As costs continue to decline, it is projected that OLED technology will reach a 50% penetration rate in the smartphone market by 2023. Additionally, OLED is gradually making inroads into applications such as TVs, laptops, and tablets. According to TrendForce analysis, the current landscape of OLED technology presents various opportunities and challenges depending on the application. In the realm of smartphones, the number of OLED smartphone products is on the rise, and the technology is taking on diverse forms, including rigid OLED screens, OLED curved displays, and OLED foldable displays.
TrendForce predicts that by 2023, the penetration rate of OLED foldable smartphones will reach 1.6%, with sales volume increasing from 12.8 million units in 2022 to 18.26 million units. With advancements in OLED display specifications and increasingly competitive pricing, OLED foldable smartphones are poised to become mainstream in the market. Currently, the penetration rate of OLED foldable smartphones is relatively low, primarily because OLED technology has not fully met user demands for larger screens within the same form factor while maintaining affordability. This marks a significant development trend for foldable smartphones in the future.
In response to the ever-evolving landscape of smartphone screens and high consumer demand, panel makers are taking a multi-faceted approach to upgrading OLED technology. To achieve full-screen displays while ensuring quality in screen visuals and camera functionality, certain brands have begun utilizing hole-punch screens, integrating the camera beneath the display – a prime example being the iPhone 14 Pro series with its Dynamic Island. On the other hand, companies like Samsung, BOE, and CSOT are opting to forego punch holes altogether. Instead, they are enhancing screen transparency and incorporating the camera beneath the display by rearranging specific display area pixels and reducing size.
Panel makers are enhancing OLED technology to improve both lifespan and efficiency. They are adopting LTPO technology to dynamically adjust screen refresh rates, reducing power consumption. Additionally, for foldable screens, companies are eliminating polarizers, using color filters to reduce reflection, and switching to ultra-thin glass cover panels. These optimizations are in response to the varied demands of smartphone applications, and they signal the continued growth of OLED in future smartphone uses.
In the realm of TV, TrendForce thinks that COVID-19, geopolitics, and rising shipping costs, furthermore, companies have been focusing on the development of larger-sized TVs, particularly in the 65, 77, and 85-inch categories, causing the overall decline in the TV market in recent years. The OLED TV market is primarily dominated by Korean manufacturers LG and Samsung. TrendForce projects that in 2023, OLED TVs will account for approximately 2% to 3% of the overall TV market.
TrendForce suggests that Samsung and LG are currently enhancing OLED technology by adopting new materials and incorporating quantum dot technology to improve OLED’s luminous efficiency. This has led to an increase in the cost of OLED technology, which in turn has limited the widespread adoption of OLED TVs. However, with factors such as depreciation of production machinery, improved yield rates for OLED products, and streamlining of the production process, it is expected that OLED TV prices will gradually decrease in the future.
In 2023, OLED display shipments are expected to reach approximately 530,000 units, marking a 342% increase by YoY. However, OLED displays are projected to hold only a 2% to 3% market share in the overall display market. Within the OLED display market, LG is poised to surpass Dell and become the brand with the largest market share due to its proactive deployment of OLED product lines and diversified product offerings, along with strong demand for 27-inch products in the market.TrendForce states that the future of OLED displays lies in larger sizes, necessitating the use of higher-generation panel production lines for efficient and cost-effective OLED panel manufacturing.
In the laptop and tablet arena, as compared to smartphones and televisions, the application of OLED technology has been relatively limited. However, according to TrendForce, OLED technology is beginning to transition into IT-related applications. This includes innovations such as OLED Tandem device structures, as well as recent developments like JDI’s photolithography eLeap and Visionox’s ViP. These advancements are set to significantly enhance OLED performance and lifespan. When these technologies are ready for deployment, they are expected to effectively reduce OLED costs and substantially increase OLED panel penetration in the IT market.
Notably, Apple has already integrated OLED technology into its iPad products, and the Apple brand’s influence is expected to drive other brands to adopt OLED technology, accelerating OLED’s penetration in the IT market.
In the realm of automotive displays and other applications, TrendForce envisions a future for OLED technology characterized by transparency, extended lifespan, and versatility to meet the demands of foldable displays, automotive displays, and transparent displays. In automotive displays, OLED features such as high brightness, wide viewing angles, high contrast, and a broad operating temperature range make it suitable for applications like rear-seat entertainment systems and in-car infotainment displays. In the realm of transparent displays, OLED’s high transmittance and ability to display real-time information make it suitable for use in automotive windshields, windows, and A-pillars. Additionally, in the domain of stretchable displays, flexible OLED screens can be stretched and slid while maintaining a consistent thickness.
The intensifying competition between the United States and China has prompted countries like Australia to cease the use of Chinese drone products due to national security concerns, significantly impacting the Asia-Pacific drone market.
In 2023, the global drone market is estimated to be valued at $33.4 billion, with a growth rate converging at 9.2%. As drone applications and use cases become more defined, drone manufacturing materials become increasingly transparent, costs and prices are expected to rationalize. The core profitability of drone manufacturers is shifting towards drone equipment, such as cameras and sprinklers.
Current State and Market Analysis of the Drone Industry
The commercialization of drones has accelerated, leading to the integration of autonomous drone docks and DaaS (Drones as a Service) technology. This has prompted drone suppliers like DJI, FOIA, GEOAI, AeroVironment, Skydio, and others to develop their own drone ground control systems, cloud-based control systems, onboard AI control systems, and multi-series autonomous flight systems. Autonomous flying control system enable AI-driven real-time image recognition, visual navigation processing, data capture, and analysis, as well as automated flights, deployments, take-offs, and landings.
Furthermore, the matured technologies of AI and computer vision have led to the diversification of drone products, allowing companies in the media and entertainment sectors to replace traditional aircraft with drones for tasks such as aerial photography, cinematography, and capturing special effects, resulting in cost reduction and increased efficiency. On the other hand, road and railway operators are combining drones with 3D modeling software to assist in structural engineering design. The logistics sector is rapidly advancing smart delivery models. Hence, the global drone market, including platform systems, automation applications, and drone docks, reached $30.6 billion in 2022, reflecting a 15% growth compared to 2021.
Although drones have a wide range of application areas, their technology and critical components are increasingly influenced by geopolitical factors. The ongoing US-China competition and concerns related to national security have led many countries to discontinue the use of Chinese drone products. Consequently, China, in addition to restricting the export of gallium and germanium for chip manufacturing, announced export controls on certain drones and related equipment starting in September 2023. This decision not only impacts China’s drone industry but also affects its vertical integration, including equipment suppliers for batteries, drone engines, motor controllers, ground stations, and anti-drone systems.
With declining drone sales volume, drone manufacturers are forced to reduce production to control operational costs, resulting in a significant decrease in demand for semiconductor components such as MOSFETs, HMIs, PCBs, sensors, microcontrollers, communication chips (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth), and charging ICs. This has significant implications, particularly for DJI, which holds approximately 70% of the global drone market share, and more than half of drones sold in the United States are either manufactured by DJI or supplied with DJI components.
According to a report by Taiwan’s Money DJ, Chinese assembly contractor Luxshare Precision has been actively entering Apple’s supply chain in recent years and has secured contracts to manufacture high-end models of the iPhone 15, no longer exclusively produced by Foxconn. Luxshare Precision’s Chairman, Wang Laichun, revealed in a recent interview that they have secured orders for three iPhone 15 models this year, and this business segment has doubled in performance over the past year.
She also disclosed that they are preparing for the production of Apple’s upcoming head-worn device, the Apple Vision Pro, set to be released early next year.
As reported by The Paper, Wang Laichun pointed out that Luxshare Precision currently provides development and manufacturing services for a range of Apple products, including iPhones, Apple Watch, AirPods, and Apple Vision Pro. They offer an integrated solution, from diverse components and modules to complete system assembly.
Luxshare Precision’s semi-annual report for 2023, released at the end of August, showed that their sales for the first half of the year reached RMB 97.97 billion, with a year-on-year increase of 19.53%. Their net profit was RMB 4.154 billion, marking a year-on-year increase of 22.48%. Not only did they achieve record cash flow, but several financial indicators also improved. Luxshare Precision expects its net profit for the first three quarters of 2023 to reach between RMB 7.040 billion and RMB 7.680 billion, a year-on-year increase of 10% to 20%.
The report noted that Wang Laichun attributes this growth to the company’s process optimization and efficiency improvements, which have led to a significant increase in the number of iPhone production models and quantities in recent years. She also mentioned that the company continues to expand its capacity in China to meet Apple’s demands. Last year, they established a new facility in Kunshan dedicated to iPhone development and production, creating tens of thousands of job opportunities.
Source to China Times, the International Semiconductor Industry Association (SEMI) forecasts that from 2023 to 2026, the global semiconductor industry will add 12 new 8-inch wafer fabs, with 8-inch fab monthly production capacity increasing by 14% to a historic high of 7.7 million wafers. In response, UMC stated that from a supply and demand perspective, capacity growth still lags behind demand growth. UMC emphasized that it remains optimistic about the future of the 8-inch wafer market, thanks to ongoing advancements in special processes and differentiation.
SEMI notes that the continuous rise in the penetration rate of electric vehicles (EVs) worldwide is driving substantial growth in the demand for inverters and charging stations. The future mass adoption of EVs is the primary driver for increased investments in 8-inch fabs and the continued expansion of global 8-inch fab capacity.
Examining the situation of new 8-inch fabs in various countries, Southeast Asia will see the largest capacity increase, with a growth rate of approximately 32%. SEMI predicts that China’s 8-inch fab capacity will follow, with an increase of about 22%, reaching a monthly production capacity of 1.7 million wafers. The United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Taiwan are expected to have growth rates of approximately 14%, 11%, and 7%, respectively.
SEMI reports that by 2023, China’s 8-inch fab capacity will account for approximately 22% of the global total, with Japan at around 16%, Taiwan at around 15%, and Europe, the Middle East, and the United States each at about 14%. Furthermore, to meet future market demand, suppliers such as Bosch, Infineon, Mitsubishi, Onsemi, and STMicroelectronics are accelerating their 8-inch fab capacity expansion. It is estimated that from 2023 to 2026, the 8-inch fab capacity for automotive and power semiconductors will increase by 34%.
Concerns have been raised about potential oversupply as global 8-inch fabs expand, but UMC, a major semiconductor foundry, states that given the current rate of 8-inch fab expansion worldwide, the increase in capacity is relatively modest compared to demand. From a supply and demand perspective, it is certain that capacity growth will not keep pace with the growing global demand for 8-inch wafers.
UMC further notes that while 8-inch fabs are increasing, demand is unlikely to remain stagnant. Currently, the majority of semiconductor fabs being built worldwide are 12-inch fabs, making the expansion of 8-inch fabs relatively limited, and the supply-demand balance has not worsened.
Source to media China Times, after an extensive promotional campaign, Huawei’s Mate 60 smartphone, which has regained attention in mainland China’s media and online platforms, has finally secured the second position in the Chinese domestic smartphone market for the 36th week (4th~10th, Sep.), with a 17% market share. It is just a 0.2% difference from the top-ranked Honor smartphone. Supply chain sources estimate that by the 37th week (11th~17th, Sep.), Huawei could potentially claim the top spot in market share.
According to reports from “Mydrivers,” Huawei’s smartphone sales have been improving lately, thanks to media and online promotion of the Mate 60. Data from authoritative market research organizations in the supply chain indicates that in week 36 (4th~10th, Sep.), Huawei achieved a 17% market share in smartphone sales, securing the second position in the Chinese smartphone market.
The report notes that although Huawei is ranked second, this achievement in market share comes amidst “well-known significant pressures.” Moreover, it trails only 0.2% behind the top-ranked Honor (17.2%). Supply chain insiders anticipate that by week 37 (11th~17th, Sep.), Huawei is poised to claim the top spot in market share, a remarkable feat considering the significant pressures facing the company.
The report highlights that Huawei’s current sales situation is characterized by a shortage of the entire Mate 60 lineup. Supply chain sources reveal that orders for the Mate 60 Pro have increased to 15-17 million units. Information from distributors indicates that Huawei began comprehensive sales of the Mate 60 Pro in physical stores starting from September 10th.
Analysts had previously expressed optimism about Huawei’s return to the high-end smartphone market in mainland China. The previous Mate50 series achieved sales of approximately 5 million units, and it is expected that the Mate 60 series could surpass 6 million units.
According to TrendForce research on the ranking of 2Q23 smartphone production, in China, Transsion (including TECNO, Infinix, and itel) eclipsed Vivo to secure the fifth spot for the first time ever. TrendFroce reveals that Transsion’s high production output benefited from a trifecta of inventory replenishment, new product launches, and its entry into mid-to-high-end markets. Demonstrating robust production performance since March, the company’s growth trajectory is poised to extend its momentum into Q3. Meanwhile, Vivo (including Vivo and iQoo) is treading cautiously amid a sluggish global economy, which is evident in its conservative production plan: Vivo churned out 23 million units in Q2—a modest quarterly increase of 15%—and as a result, slipped to sixth place in global rankings.
Xiaomi (including Xiaomi, Redmi, and POCO) is reveling in a bountiful Q2, posting production numbers of around 35 million units—a staggering seasonal uptick of 32.1%. This boom can be attributed to a strategic depletion of channel inventory coupled with the allure of new product launches. However, Xiaomi’s channel inventory still runs high, setting the stage for a Q3 that is likely to mirror its Q2 performance. On the other side of the spectrum, Oppo (including Oppo, Real, and OnePlus) also had a fruitful Q2. The brand primarily rode the wave of rebounding demand in Southeast Asia and other regions, amassing approximately 33.6 million units and marking a seasonal leap of 25.4%. With seasonal demands on the horizon, Oppo’s Q3 production is poised for an estimated growth of 10~15%, primarily targeting markets in China, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Latin America, hot on Xiaomi’s heels.
Currently, the top-ranking Honor smartphone is also a Chinese smartphone manufacturer. Originally launched as a sub-brand under Huawei’s product line series in September 2011, it began independent operations on December 16, 2013. Towards the end of 2020, Honor separated from Huawei, and there were multiple rumors about Honor’s independent listing preparations, which the company denied. (Image credit: Huawei)