Amid the dominance of Chinese and Taiwanese companies in the ultra high definition (UHD) market with low-priced UHD panels, the Korean display industry has decided to fight back.
It is too early to feel a sense of crisis, since the UHD LCD market accounts for only 1% of the global flat-panel TV market, judging by shipments. But their accomplishments require special attention, considering their growth in the future. In particular, the market of super-large-sized UHD displays is highly profitable, as it is the only market that has not been affected by LCD panel oversupply.
According to an official in the display industry, on August 6 Samsung and LG Display made a decision to release various types of UHD panels to meet customer need for different panel sizes and specifications in the premium display market.
Samsung Display will mass-produce 98-inch displays as early as this year to consolidate its position as the largest UHD LCD panel maker in Korea. The decision is based on its opinion that the UHD market is growing faster than expected, despite its continued production of 85 & 65 inch panels. It is also planning to unveil UHD displays in the 70-ish inch range that can diversify the premium market.
In spite of BOE's production of 110-inch UHDLCD panels, most Chinese and Taiwanese products compete with existing full HD LCD panels with similar sizes while specializing in products in the range of 39, 40, 50, and 60 inches.
Samsung Display is trying hard to take over the expensive super-sized display market because of excellent profits.
Meanwhile, LG Display is examining strategies to raise the medium-large-sized UHD market currently dominated by Chinese and Taiwanese display manufacturers to a premium market. LG, a mass-producer of 84-inch and 65-55-inch panels, is expected to strive to popularize their products by diversifying their specifications. Specifically, the firm is reported to be targeting medium and high-priced panels, since 55-inch and 65-inch panels, in particular, have much higher definition than full HD, and are less expensive. It has recently revealed that the company will strive to lead the market by putting both high-end products and those for the general public on the market. The panel maker is expected to differentiate their goods by maintaining the true quality of HD LCD panels while popularizing their products by downgrading some of the specifications.
According to display market research firm DisplaySearch, it is estimated that the shipment volume of UHD3840 x 2160 resolution panels in the last quarter is 54,000. The number is projected to reach 1 million in Q3 and 1.5 million in Q4.
“Korean companies first started to mass-produce UHD displays to preoccupy the premium market. But they appear to be reviewing strategies since panel manufacturers from Taiwan have begun to take the lead with low-priced goods. At the end of the day, a fast expansion of the premium market is the key," said an official in the LCD industry.