A report by DSCC concludes that even by 2026 microLED display technology will have a "small share of the TV market due to a high retail price". Increasing resolution to 8K will add to the woes.
At CES 2012, Sony exhibited a microLED TV prototype. It was glorious but never materialized as a product. And at CES 2020, Samsung announced microLED TVs for a third time, promising to bring "home-ready" 75 to 150-inch models to the market this year.
It would seem that microLED TVs are approaching the consumer market even if Samsung's plan for 2020 did not play out. However, a new report by DSCC (Display Supply Chain Consultants) downplads the short-term prospects for microLED TVs, pointing to high costs, 8K technology challenges, and fierce competition.
- "Although consumers are very enthusiastic about microLED technology, the report finds that microLED will only have a small share of the TV market due to a high retail price," said DSCC who projects annual revenue of just $288 million from microLED by 2026.
Source: DSCC MicroLED Display Technology and Market Outlook Report
A report by IHS Markit previously projected that microLED TVs will take the first step into mass-market territory in 2026, capturing a 0.4% market share.
Also read: An introduction to MicroLED; a new self-emitting display technology
Samsung's 146-inch module-assembled 'The Wall' costs over $300,000. DSCC added that "increasing the resolution from 4K to 8K will be very expensive since the consumption of LED wafers depend mostly on the number of pixels". It pointed to other display technologies as more suited for the mass market and premium segment.
Samsung's 146-inch 'The Wall' microLED TV at CES 2018. Photo: FlatpanelsHD
- "It will be a huge challenge to compete, even in the premium TV category. OLED and quantum dot LCD are already well established in this space. Several TV manufacturers are also introducing LCD with miniLED backlights, with much improved contrast. Dual Cell LCD is another possible contender. Meanwhile, Samsung Display is preparing to mass produce QD-OLED panels that will compete with LG Display’s White OLED," said DSCC. "MicroLED TVs will occupy a niche in the very large TV market, where LCD panels are no longer cost efficient. They will be popular amongst home theater enthusiasts but will not become mainstream. DSCC forecasts that microLED displays will likely find more success in other applications, such as AR/VR and Wearables."
As the report notes, a number of large companies are currently exploring microLED technology including Apple, AUO, Sony, and Samsung.
- Source: DSCC