MONTREAL, July 23, 2012 /ATR-Newswire/ ELECTRONICS.CA PUBLICATIONS, the electronics industry market research and knowledge network, announces the availability of a new report entitled "OLED Materials Markets 2012".
The past year has brought big changes to the OLED market. The technology appears to have finally taken off, and the long-promised potential for OLEDs to make a real impact in the display markets is finally being realized, with Samsung’s Galaxy phones beating out OLED-free Apple iPhones for the first time in 2012. Samsung has said that it expects to sell 10 million of its latest Galaxy smartphones by the end of June, and most industry estimates, including ours, indicate that a total of over 200 million smart phones with active matrix (AM) OLED displays will be sold this year.Growing Demand for OLED Panels
But smartphones are, of course, only part of the story. Increases in demand are happening across the OLED industry, and the sector is booming. Nearly all segments are growing on a per-unit basis, from passive matrix (PM) OLED displays, to sophisticated AM OLEDs for tablets, computers, TVs, and white-emitting OLED panels for lighting applications. Overall, analysts predicts that, as a result, the value of OLED materials will grow from about $524 million in 2012 to over $7.4 billion by the end of the forecast period in 2019.
Of that total, the value of core, functional OLED materials – which is to say active layer materials like emitters, hosts, dopants, and hole and electron injection, transport and blocking materials, but excluding electrodes, substrates, and encapsulation materials – will reach nearly $370 million this year, and grow to over $2.9 billion by 2019, corresponding to about 71 and 39 percent of the total OLED materials market, respectively.This growth will be realized through the following key trends:
· Phones and tablets: Today, Korean display giant Samsung dominates the OLED market, at least for AM OLED displays, so other panel makers need to get into the mobile computing market to solidify OLEDs as something more than specialty products, and to broaden the customer base for OLED materials.
The good news is that this shift is happening, with Taiwanese OLED makers AU Optronics (AUO) and Chimei Innolux, Chinese OLED maker Tianma, and others hoping to expand production in the near future. There are also persistent rumors that Apple may soon adopt an OLED display, which would greatly expand the addressable display market.
· TVs: Second, as we point out in this report, materials suppliers are in need of not only higher unit sales, but also larger average panel sizes, in order to see materials demand rise significantly. The good news here is that all signs point to the fact that the next “big things” in OLED displays will provide just that.
Larger-area OLED TVs from Samsung and rival Korean display maker LG Display are, at last, coming on the market in 2012. If the industry can both meet its cost goals and successfully convince consumers of the value of OLED TVs, they are poised to generate significant revenues from material sales in the coming decade.
· Lighting: The other big news in OLEDs is the steady, if sometimes disappointingly slow, progress of OLED lighting – another market with a potentially large panel area that will translate into high material demand.
This market is also finally seeing the beginning of a real commercialization trend. Hardly a month goes by without another luxury luminaire, designer kit, or OLED lighting installation project announced or launched, and NanoMarkets believes that the next three or four years will be a critical manufacturing (and market) development phase in advance of real growth, which will start to occur in about 2015 - 2016. Factors That Could Challenge the Growing OLED Market
Despite all of the promise, each industry segment still faces challenges that may (or may not) be holding up demand, many of which offer corresponding opportunities for suppliers to respond with a material solution.
For smaller displays, manufacturing capacity and scale up are the key challenges. Today, Samsung is the only firm making small-sized AM OLEDs in appreciable quantities, and while even Samsung is certainly still in the early stages and still has plenty of room to improve on performance, manufacturing yields, etc., the firm certainly has not had much trouble convincing consumers of the value of OLEDs in mobile computing devices.
As Samsung expands further, and as other display makers grow, too, then the growing materials demand seems secure for the time frame of this report, especially if tablet computers take a steadily increasingly market share as expected.
While OLED TVs from Samsung and LG Display are poised to make a big splash this year, at $8,000 to $10,000 each, they are clearly out of reach of the average consumer. Thus, the panel makers need to find ways to bring prices down, which means they need to find ways to cut manufacturing costs. Surely, some reductions in cost will come through improving manufacturing yields, improving processes, and economies of scale. But materials suppliers have a role to play as well. We are thinking here specifically of materials and materials deposition technologies compatible with low-cost/large-area solution processing.
In addition, it is still an open question whether current OLED material sets can provide the lifetimes required in the OLED TV sector. OLED TVs are expected to have much longer lifetimes than the average mobile computing device. Thus, materials suppliers can create a distinct competitive advantage by developing and commercializing new materials sets that convincingly solve the lifetime (and differential aging) problem.
Finally, large materials revenues in the OLED lighting sector will only be realized if OLED lighting can transition out of its current designer kits and luxury luminaire phase and into large-area, high volume general illumination markets, like office lighting. In this case, the critical factors are similar to those found in the OLED TV market. Materials and materials methods that enable low cost/large-area OLED panel production through, for example, solution processing, are very promising.
Also, lifetimes in the OLED lighting market must be greatly improved. Lighting products are expected to have much longer service lifetimes than the average display, and they must compete with inorganic LED lighting products that have extremely long life. Thus, lifetime is yet again another area in which materials suppliers can create value.
Details of the new report, table of contents and ordering information can be found on Electronics.ca Publications' website. View the report: OLED Materials Markets 2012.