LG Display aims to produce 10 million OLED TV panels in 2021, up from less than 2 million in 2017, and is investing $18 billion to make it happen, according to a report by Nikkei.
"We are betting all on OLED”
LG Display will increase production of OLED TV panels from less than 2 million last year to close to 3 million in 2018. The company expects to hit 10 million or more units annually by 2021. More than 200 million TVs are sold annually.
- "We will be able to produce 10 million, or 20 million OLED TV panels easily as consumers are willing to pay for better products," Lee Sang-hoon, SVP, LG Display, told Nikkei Asian Review. "We plan to produce 2.8 million this year, and aim to reach 10 million by 2021."
OLED has already captured a large slice of the premium TV market. Analysts say that OLED TVs made up 50% of the global premium TV market ($2000 or more) last year. The share is expected to reach 70% this year.
LG Display is planning to invest approximately $18 billion dollars in OLED technology by 2020. The company is currently setting up a 10.5G OLED factory capable of producing larger OLED TVs with 8K resolution and has approved another 8G factory in China.
- "We [are betting] all on OLED while minimizing our operational investments in LCD," said Lee.
13 partners and counting
Of course, the only way to achieve that goal is to have TV makers sell more OLED TVs, either by expanding the number of partners or by lowering production costs in order to make OLED TVs more affordable – or both.
LG Display is currently supplying 13 global TV makers, including LG, Sony, Panasonic, Philips, and Bang & Olufsen, with OLED TV panels. Additional Chinese TV makers will join the group this year, most notably Hisense who formed the QLED Alliance together with Samsung only a few years ago.
LG Display said that OLED TVs account for 92% of the premium market in Japan, which is Sony’s home turf. Analysts told Nikkei that Sony is expected to double its orders for LG Display’s ‘Crystal Sound’ OLED panels this year.
As LCD is slowly fading, OLED is poised to take share but new display technologies are looming on the horizon. The first TVs based on microLED are expected to debut this year. Arch rival Samsung is also developing QD-LED technology for TVs.