Largely driven by demand from upscale Samsung smartphones, particularly the Galaxy S4, global shipments of high-end AMOLED display panels posted sequential growth of 16% in the second quarter of 2013, according to IHS.
Global AMOLED display shipments during the period from April-June amounted to 53.1 million units, up from 45.6 million in the first quarter of the year. Shipments were up by an even more impressive 41% from 37.6 million in the second quarter of 2012.
"Samsung is driving the rapid growth of the small-size AMOLED market, with the company responsible for most of the supply and the demand for the panels," said Vinita Jakhanwal, director for mobile and emerging display technologies at IHS. "In terms of demand, the company's smartphone business is the largest AMOLED panel consumer. On the supply side,
Samsung in charge
Samsung's Galaxy S4 smartphone in the second quarter was the biggest single user of AMOLEDs, with shipments of the 4.99-inch panels used in the device reaching 10 million units per month. The S4 was also the biggest factor driving the growth of the overall AMOLED market, owing to booming demand for the smartphone.
Also racking up big numbers was the 4.8-inch panel, utilized in the older Samsung Galaxy S III. However, total shipments for this panel size are starting to decline because the newer S4 model now is more in demand among consumers.
Samsung also employed a 5.5-inch AMOLED panel in the Note 2.
Smartphone supremacy for AMOLEDs
"Smartphones are the primary users of AMOLED panels, because of the displays' image clarity, lighter weight and high contrast ratio over competitive panel technologies like LTPS," said
"Smartphones in the third quarter are estimated to have maintained their dominant share of the AMOLED market, with close to a 97% share. The remaining 3% is split among a passel of applications, including handheld gaming devices, digital still cameras, camcorders and tablets," Kang added.
Sizing up the market
Among the various AMOLED panel sizes, the overwhelming majority-at 45.2 million units, or 85%-was in the 4-inch category in the second quarter. The second-largest portion of the market, at approximately five million units, or 9%, was the 5-inch segment. The last segment of consequence was the 3- inch with 2.8 million units, or 5.3%.
The remaining 1% represented panels in the 2- and 7-inch sizes as well as bigger panels used in TVs. These included panels in the 50-inch range, such as those used in Samsung's new 55-inch OLED TV, launched in June to compete with a similar OLED model introduced by Samsung archrival
The second-quarter performance also was notable in terms of panel shipment area. The total for the period came to 341,000 square meters, up 18% from the earlier quarter and a significant increase of 64% on an annual basis.
Average panel size and average selling prices are both up
The average size of panels sold in the second quarter amounted to 4.83-inch, or 0.6% more than 4.8-inch in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, unit area prices (ASP/inch),rose to
The increase in average panel sizes resulted from the sharp growth in 4.99-inch panel shipments. The upgraded performance of AMOLED panels in this size, which employ full high-definition resolutions, appears to have boosted the ASP of the 4.99-inch panel, compared to the 4.8-inch.
Notwithstanding the good showing, AMOLED panels make up a mere fraction of the overall market for display panels.
Total shipments for small- to medium-size panels in all applications during the second quarter amounted to 743 million units, still largely made up of LCD. OLED accounted for just 6% of the overall small- to medium-size display market, and represented only 9% of the total mobile handset display business.
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