According to the Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC), a US display market research company on February 15, global sales of OLED panels in the fourth quarter of last year ran to US$8.8 billion, a 120-percent increase over the same period of last year and a 62% increase over the previous quarter. As a result, the total market size grew 57% year on year to a total of US$23.2 billion last year.
By items, sales of mobile phone panels amounted to US$7.95 billion, accounting for 90 percent of the total while sales of TV panels accounted for 5 percent, hitting US$438 million. Last year, sales of mobile phones and TVs totaled US$20.3 billion and US$1.3 billion, respectively.
Besides, OLED panels were used in smart watches, cars, laptops, tablets, VR devices, touch bars and monitors, but chalked up a small market share.
By company, Samsung Electronics, which virtually monopolized the small and medium-sized panel market such as smartphones, recorded the highest market share of 90 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, followed by LG Display, an OLED TV panel leader with a 9-percent market share.
Other companies, mostly Chinese companies such as BOE and Tianma are producing OLED panels, but none of them had a market share of more than 0.5 percents in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Major customers of OLED panels were Samsung Electronics and Apple, the two front runners in the smartphone industry, and LG Electronics taking the initiative in the OLED TV group. In the fourth quarter of last year, Apple, which launched the iPhone X, accounted for 52 percent of total OLED panel purchases while Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, 30 percent and 5 percent, respectively. But annually, Samsung Electronics accounted for 47 percent, more than Apple (29 percent) last year.
"The launch of Apple's iPhone X and robust sales of OLED TVs at the year end fueled the growth of the OLED panel market last year," DSCC said in its report.