BOE Catches Up with LGD in Flexible OLED Panel Production
April 22, 2019
A report in Business Korea indicated LG Display's small and medium-sized flexible OLED display business is standing at a crossroads as BOE new capacity overtakes LG’s insufficient efforts. BOE vice president Zhang Yu recently said the company aims to supply 50 million flexible display panels for premium smartphones this year, far more than the market estimate of 20 million to 30 million units. The company supplied only 3.3 million units last year. Earlier, BOE put forward a plan to build a fourth sixth-generation flexible OLED plant in Fuzhou, Fujian Province of China. “BOE has not yet demonstrated the ability to mass produce flexible displays but is could pose a threat to Korean display makers in the future because the company is supported receives funding support from the Japanese government. LG Display would be hit hardest by BOE's offensive. The company entered the flexible display market in 2017. But BOE reportedly overtook LG Display last year. Samsung Display dominated the market for flexible OLED displays for smartphones in the fourth quarter of last year with a 90.6 percent share. LG Display recorded a 4.2 percent market share, which was less than BOE’s 5.2 percent. Before, BOE's market share was less than 1 percent. LG Display and BOE posted 4 percent and 0.3 percent in market share, respectively, in the third quarter of last year. LGD has struggled with its quality as its flexible OLED displays for the Pixel 2 were faulty and recently, they missed deadlines with Apple. However, Huawei, purported to be a big BOE supporter, selected LG’s OLEDs for the P30, one of its higher end phones.
Figure 1: BOE vs. LGD OLED S/M Flexible Panel Shipments