021, we expect revenues to plateau above $140B, much higher than the pre-pandemic 2019 revenues of $111B. Continuing growth in automotive and mobile phone displays will offset a modest pullback in TV and IT panel revenues to keep the total close to constant.

The next two charts here show our forecast of revenue by display technology for LCD and OLED. OLEDs will continue to gather an increasing percentage of display revenues, but the big increase in revenues in 2021 will go to LCD. We expect LCD panel revenues to increase 32% in 2021 to $112B, and then to regress in the following years to $89B in 2024. OLED revenues will see a more modest 18% Y/Y increase in 2021 to $39B, but the increasing penetration of OLED in smartphones, TVs and other applications will allow OLED revenues to continue to grow to $52B in 2024. While TV has been the largest application for LCD revenue, OLED revenue has been and will continue to be dominated by smartphones.

Flat Panel Display Revenues by Display Technology, LCD (L) and OLED (R), 2018 - 2024

Source: DSCC Quarterly FPD Supply/Demand Report
Source: DSCC Quarterly FPD Supply/Demand Report

While the revenue picture for the display industry shows a clear discontinuity from the pandemic, which has driven LCD panel prices up sharply, the forecast for units and area shows a less dramatic change. Flat panel display units across all applications suffered a 3% decline in 2020, mainly because of an 8% decline in mobile phone panels, which make up more than half of the total. We expect unit shipments to rebound with 6% Y/Y growth to 3.47B units in 2021 as mobile phone panel shipments increase by 7% to nearly 2B units. We expect unit growth to continue in 2022-2024 at a more modest 2% to 3% growth rate to reach 3.7B units in 2024.

The following chart here shows our outlook on FPD area by application, which is dominated by TV and will continue to be so. We expect TV unit shipments to be close to flat, but area to continue to increase with increasing screen size. TV panel area grew by 5% in 2020 to 177M square meters, and we expect another 5% growth in 2021. We expect TV area growth to continue but at a slower pace as the growth of screen size slows but expect total TV panel area to reach 200M square meters by 2024.

Flat Panel Display Area by Application, 2018 - 2024

Source: DSCC Quarterly FPD Supply/Demand Report
Source: DSCC Quarterly FPD Supply/Demand Report

In the IT applications (monitor, notebook and tablet) display area grew by 20% in 2020 fed by WFH/LFH, with each of these applications growing by a double-digit percentage. We expect 2021 to grow further but by only 5%, and to decline in 2022-2024 as the effect of the pandemic recedes. Nevertheless, some of the effects of the pandemic on remote working and learning are expected to be permanent and will lead to a permanent increase in IT panel demand. Therefore, IT panel area in 2024 will settle at levels 15% to 20% higher than the 2019 levels.

The supply chapter of the DSCC Quarterly FPD Supply/Demand Report includes summary figures for FPD Equipment spending by display technology, and our outlook for LCD and OLED capacity by panel maker and segment. The next chart here shows our outlook for LCD capacity by panel maker, demonstrating the increasing dominance of the top two panel makers in China, and the retreat of the two Korean panel makers from the LCD business.

LCD Capacity by Supplier, 2018 - 2024

Source: DSCC Quarterly FPD Supply/Demand Report
Source: DSCC Quarterly FPD Supply/Demand Report

The third chapter of the report covers Display Supply versus Demand, with an outlook for display fab utilization for both LCD and OLED. The final chart here shows our long-term outlook for LCD fab supply/demand. We expect that capacity increases in China will accommodate the increased demand for LCD panels in 2021, although component shortages will constrain LCD utilization to 86%. The report also covers OLED input and utilization for both rigid and flexible substrates.

LCD Capacity vs. Input, 2018-2024

Source: DSCC Quarterly FPD Supply/Demand Report
Source: DSCC Quarterly FPD Supply/Demand Report

As noted above, the DSCC Quarterly FPD Supply/Demand Report provides a comprehensive listing of historical panel shipments in LCD and OLED for eight different applications, plus a forecast of units, area and revenues for each application. The report gives a complete perspective on LCD and OLED demand in units, area and revenues by application as well as supply, input area and utilization. The content is delivered in an in-depth 35 worksheet Excel workbook and a 38-page PDF presentation. Readers interested in subscribing to the DSCC Quarterly FPD Supply/Demand Report should contact gerry@displaysupplychain.com.

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Written by

Bob O'Brien

bob.obrien@displaysupplychain.com