Last year, analyst and founder of DSCC predicted that quantum dot-equipped LCD TVs (“QLED”) would race past OLED TVs. But the opposite appears to be happening, according to market data by IHS Markit reported by Business Korea.
QLED on a downwards trend
Ross Young from Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) made his prediction based on a supply chain analysis. Of course, building on top of an established mass production can have its benefits so the guess made sense from that point of view. As you may know, “QLED” is simply LCDs with a quantum dot layer somewhere in the display stack.
However, today’s prosumers expect more and are voting with their wallets. As such, sales of “QLED” LCD TVs that are relatively easy to mass-produce are on a downwards trend, whereas sales of OLED TVs are trending up, according to market data from IHS Markit. For the past two consecutive quarters, sales of OLED TVs surpassed those of “QLED”.
This trend can be attributed partly to the number of manufacturers launching OLED TVs, according to analysts who spoke to Business Korea. Over the last couple of years, Panasonic, Sony, Philips, Grundig, Toshiba, and others have joined LG in selling OLED TVs based on LG.Display panels.
In April 2017, Samsung, TCL and Hisense struck back by forming the ‘QLED Alliance’. However, the group appears to be falling apart as Hisense has announced that it will launch its first OLED TV later this year. Samsung is also rumored to have resumed development of OLED TVs, in addition to microLED, as it has seen its share of the high-end TV segment collapse.
Business Korea noted that sales of LG and Samsung TVs “showed similar sales results”. In the first quarter of 2018, sales of LG OLED TVs grew 84% year-over-year as compared to sales of Samsung “QLED” LCD TVs that plummeted 45% year-over-year. The two Korean companies are fierce arch rivals.
Analysts expect the gap between the two sides to widen if Hisense begins to sell OLED TVs in China, which is the world’s largest TV market.