Smartphones, TVs Drive Surge in AMOLED Displays

Release time:2017-07-07
source: Dylan McGrath

The value of the global market for active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) panels is expected to reach $25.2 billion in 2017, an increase of 63 percent from 2016, thanks to growing use of AMOLED panels in smartphones and TVs, according to market research firm IHS Markit.

According to Ricky Park, director of display research at IHS Markit, in addition to smartphones and TVs, the AMOLED panel market will also get a lift from rising demand in  head-mount displays and mobile PCs.

AMOLED display use has rapidly risen in the smartphone market in particular as the flexible substrate allows phones to be produced in various designs with a lighter and slimmer bodies, IHS Markit said. Leading smartphone makers have competitively rolled out premium phones this year that boast a narrow bezel or nearly bezel-less designs, the firm noted.

"The AMOLED display market is also expected to get a boost from Apple’s decision to use an AMOLED screen in its iPhone series to be released later this year, and Chinese smartphone makers’ moving to newer applications of AMOLED panels," Park said, in a press statement.

Park said South Korean and Chinese display makers have been heavily investing in Generation 6 AMOLED fabs in order to increase capacity to meet the surging demand.

The AMOLED TV panel market, the second largest market for AMOLED displays, is expected to grow to 1.5 million units this year, up from 890,000 units last year, according to IHS Markit's display demand forecast tracker. By 2021, the AMOLED panel market is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 22 percent to exceed $40 billion, IHS Markit predicts.

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Shipments of smartphones, the mainstay of the electronics industry, are expected to rebound, returning to low-single-digit growth in 2019, according to market research firm International Data Corp. (IDC).Shipments are expected to grow 2.6% in 2019 after falling by 3% to 1.42 billion units in 2018 from 1.47 billion in 2017, said IDC. Longer term, smartphone shipments are forecast to reach 1.57 billion units in 2022.Forget, for the time being, the U.S.-China trade war. Emerging markets, 5G, and new product form factors will help revive the smartphone market, according to the market research firm. India is one of the key markets boosting shipments.“India is definitely on the radar — as of the third quarter in 2018, it has overtaken the U.S. as the world’s second-largest smartphone market,” IDC Associate Research Director Melissa Chau told EE Times. “In 2018, while we still expect China shipments to be roughly three times the volume of India, by 2022, that ratio will shrink to 2:1.”India is one of the few markets that has not hit maturity and still has a way to go even in 4G adoption, which will help fuel growth, according to IDC.China, which represented 30% of total shipments in 2017, is showing signs of recovery. While the world’s largest market is still forecast to decline by 8.8% in 2018, IDC anticipates a flat 2019, followed by growth through 2022.“We don’t expect China to be leading the smartphone growth rebound, especially in light of all the trade war impacts being felt,” said Chau.China’s slowdown will persist into the first quarter of 2019, according to IDC. The recently lifted U.S. ban on ZTE had an impact on shipments in the third quarter of 2018 and created a sizable gap that is yet to be filled heading into 2019.Growth expectations are based on emerging markets, but if the U.S.-China trade war escalates, there would be a greater negative impact on the industry, probably ratcheting the outlook down to a flat or declining scenario, according to Chau.That said, the companies currently benefiting from smartphone growth are the midrange Chinese players like Huawei and OPPO that are targeting maturing markets, she added.The U.S. is forecast to rebound in 2019 with 2.1% annual growth after shrinking in 2018.The smartphone market is set to pick up as major suppliers such as Samsung and Apple shift toward larger screens and more powerful devices.“With many of the large global companies focusing on high-end product launches, hoping to draw in consumers looking to upgrade based on specifications and premium devices, we can expect head-to-head competition within this segment during the holiday quarter and into 2019 to be exceptionally high,” said IDC Senior Research Analyst Sangeetika Srivastava.In the third quarter of 2018, the 6-inch to less-than-7-inch screen size range stood out with more than four times year-over-year growth. Larger-screen phones (5.5 inches and above) will lead growth with volumes of 947.1 million in 2018, accounting for 66.7% of all smartphones, up from 623.3 million units and a 42.5% share in 2017, according to IDC. By 2022, shipments of these larger-screen smartphones will move up to 1.38 billion units or 87.7% of overall shipment volume.The normal size of a smartphone has shifted dramatically, and while phone makers stretch the limits with bezel-less devices, the next big switch will be flexible screens, said IDC.Segment breakdownAndroid’s smartphone share will remain stable at 85% throughout the forecast period. Volumes are expected to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.7%, with shipments approaching 1.36 billion in 2022. Android average selling prices (ASPs) are expected to grow by 9.6% in 2018 to $258, up from $235 in 2017.IDC expects price increases to continue through the forecast but at a softened rate from 2019 and beyond. Not only are market players pushing upgraded specs and materials to offset decreasing replacement rates, but they are also meeting consumer needs for better performance.iOS smartphones are forecast to drop by 2.5% in 2018 to 210.4 million units. The launch of expensive and bigger-screen iOS smartphones in the third quarter of 2018 helped Apple to raise its ASP yet impeded any increase of shipments amid the market slump.IDC is forecasting iPhone shipments to grow at a five-year CAGR of 0.1%, reaching volumes of 217.3 million in 2022. Apple will continue to lead the global premium market segment, according to the IDC forecast.
2018-12-14 00:00 reading:373
According to TrendForce’s latest report on this year’s smartphone production, the total volume for 3Q18 grew by 8% from 2Q18 to around 380 million. The growth was attributed to a gradual recovery of demand in 2Q18 and the stock-up of inventories related to releases of new devices and holiday sales events. Although the latest products from Apple and Huawei continue to generate demand in the smartphone market, the sales of new iPhone XR/XS/XS Max turned out to fall short of expectation, resulting in lower shipments of iPhones. Therefore, DRAMeXchange estimates that the total production volume for 4Q18 will be roughly similar to that of 3Q18, coming to around 380 million units.Since the general development of the smartphone market has reached the mature stage, and smartphone brands are struggling to differentiate their new products, many of which lack breakthrough features to stimulate purchases. Thus, consumers are less active than before with respect to replacing their existing devices. For many smartphone makers, they have to work harder to highlight their brand values in the midst of the fierce competition. Some of them are committing more resources in developing their high-end models, while others are raising hardware specifications to show that they are offering greater value and better performance for the cost. Nevertheless, these efforts also put the squeeze on their profit margins.There are also other variables that will make the maintenance of profitability very challenging. In addition to the fluctuations in exchange rates and rising costs of components, the uncertainties produced by the ongoing US-China trade dispute are also going to impact their operation. At the same time, major smartphone brands will continue to enlarge their market shares at the expense of the smaller brands.Apple will compete with Samsung for the top position in the production volume ranking for 4Q18Among the world’s top six smartphone brands by production volume, Samsung again topped the ranking in 3Q18 with a quarterly total of 74.5 million units, which also amounted to a market share of almost 20%. While Samsung grew its sales by releasing its flagship Galaxy Note 9 ahead of schedule, the device was not a significant upgrade from last year’s Note 8 and made limited contribution to the brand’s total volume in 3Q18. The Galaxy J series, on the other hand, was still instrumental in sustaining the brand’s overall production. In this fourth quarter, Samsung has been promoting the Galaxy A devices, emphasizing their improved cost-to-performance ratios and their cameras (i.e. the triple camera on A7 and the quad rear camera on A9). Samsung’s total production volume in 4Q18 is estimated to reach around 75 million units, which will be similar to the 3Q18 result and in line with the company’s target for the period.The strong channel demand for its latest devices caused Huawei’s total smartphone production volume in 3Q18 to surge by 44% YoY to a new high of 55.5 million units. Huawei is currently the world’s second largest smartphone brand, surpassing Apple in volume for two consecutive quarters. Huawei’s in-house R&D capabilities and extensive product lines across all market segments have benefitted its expansions in the overseas markets during the recent years. Huawei also continues to innovate on hardware and manufacture its own mobile SoCs via its subsidiary HiSilicon.Going forward, Huawei will keep expanding its global presence. Driven by the sales of its latest devices, Huawei’s total production volume in the 4Q18 is estimated to be on the similar level as the result of 3Q18. And the brand’s total volume for the whole year of 2018 is currently projected to hit 200 million units, which would meet the company’s target. However, there are now warnings that inventories across channels are going to be too high. The future development of this situation warrants attention as it may affect Huawei’s smartphone production in 4Q18 and 1Q19.Apple was behind Huawei for the second consecutive quarter as the world’s third largest brand in 3Q18, with its iPhone production volume for the period totaling 47.1 million units. Apple’s iPhone devices for this year again intended to push the upper limit of the acceptable price range for high-end smartphones. And consumers appear to be less willing to pay for the two new AMOLED models – iPhone XS and XS Max, which are priced too high to be accepted. The economically priced LCD model, iPhone XR, may take over as the sales driver, but the ramp-up of its production had been scheduled to take place in 4Q18. Furthermore, factors such as the US-China trade dispute and the appreciation of the US dollar have been constraining iPhone sales outside the US. Consequently, iPhone XR did not contribute significantly to the iPhone production in 3Q18.Looking ahead, Apple can further lower the prices of its older iPhone models to spur sales. Also, 4Q18 is expected to be the year’s peak iPhone production period, as Apple has scheduled the ramp-up of its latest models during this time. Thus, the total iPhone production volume in 4Q18 is estimated to reach around 76 million units, which would allow Apple to surpass Huawei and compete with Samsung for the top position in the ranking.Xiaomi’s total smartphone production volume in 3Q18 came to 31.7 million units. This result was relatively on par with that of 2Q18, and the brand this time did not register a double-digit YoY growth as before. The flat growth can be attributed to the slowdown in demand in China and India, which are Xiaomi’s two largest smartphone markets. And because of this, Xiaomi has also scaled back its stock-up demand so as to prevent its inventory of all devices from becoming too high and put pressure on the company’s cash flow. Xiaomi’s total smartphone production volume in 4Q18 is estimated to be within 30 million units, and its total volume for the whole year is currently projected to come to around 120 million units.Regarding its sales strategy, Xiaomi still prioritizes volume over margin. Besides tightly controlling the costs of key components, Xiaomi is going to localize production in the overseas markets in order to further lower the assembly cost and evade tariff barriers. For instance, the company is making procurements and building manufacturing facilities in India. The drawback of maintaining a very thin profit margin, however, is that external factors related to the wider economic environment can cause sudden increases in production cost and adversely affect the company’s entire operation.OPPO’s and Vivo’s total smartphone volumes in 3Q18 both topped 30 million units, registering slight increases from their respective results for 2Q18. The two Chinese brands were able to raise their production on the back of the new flagship releases and the stock-up demand from the retail channels. The strategy of OPPO and Vivo during the recent years have been to focus on improving hardware, especially memory specifications, so as to gain recognition in the market. OPPO and Vivo currently depend on China and Southeast Asia for much of their sales. However, these markets are experiencing a slowdown in demand and have limited room for further growth. This, along with the longer replacement cycle, will raise challenges for the two brands as they try to maintain their production levels in the future. OPPO’s total volume is projected to fall by 23% QoQ in 4Q18 to 24.5 million units, while Vivo’s total volume is projected to fall by 20% QoQ in 4Q18 to 24.1 million units.
2018-11-30 00:00 reading:330
TrendForce’s latest smartphone market research finds flat growth in the global production volume between the first and second quarter of 2017. Similar to the prior three-month period, smartphone sales in the second quarter were lackluster and affected by the anticipation of the 10th anniversary iPhone release in the next half of the year. In total, the global smartphone production volume reached 324 million units in the second quarter. Samsung, Apple and Huawei retained first, second and third place, respectively, in the worldwide production volume ranking for the period. Xiaomi managed to surpass LG to take sixth place in the ranking.Samsung to remain first place this third quarter with the help of new Galaxy Note devices as sales of new iPhone models will take off later in the fourth quarterFor the second quarter, Samsung’s smartphone production volume totaled around 80 million units, which is about the same volume level for the first quarter. In terms of the global ranking, Samsung retained first place as its device sales have been supported by the flagship series Galaxy S8 and the mid-/low-range series Galaxy J. Despite seasonal effect of the year’s first half, Galaxy J continued to do well in the market and was the main sales driver for Samsung.For the third quarter, TrendForce expects sales of Samsung’s high-end smartphones will be affected by the competition from the new iPhone models. Nevertheless, the upcoming refresh of the Galaxy Note series will help keep Samsung’s quarterly production volume near 80 million units, maintaining the brand’s first-place position with a global market share of 22.7%.Apple’s iPhone production volume for this second quarter totaled around 43 million units, down 17% compared with the previous three-month period. Apple remained second place in the global ranking, though its market share fell to 13.3%. Much of the iPhone demand has shifted to the second half of the year, when Apple will be releasing three new device models: the 4.7- and the 5.5-inch models with TFT LCD displays plus the premium 5.8-inch model with AMOLED display.The 10th anniversary iPhone devices are expected to arrive on the market at the end of this third quarter. Considering the substantial hardware upgrades made to the first AMOLED iPhone, this specific model might have a delayed release, or its availability might be limited to some regional markets during the initial shipment period. TrendForce also estimates that the third-quarter iPhone production volume will register a growth rate of no more than 5% compared with the prior quarter’s result. The fourth quarter will see higher growth in the iPhone production volume as the 10th anniversary models become more widely available.Huawei kept its third-place ranking while OPPO and Vivo enjoyed strong sales in Southeast AsiaWith regard to Chinese brands, Huawei’s sales performance during the second quarter was weaker than anticipated with total production volume falling by 8% compared with the first quarter. Nonetheless, Huawei’s market share in terms of the global production volume stayed at 10.3%, allowing the brand to remain at the third spot of the worldwide ranking. Huawei is expected to do better in the third quarter on account of the year-end busy season. Its annual smartphone production volume for 2017 is estimated around 150 million units.OPPO and Vivo also remained fourth and fifth, respectively, in the global ranking for the second quarter. Besides being firmly rooted in China’s second- and third-tier cities, both brands have also expanded aggressively in overseas markets since last year. They in particular have recorded impressive results in Southeast Asia. Together, OPPO and Vivo’s total production volume increased by 4% in the second quarter compared with their first-quarter figure. Their total volume is projected to go up by more than 10% this third quarter.Xiaomi expanded its worldwide smartphone market share to 6% this second quarter and advanced one spot to sixth place in the ranking. In term of market performance, Xiaomi’s smartphone production volume returned to the same level as in 2015. The success is attributed to the brand’s efforts to raise specifications and develop new software apps that work with the upgraded hardware. Xiaomi also benefitted from the financial misfortunes of its domestic rival LeEco. Due to its ongoing operational problems and publicity crisis, a part of LeEco’s user base has gone over to Xiaomi.Set against the first quarter, Xiaomi’s smartphone production volume for the second quarter grew by more than 50% to almost 20 million units. Going into the third quarter, sales of Xiaomi device will be driven by the seasonal demand and the Indian market. TrendForce estimates that Xiaomi’s third-quarter production volume will increase by more than 10% versus the second quarter.Total production volume of all Chinese brands will register an above global average growth of nearly 10% this third quarterTrendForce’s smartphone market outlook for this third quarter is overall positive. In addition to the release of the three new iPhone models, major Android phone vendors will roll out flagships featuring displays with the 18:9 aspect ratio. The upcoming devices with high screen-to-body ratios will raise the level of competition among brands and stimulate consumer demand.TrendForce projects that the global smartphone production volume will grow by 5% from 324 million units in the second quarter to nearly 340 million units in the third quarter. On the other hand, the total third-quarter production volume of all Chinese brands is estimated go up by almost 10% compared with the prior three-month period to reach 180 million units.
2018-07-23 00:00 reading:288
With every smartphone brand applying the 18:9 and wider aspect ratio screens to its newer models, the rate of adoption is expected to quicken in the second half of 2018. Smartphones using 18:9 and wider aspect screens are forecast to increase to 66 percent of total smartphone shipments in the third quarter of 2018, soaring up from 10 percent in the same period last year, according to business information provider IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO). After Samsung Electronics and Apple released their phones last year with new wider aspect ratios of 18.5:9 and 19.5:9, respectively, most smartphone brands have similarly followed suit by applying wider aspect screens to their 2018 lineup to keep up with product differentiation.Improvements in display technologies have hastened the expansion of the wider screen adoption in smartphones. Initially, flexible active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) technology was required to realize a full-screen display, and thus, 18:9 or wider screens were expected predominantly to be used in premium and high-end smartphones in 2018. However, with rapidly improving designs in liquid crystal display (LCD) cell structure, thin-film transistor (TFT) array and light-emitting diode (LED) backlight, TFT LCD can now be used in full-screen smartphones.“With the improvement in TFT LCD technology, smartphone makers are now aggressively applying 18:9 aspect ratio of TFT LCD to their 2018 models even for mid-end and entry-level smartphones, instead of using high-priced flexible AMOLED panels,” said Hiroshi Hayase, senior director at IHS Markit.“It would be correct to assume that smartphone displays are undergoing a quick generation change to TFT LCD-based full screens later this year,” Hayase said. “The new generation of smartphones will be expected to stimulate replacement demand in the 2019 smartphone market.”
2018-07-17 00:00 reading:387
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