OLED Displays for Smartphones Cost Less to Produce Than TFT LCDs
July 17, 2017
The production scale and shipments of OLED panels has increased significantly due to their increasing adoption by smartphone vendors and the narrowing of production cost differences between AMOLED and TFT LCD smartphone panels, according to IHS. The production cost for a 5.5-inch HD AMOLED panel has drifted to US$12.10 compared to US$12.20 for a 5.5-inch HP LTPS LCD panel, according to IHS Markit. Previously, production costs for AMOLED panels were much higher than those for LCD panels because of high depreciation rates for equipment and higher labor costs although the production structure of AMOLED panels is simpler as compared to that of LCD parts. However, it is estimated that the production cost for a 5.5-inch QHD LTPS LCD panels is still 30% cheaper than that for the same size of QHD AMOLED panels. This cost difference doesn’t make sense if a rigid OLED is compared to a rigid TFT LCD, but could be referring to the use of a flexible OLED, which has much lower yields as present. Overall, IHS forecasts the penetration rate of AMOLED panels in the global smartphone space is likely to reach 50% in three years, the sources estimated. With LG Display's second AMOLED TV panel production line, the E4-2 fab, to enter volume production in the second half of 2017, shipments of AMOLED TV panels are expected to increase to 1.5 million units in 2017, up from 890,000 units shipped a year earlier, the sources estimated.