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Japan’s Sharp to Withdraw from Smartphone OLED Panel Business
Sandwiched Between Korean and Chinese Makers
Japan’s Sharp to Withdraw from Smartphone OLED Panel Business
  • By Kim Eun-jin
  • August 2, 2019, 11:53
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Sharp will eventually withdraw from the business of manufacturing organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels for smartphones.

Japan’s Sharp will eventually withdraw from the business of manufacturing organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels for smartphones. The company lost the competition with Korean and Chinese display makers.

Sharp shipped a total of 60,000 smartphone OLED panels in the second quarter, according to data released by IHS Markit at the end of July. However, Sharp has not been producing OLED panels for smartphones since July.

IHS Markets said, “Sharp will no longer be producing OLED panels for smartphones as it has lost in technological and price competition with Korean and Chinese companies.”

At the beginning of this year, industry analysts expected Sharp would strengthen its smartphone OLED panel business. As Sharp's parent company, Foxconn, is Apple's largest consignment manufacturer, Sharp was expected to develop OLED panels for the iPhone.

In the smartphone OLED panel market, Samsung Display ranks first with an 87.2 percent share, followed by BOE with 5.9 percent, Ever Display with 3.2 percent and Tianma with 1.3 percent and Visionox with 1.3 percent. The four followers are Chinese companies and are rising fast with support from the Chinese government.

LG Display currently has a market share of only 1.0 percent, but is looking to turn the tide by expanding its customer base, It will begin to supply display panels to Apple in the third quarter. LG Display shipped only 1.38 million smartphone OLED panels in the second quarter, but is expected to ship 5.6 million units in the third quarter, boosting its market share to 2.4 percent.

Competition in the smartphone OLED panel market has been heating up, but Sharp chalked up a 0.1 percent market share in the second quarter. As Sharp will renounce its smartphone OLED panel business, competition between Korean and Chinese makers is expected to further intensify.