AMOLED panel demand leads to short supply

The increasing popularity of AMOLED panels has led to shortages of supply, prompting firms to develop the market to cope with demand in 2011.

Firms in Taiwan, Korea and Japan will actively develop the AMOLED panel market, while China is set to develop the supply chain for OLED.

Samsung Mobile Display is currently the leader in the AMOLED panel market, starting mass production in 2009  at its 4.5G plant, which has seen the panels becoming very popular for high-end phones

Samsung accounts for over 90 percent of the total market in 2010, meaning that there are not many options to deal with the increase in demand from vendors.

It is thought that Samsung will begin producing AMOLED panels at its 5.5G plant next year, as well as a number of other firms increasing output, meaning that shipments will potentially reach 168 million units.  It is likely that Samsung will see its share decrease to around 70 percent of the market as this happens, though Korea-based makers in general will still see in the region of 80 percent.

Taiwanese firm AUO, considered the most active player among Taiwan-based manufacturers developing AMOLED panels, is set use two 3.5G plants alongside a 4.5G plant held by its Singapore subsidiary.  It is thought, says Digitimes, that it may transfer another 4G or even a 6G plant for AMOLED production.

Chimei Innolux will also use a 3.5G plant, while Wintek is apparently interested in transferring its 3G line.

China is currently developing a supply chain for OLED, with many research facilities developing OLED.

The majority of this increased production will be to cope with demand for AMOLED panels for handsets however, as it is not expected that AMOLED will be gracing many of the TV sets being widely bought anytime soon, according to a display analyst at Meko.

Goksen Sertler believes that the technology will need considerable investment before it ready to become anything other than a niche product in terms of TV screens.

Speaking to TechEye, Sertler says: “Having seen a prototype Samsung screen at CES it is clear that they can offer fantastic picture quality, for 3D and standard viewing, perhaps better quality than LCD and plasma screens. 

“However I don’t see any evidence, at this moment, that it will be anything other than a niche product.”

Sertler noted that LG currently ship a very small number of AMOLED screens, amounting to less than 1,000 per quarter at the moment.

“While LG are shipping a small amount at the moment, and will likely continue to do so in 2011, it will probably be 2012 before many other products are on the market.  With this in mind it is difficult to say how much of an impact AMOLED will actually have on the television screen market, though if there were to be more investment in production then it would mean that it could make the technology more accessible to consumers.

“However firms are currently investing more into, for example, LCD screens.”