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In spite of global economic crisis, shipments of OLED (organic light emitting diode) displays have set a new record in the second quarter of 2009. Even though OLED-based TV-sets are not even mass produced today, they are likely to become the second largest application for the technology by 2016, claims DisplaySearch market tracking firm. Still, it does not seem that OLED will replace LCD (liquid crystal display) panels any time soon.

DisplaySearch reported that worldwide OLED revenue has set a new record, with $192 million in revenue for Q2 2009, up 32% sequentially and 22% annually. DisplaySearch forecasts the total OLED display market will grow to $6.2 billion by 2016 from $0.6 billion in 2008, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33%. Mobile phone main displays will be the leading application with revenues of about $3 billion in 2016; OLED TV will be the second largest application, with revenues of about $2 billion in 2016.

According to DisplaySearch, active matrix OLED (AMOLED) shipments grew due to strong mobile phone main display shipments. This is due to promotion of AMOLED mobile phones by Samsung Electronics, Nokia and Sony Ericsson in the first half of 2009. More than 15 mobile phone models with AMOLED main displays were released in 2009.

“AMOLED displays have become an important differentiating feature for high end electronic products. This technology is not only used for mobile phone main displays, but has also penetrated the market for portable media players, digital still cameras and other applications. There will be about 20 new or upgraded AMOLED production lines installed or upgraded worldwide in the next three years,” noted Jennifer Colegrove, director of display technologies at DisplaySearch.

Meanwhile, passive matrix OLED (PMOLED) maintained its unit shipment leadership in the OLED display market. After a weak Q1 2009, PMOLED shipments stabilized in Q2 2009 due to growth in mobile phone sub-display applications.

Samsung Mobile Display (SMD) had a strong Q2 2009, and as a result, it maintained the No. 1 position in shipment with 38% market share, followed by RiTdisplay at No. 2, according to DisplaySearch.

OLED manufacturers are planning to make TV panels larger than 11” in 2009, claims the market research firm. LG Display is mass-producing small-size AMOLED, and has announced that it will mass-produce 15” AMOLED panels for TV application at the end of 2009. LG Electronics will commercialize 15” OLED TV sets for the holiday season, while Sony’s 20”+ OLED TV announced in 2008 will not reach the market in 2009.

With technology improvements, DisplaySearch forecasts AMOLED will enter more medium- and large-size applications in several years. Notebooks are an attractive area starting in mid 2010, with netbooks expected to be in production by end of 2010. 20-29” OLED TVs will enter market by the end of 2010, with 30” and larger TVs forecast to enter the market in late 2011.

Tags: Samsung, LG, Sony, OLED, Nokia, Sony Ericsson

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