Analysis says that sluggish sales of the iPhone X have been slowing down the market for AMOLEDs for smartphones. It seems that in order to lower the retail price of the iPhone X, Apple changed the ratio of AMOLED- and LTPS LCE-based models this year.
"This year's flexible AMOLED panel shipments will continue to grow," said IHS Markit, a market researcher on April 16. "But the speed will be much slower than expected." As Apple loaded flexible AMOLEDs into its iPhone X, flexible AMOLED shipments rose more than three times to 125 million last year from 40 million in 2016.
Flexible AMOLED shipments are expected to swell 34% to 167 million units this year. This is less than the market expectation, which was about double last year’s growth rate. Total AMOLED shipments are expected to gain 14% to 453 million units this year from 397 million units last year.
"A slowdown in demand for iPhone X has compelled smartphone brands to review their plans to use AMOLED panels for their smartphones," chief researcher Hiroshi Hayase explained.
According to the IHS Markit, this year, Apple adjusted the proportions of products with AMOLED panels and those with LTPS LCD panels. Chinese smartphone makers such as Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi decided to continue to adopt LTPS LCD panels instead of applying AMOLED to models to be released this year.
Panel shipments for smartphones are expected to increase 1% year on year to 2,020.20 million units this year. "Demand for AMOLED panels will surpass demand for LTPS LCDs after 2020," IHS Markit said. “In order for AMOLEDs to compete with LTPS LCDs, they should secure price competitiveness.”