South Korean panel-makers lost ground to Chinese and Taiwanese rivals in the global large-sized panel market in the first quarter from a year earlier. LG Display managed to retain first place for the 26th consecutive quarter, while Samsung Display slipped to fifth place in terms of market share.
According to data from market research firm HIS on April 25, LG Display maintained the top position for 26 consecutive quarters with a 24.3 percent market share for panels sized above 9 inches in the January-March period as its shipments reached 37.49 million units. Following at second place was China-based BOE with 17.3 percent, or 26.66 million units, followed by Taiwan’s AUO and Innolux with 15.8 percent, or 24.44 million units, and 14.8 percent, or 22.91 million units, respectively.
Samsung Display, which used to be another strong player other than LG Display, slipped to fifth place for the first time with a 14.5 percent share, down 4.8 percentage points from 19.2 percent at the same period in 2015, as its shipments reached 22.43 million units in the first quarter. The company also fell to the third position for the first time in the overall large LCD panel market with the shipment of 121.56 million units last year, following Innolux. As South Korean firms had a 38.3 percent market share in the first quarter, falling behind Chinese and Taiwanese makers with 47.9 percent of the combined market share, their status in the global large panel market is shaking.
Samsung Display’s poor performance is largely due to the decrease in the yield rates in the transition of LCD display panel processing. In a bid to improve the production cost, the company is decreasing the number of processing masks and reducing the thickness of glass substrates from 0.5T (mm) to 0.4T. As the demand of large monitors and notebook market is falling and Samsung Electronics is also gradually withdrawing from the market, the company’s shipments in the information technology sector dropped as well. Accordingly, Samsung Display closed down its fifth-generation production line in the Cheonan plant and sold manufacturing equipment to a Chinese firm at the end of last year, closing five of its eight LCD production lines.