Market research firm IHS recently made a comment that South Korean display panel manufacturers will be able to continue to take the lead in the global market for at least five years to come although Chinese companies are trying to catch up with them.
These days, Samsung Display and LG Display are expanding their LCD panel production capacities in China to keep leaving them behind. When it comes to OLED panel technology, the South Korean companies are regarded as being at least three years ahead of their Chinese counterparts.
According to IHS, the South Korean players’ share in the global LCD panel market is expected to fall from 41% to 38% between the first quarter of this year and the third quarter of 2018 and be at around 35% in 2021 whereas Chinese manufacturers’ share is estimated to rise from 20% to 28% between Q1, 2016 and Q3, 2018. The market research firm mentioned that this narrowing of the gap between the two groups is something slower than previously expected.
The slower-than-expected pace can be attributed to LG Display’s and Samsung Display’s aggressive facility expansion in the LCD panel segment, which accounts for 90% of the global display market. LG Display is planning to increase the LCD panel production volume of its plant in Guangzhou, which was put into operation in September 2014 at an investment of more than four trillion won, by 33% to 120,000 units a month by the end of this year. Samsung Display completed the construction of eighth-generation LCD panel production facilities in Suzhou last year and its monthly production capacity jumped from 55,000 to 120,000 units in about a year and a half.
In the meantime, the South Korean players are currently dominating the OLED panel segment. LG Display and Samsung Display are enjoying a market share of over 90% in the large- and small-size OLED panel market segments, respectively. Each of the two has continued to invest in the technology for more than 10 years and LG Display is planning to increase its investment by 10 trillion won until 2018.