Seven of the world's top ten TV makers joined the organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TV group. Competition is intensifying between the QLED TV group based on quantum dot (QTD) technology led by Samsung Electronics which is the number-one company in the global TV market and the OLED TV group led by LG Electronics which ranks second in the world TV market.
According to the industry on January 29, it was found that Japan’s Sharp and China's Hisense launched OLED TVs, taking into account the CES 2018, the world's largest information technology (IT) exposition earlier this year. Accordingly, the OLED TV group ramped up the number of its member companies to seven – Korea’s LG Electronics, Japan’s Sony, Sharp and Panasonic and China’s Hisense, AOC and Skyworth.
According to world TV market shares in the third quarter of 2017 by market researcher IHS Markit, these seven companies recorded a combine market share of 38.9%. Industry watchers are projecting that the addition of the two companies to the OLED TV group this year will spark off a neck-and-neck race for the market between the OLED TV group and the QLED TV group. According to IHS Market, OLED TV sales rose from 218,000 units in the first quarter of 2017 to 347,200 units in the third quarter of the same year. As a result, the gap between OLED TV sales and QLED TV sales volume shriveled by 43,200 units from 461,200 during the same period. The industry speculates that LG Electronics increased the price competitiveness of its OLED TVs such as pulling down the price of a 55-inch OLED TV to the middle of the two million won level.
On top that, a sign of change is showing in the competition as Samsung Electronics has employed the Two-Track strategy with QLED and micro LED TVs based on new technology named “micro LEDs” this year. Last year, Samsung Electronics's QLED TV sales shrank from 608,300 units in the first quarter to 292,100 units in the second quarter and 295,500 units in the third quarter.
Currently, among major TV manufacturers, TCL is the only company to have introduced QLED TVs as its main premium product following Samsung Electronics’s lead. "As Samsung Electronics, which accounts for 20% of the world TV market, is concentrating on quantum dot LCD TVs, it is not yet proper to say that OLED TVs have become the mainstream of premium TVs," an industry watcher said. “However, it is also pointed out that we have to wait and see the market down the road as Samsung’s market influence is not as strong as in the past.”