Tag: lg display

Tech firms not worried about war with North Korea

Global electronics firms are not particularly concerned if Donald (Prince of Orange) Trump declares war on North Korea.

There is some concern among the Tame Apple Press that Apple will not be able to source key parts from South Korea if a war starts. Never mind the huge body count that is expected – just so long as Apple fanboys get their toys.

Trump told Reuters that a major conflict with North Korea is possible in the standoff over its nuclear and missile programmes, though he would prefer a diplomatic resolution. But then he might have changed his mind by the time he popped around the corridor.

South Korea, a US ally and home to major electronics parts makers such as Samsung Electronics, LG Display and SK Hynix, would be particularly vulnerable to any military attack from its northern neighbour.

South Korea supplies more than half of components such as memory chips and flat screens.

However, investors are pouring money into South Korea’s financial market, and companies are flocking to the stock market to raise billions of dollars.

Seoul’s stock market has climbed nine percent so far this year to near record highs, helped by strong earnings by major exporters including Samsung Electronics, which rose three percent to a life-time high on Friday after reporting its highest profit in more than three years.

Earlier this week, Hynix and LG Display, both Apple suppliers, reported record quarterly profits and sounded upbeat for the remainder of the year.

LG said that talk of conflict is speculative, and it did not have any plans to react to the current situation.

Hyundai Motor, the country’s top automaker, said it had detailed contingency plans to ensure business carried on under various situations but couldn’t disclose them.

Any military conflict on the Korean peninsula could have a dramatic effect on the memory chip market in particular, as Samsung’s and Hynix’s main operations are clustered in South Korea.

The pair control half of the flash memory market, and almost two thirds of DRAM chips, widely used in computers, making it almost impossible for customers to find alternative supplies quickly.

As supply of those chips are already tight, any interruptions to their manufacturing operations might cause large customers such as Apple and Lenovo to trigger a contractual term known as an “allocation” to get more of their suppliers’ limited supply, according to industry executives.

The ultimate beneficiaries of supply interruptions in South Korea would likely be Japan’s Toshiba, and US  firms Micron Technology and Western Digital.

Flat panel makers switch direction

Samsung LCDAs we reported earlier today, notebook sales are not hitting vendors’ expectations and that news is borne out by a market research briefing from Taiwanese company Trendforce.

It said that while shipments in August of notebook display panels grew by 21 percent compared to July, demand is still weak and there’s heaps of inventory sitting in warehouses worldwide.

Trendfore estimates that 41.74 million notebook display panels will ship in this, the third quarter, and that’s a four percent drop compared to the second quarter.

The third quarter was the boom time for notebook and PC sales, until recent years.

The manufacturers of flat panels are now concentrating on high value products rather than vlime shipments, according to Trendforce.

LG Display and Samsung – the leading South Korean vendors – will concentrate on wide view angle products – with between 25 and 30 percent of shipments using this format.

Trendforce also expects there will be demand for wide view angle displays from so called 2-in-1 devices.

Resolutions are now moving to Full HD and above but margins on these products are “razor thin” because of competition and price cutting.

Trendforce believes that panels will Full HD or above will represent 20 percent of shipments during 2015 with those figures set to grow next year.

LG sells in-car displays to Porsche and Honda

tv-carIn a move to save its perky bottom line, LG Electronics is to supply Honda and Porsche with in-car displays.

The company has been looking to auto business sales to counter weak sales at its mainstay television and smartphone units.

LG Electronics has started mass production of the Honda’s centre information displays, which will be placed in the console. It will start doing the same for Porsche in the first half of 2016.

LG Display is supplying the liquid crystal display panels. In the April-June quarter, LG’s new auto business, which involves various products including in-car displays and camera systems, accounted for 11.5 percent of overall sales in the April-June quarter.

LG Electronics is also working with BMW, General Motors and Mercedes Benz for research and development of centre information displays, but so far no products have arrived yet.

LG claims breakthrough on lightweight displays

LG Display's AIT panelKorean giant LG said it will start mass producing lightweight screens for notebook PCs, which also are thinner than previous panels.

The technology, called Advanced In-Cell Touch (AIT) uses a touch sensor inside the LCD panel itself, rather than as an add on on the top of a notebook display.

These type of panels are already in use in some smartphones, including the LG G4s but the company said it is the first time they will be produced for notebook PCs.

The panel’s thickness has been reduced by a millimetre and its weight by 200 grams, compared to ordinary 15.6 inch touch embedded panels with Full HD.

LG also claims that it will offer a brighter and clearer screen picture.

The company claims it has already signed contracts with a number of global notebook PC manufacturers in 14-inch and 15.6-inch sizes, but it declined to say which customers had signed on the dotted line.

LG said that in 2014 10 percent of notebook PCs were touch sensitive, a figure that is expected to rise to 20 percent in 2016 and 30 percent in 2019.

4K TV panel sales go through the roof

old-school-tvUS analyst company IHS has confirmed other reports about the future of 4K TV – the technology is going through a boom period right now and into 2016.

In case you don’t get the picture, 4K ultra HD televisions can show as many as eight million pixels per screen compared to two million for 1080p Full HD.

IHS said that in 2016, one of five TVs will use 4K TV panels – that’s down to people wanting high definition images as well as better production from the companies that make the panels.

And, according to senior analyst Linda Lin, prices of the panels began to fall in 2014 and earlier this year. She said most TV brands now have 4K UHD products.

South Korean companies are now leading the race to produce panels with LG Display and Samsung the biggest manufacturers worldwide.

IHS said shipments of 4K TV panels were over three million units in April this year – that’s 14 percent of all TV panels.

Flexible OLED panels still too expensive

SamsungRigid LCD screens won’t be a thing of the past unless the makers of flexible panels get more price competitive.

The manufacturers of organic light emitting diode (OLED) panels are looking to make more flexible active matrix organic light emitting diode (AMOLED) panels, according to a report from research company IHS.

We don’t have to spell out all the words in AMOLED again, but the leaders in manufacturing these flexible panels are Korean giants Samsung and LG Display.

Those two manufacturers are ramping up production of flexible panels this year and IHS thinks flexible shipments are set to grow exponentially.

The reason why flexible panels seem to be the order of the day is because IHS believes wearable and other form factors need them.

But the snag is that smartphone makers – presumably other than Samsung and LG – find AMOLED panels to be a little too expensive for their purposes.

Principal analyst Jerry Kang at IHS, said: “Smartphone makers were unhappy with the price of AMOLED panels, because higher priced performance AMOLED displays had lower sharpness than LTPS LCD displays with the same resolution. As the wide colour gamut of AMOLED displays has not been a major differentiation factor in the smartphone panel market, current AMOLED panels will eventually lose their appeal, unless prices decline further.”

Flat panel shipments hit

Dell TabletSales of Taiwanese manufactured TFT LCD screens amounted to 60 million in the first quarter of this year, but that’s down marginally over three percent compared to the same quarter last year.

Digitimes Research (DR) said that of the four sectors it watches – TVs, monitors, notebook and tablets only the first showed positive growth – up 13.5 percent year on year.

Korean flat screen manufacturers LG Display and Samsung both opened next generation fabrication plants in the quarter and concentrated on switching production in the old fabs to churn out TVs and monitors.

But demand for notebook panels and monitors was weak in the first quarter, with DR reporting that Taiwanese manufacturers saw a nine percent sequential decline during the quarter.

Tablet panels fared worse – shipments for these gadgets fell 17.5 sequentially, said the research company.

LG Display to ship first flexible panel this year

LG Display is apparently gearing up to ship its first flexible displays later this year. 

The company has already outpaced Samsung in the OLED and 4K space, and now it seems bent on doing the same with bendy panels. Both Samsung and LG have already showcased flexible displays in recent months, but it appears LG will ship them first. 

According to the Korea Times, LG is widening its lead over rivals such as Samsung. It shipped 218 million LCDs over 9.1 inches last year, while Samsung Display shipped 163 million units. Chimei Innolux and AU Optronics came in third and second. 

LG Display’s IPS LCDs are used by a number of global tech brands, including Chinese smartphone makers who are going from strength to strength. The company has stepped up its R&D spending and it is pushing a number of new technologies, such as W-RGB OLED TV panels and IGZO TFT backpanels. It is also betting big on UHD, or 4K panels. 

Flexible displays for phones and tablets are just one cog in the LG juggernaut. LG Display wants to outpace Samsung in all display technologies and so far it seems the approach is working. 

Tablets start to dominate Taiwanese ODM production

Taiwanese original design manufacturer (ODM) Compal is one of three or four companies that put together notebooks and now tablets for  And according to Taiwanese wire Digitimes, Compal is responding positively to the changes in the device market.

A few years ago, Compal’s business was making notebooks and netbooks, pure and simple.  But, the wire reports, although notebooks were the bread and butter for ODMs, Compal shipped 3.8 million notebooks and 400,000 tablets in the month of March.  That’s a 40 percent rise in shipments, month on month.

The report indicates that most of the notebook growth came from an order from Dell, for business machines.

Compal began shipping tablets to Acer in the first quarter of this year and shipping Amazon seven inch tablets in Q3 2013.  Acer has already committed to putting its weight behind the burgeoning tablet market.

Meanwhile, the same wire reports that the next iPad, a 9.7-inch device with a thinner and lighter profile, will start in July of this year, with LG Display and Sharp winning out on the display front.

World's smallest 4k screen unveiled

While Sony and LG have recently announced gigantic 84 inch 4k TVs, one manufacturer has revealed its plans for releasing a 9.6 inch 4k screen.

4k, also beginning to be known as UltraHD, is so named after its enormous resolution 3840×2160 resolution. So far, manufacturers have strongly veered towards the larger end of the spectrum, and manufactures are charging equally large prices for the nascent technology.  

Both Sony and LG Display have announced 84 inch TVs using the technology, and both come with price tags that break right through the $20,000 mark. Panel manufacturer AUO has also announced it will be bringing out 65 inch and 55 inch panels. 

But Japanese manufacturer Ortus Technology  has taken a different approach, producing a 9.6 inch screen, though they will not be made for consumer electronics.

At 458 pixels per inch (ppi) it is way ahead of the likes of Apple’s Retina Display, with the iPhone 5 reaching 326 ppi, though the manufacturers note that such resolutions “exceed [the] discrimination limit of human eyes”.  However, the viewing angle is lower than an iPad, with the 4k TV device managing 160 degrees compared to Apple’s 178.

The screens, which are ready to ship in November, are not targeted at mainstream use.

According to the manufacturers, the screens are more likely to be used in applications such as professional video equipment or medical equipment, where such resolutions are either a strict requirement or highly beneficial. This could mean, for example, use as a 4k TV camera monitor screen.