OLED market performance was worse than the first quarter due to the low utilization rate of Samsung Display during the second quarter, and the industry was nervous. Lower utilization rates have a direct impact on material companies’ sales and lead to delayed investment at the A5 plant, at which future orders are expected. However, sales increased sharply as Samsung Display began production of flexible OLED for Galaxy 9 and iPhone XS from the third quarter. The company recorded the largest sales in the third quarter of this year, reaching US $ 8.3 billion, up US $ 1.17 billion from US $ 7.13 billion in the third quarter of last year.
The company posted quarterly sales of 130 million units in the third quarter. The application that has contributed most to the increase in shipments is OLED for smartphones. Samsung Display sold 15 million units more than last quarter. The second largest application area is watch. Shipments have increased sharply owing to the new models of both Apple watches and Galaxy gears.
Due to the booming OLED TV market, LG Display is in short supply even though it operates its factory at its full capacity. The yield has already reached 85%. The company is expected to turn profitable in the fourth quarter as the depreciation of E4-1 line ended in the third quarter.
The OLED sales revenue in 2018 is projected to reach US$ 31.3 billion, up 18% from US$ 26.5 billion in 2017. Based on the results of the third quarter, 2019 sales are estimated at US $ 32.2 billion. This will be a 2.9% increase from the previous year.
Samsung Galaxy S, which is Samsung’s flagship product, is unlikely to have been sold before, and low-priced Galaxy J models use cheap LCDs instead of OLEDs. Apple is likely to adopt OLEDs more and focus on high-end smartphone market more than US$ 1,000, while Samsung Electronics is interested in the low-end smartphone market for less than US$ 250, shifting from OLED to LCD.