Low Manufacturing Yields to Keep Cost of AMOLED TV Panels High for Several Years – Analysts

AMOLED TVs Set to Remain Expensive Due to Low Manufacturing Yields

by Anton Shilov
06/12/2013 | 10:03 PM

The first 55" AMOLED TV is on the market, with others expected to follow; however, the cost of AMOLED panels will remain very high compared to TFT LCD display panels, limiting adoption by consumers. The reason for that are low manufacturing yields of large AMOLED TV panels. Until the yield improve significantly, the new-gen TVs will remain very expensive.

 

Current manufacturing costs for AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) display panels are estimated to be almost seven times higher than costs for the LCD panels that now dominate the TV market, according to the new NPD DisplaySearch quarterly AMOLED panel cost report, or about $2454.

“The estimated total manufacturing cost of a full-HD 55" panel is $2454 in Q1 2013, due to low manufacturing yields. As yields improve, the cost is expected to fall significantly over the next two years, but will remain much higher than equivalent LCD panels,” said Tadashi Uno, director of materials and components market research for NPD DisplaySearch.

AMOLED TV panel manufacturing yields (the fraction of panels produced that are useable) are lower than TFT LCDs, because AMOLED manufacturing processes are not mature. Materials, depreciation, personnel expenses, and other cost factors are highly related to yield rate; therefore, improving AMOLED yields quickly is the key factor for making AMOLED TVs competitive with LCD TVs.

According to the NPD DisplaySearch cost model, the manufacturing cost for AMOLED TV panels is expected to fall by 36% from Q1 2013 to Q1 2014, but the panels will still cost five times as much as LCD TV panels. In 32" TV panels, the cost model also that AMOLED is only twice the cost of LCD. However 32" is a much more cost-sensitive segment of the market, so AMOLED is not competitive even with this much smaller premium.