According to market research firm IHS Markit, the global low temperature poly silicon (LTPS) TFT LCD panel shipments reached 620 million units last year, up 21% from a year ago. China-based Tianma accounted for 17% of the total to come in second in terms of market share. The Chinese companies’ market share rose by six percentage points in just one year while LG Display’s market share fell from 20% to 16%.
Japan Display Inc. topped the list with a share of 26% but its share fell by no less than 10 percentage points. The share of Sharp slightly decreased to 13%. On the other hand, BOE, which is the largest display panel manufacturer in China, retained its fifth place by raising its market share from 6% to 9%.
Until four to five years ago, LTPS LCD panels used to be high-end display panels adopted mainly by premium smartphone manufacturers. The iPhone’s Retina Display is one of the typical examples. However, the market demand for LTPS LCD panels recently fell as, for example, Apple opted for OLED panels for the iPhone X. Still, the supply of LTPS LCD panels has increased and the profitability of the companies in the market has deteriorated since Chinese suppliers entered the market one after another. Japan Display and LG Display used to represent more than 80% of the market in the past.
Something similar is likely to happen in the OLED market as well. For example, BOE initiated the mass production of flexible sixth-generation OLED panels in the second half of last year and CSOT is planning to invest 35 billion yuan in Wuhan, China to set up an OLED panel manufacturing plant.