As LG Display came out on top in the small and medium-sized display market after the large display panel market, it has become the first company to dominate the large, medium, and small-sized LCD market for the first time in the industry.
According to sources in the industry on April 23, LG Display had led the global large display market for 21 consecutive quarters from Q4 in 2009 to Q4 last year, showing the strength in the large display market. However, the company had lagged behind Samsung Display in the small and medium-sized panel market.
Samsung Display had ranked first in small and medium-sized panels for 20 quarters straight, from Q4 in 2009 to Q3 last year.
According to the recent data from DisplaySearch, however, LG Display came in first place in the market of small and medium-sized panels at less than 9 inches, which are being used in smartphones and tablet PCs, in Q4 last year for the first time ever.
As LG Display recorded US$2.107 billion (2.28 trillion won) in sales and 18.7 percent in market share based on sales in Q4 last year, the company pulled ahead of Japan Display and Samsung Display. During the same period, Samsung Display fell to third place, overtaken by Japan Display.
LG Display’s growth was largely due to the fact that the company had won more clients thanks to its superior competitiveness in the LCD panel sector and improvd sales of high-value-added products, including a round plastic OLED display being used in smart watches.
In particular, LG Display saw rapid improvement in its performance as Apple’s iPhone 6, which display panel was supplied by LG, gained much popularity in Q4 last year. Also, the fact that LG Display monopolized the supply of the panel to Apple’s smartwatch also influenced the result.
LG Display, which shows overwhelming market power in the LCD market, is also planning to expand the lineup of thinner semi-TV sets, including the Quad UHD 8K, in the TV sector this year, in a bid to strengthen its power in the LCD market.
Also, the company will unveil new products such as its own AIT technology, a Quad High Definition (QHD) LCD panel for smartphones, and a borderless monitor.
Along with the LCD market, LG Display is also accelerating the OLED market invasion in order to keep its global number one position.
Starting the supply of OLED TV panels in 2103, the company secured various clients, including China’s Skyworks and Konka, last year, expanding the market.
With LG Display considering this year the right time to expand the OLED, the company is accelerating the OLED business by reorganizing and extending facilities. LG Display established the OLED business unit with its President Yeo Sang-deok, and is aiming to produce a total of 34,000 units in the 8th generation OLED TV panel manufacturing line by the end of this year. Currently, this production line produces 8,000 units of OLED panels every month.
Also, LG Display will decide whether to make additional investments in the 4.5 generation OLED production line with a monthly production capacity of 14,000 units in Paju, depending on technology and market development situations, including foldable OLEDs.
Moreover, the company is developing products and actively attracting customers in order to become the leader in the new business sector as well, such as automobile and signage, this year.
Meanwhile, LG Display announced on April 22 that it recorded 743.9 billion won (US$686.82 million) in operating profits in Q1, a 689 percent increase from a year earlier. Its sales increased 25.7 percent to 7.0223 trillion won (US$6.48 billion) compared to the previous year, and the net profits amounted to 475.7 billion won (US$439.2 million), turning into th black.
Comparing with Q4 last year, operating profits grew 19 percent, while net profits increased 22 percent. Sales dropped 16 percent from 8.342 trillion won (US$7.7 billion) in Q4 in 2014.
Q1 is traditionally considered a slow season in the electronics industry. The reasons why LG Display could have better results than expected are that the sales of large TV products improved after Q4 last year, and the company has continuously made efforts to cut down on costs.