With the expansion of new business relations, including China, Korean panel maker LG Display Co. has regained its position as the top seller of ultra-high definition (UHD) television panels in the world in the fourth quarter of 2015.
According to industry sources and market research firm IHS on Feb. 11, the global market size of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for UHD TVs amounted to 11.25 million in the fourth quarter last year, showing a slight decrease from 11.52 million in the previous quarter. This was largely due to the fact that the UHD TV panel market rapidly grew from the beginning of last year but stopped growing in the fourth quarter due to oversupply. Nevertheless, UHD TV panels accounted for more than 20 percent in the total TV panel market in the fourth quarter last year, leading the market by replacing ultra-high definition (full HD) TV panels.
In the fourth quarter last year, Korean companies, which have led the global UHD TV panel market, reacted with a mixture of emotions. As LG Display shipped 3.98 million units of UHD TV panels in the October-December period, the company ranked number one in the world. The figure increased by 380,000 units from the previous quarter. This is in stark contrast to the situation when most companies show the decrease in shipments.
An official from LG Display said, “The biggest factor of the increase in UHD TV panel shipments in the fourth quarter of 2015 is the increase in shipments to China, the largest UHD TV market in the world. Except for Haier and Hisense that generally adopts Samsung products, LG Display is supplying its UHD panels to Chinese TV manufacturers.”
Another South Korean panel maker, Samsung Display Co., was relegated to the second spot with shipments of 2.8 million units. Samsung Display reigned supreme over the global UHD panel market in the first three quarters of last year but suffered a 24 percent drop in the fourth quarter from 3.68 million units in the previous quarter. Industry watchers say this is because its largest customer, Samsung Electronics, drastically reduced the amount of panel purchase in the fourth quarter last year.
Despite mixed feelings of the two companies, their dominance in the UHD TV panel market is still overwhelming in the quarter of 2015. During the period, the two South Korean firms accounted for 60 percent of the global UHD TV market – LG Display with a 35 percent share and Samsung Display with a 25 percent share. They still have wide gaps with Taiwan-based Innolux Corp., the No. 3 player with a 15 percent share, AU Optronics Corp., which ranked fourth with an 11 percent share and China’s China Star, which came in fifth with a 7 percent share.