[News] Revival for Smartphone Panels! Surging Demand from Huawei’s New Models and Customer Stockpiling Propel AMOLED Prices

According to TechNews’ report, after a prolonged period of price suppression in the mobile panel market, there has been an upswing in demand since the end of the second quarter, as customer inventories have reached a turning point.

The report further quoted industry sources, stating that the increased demand is notably driven by Huawei’s new models, and other customers initiating stockpiling for new models. This gradual increase in demand is raising AMOLED panel utilization rates, subsequently leading to a price uptick, which is also influencing LTPS LCD panel prices.

Previously reported by IJIWEI, the robust demand for Huawei’s Mate 60 series smartphones is expected to contribute to a total annual smartphone shipment of 40 to 50 million units. This surpasses the previous year’s shipments of 30 million units by 30 to 70%.

Industry insiders cited by South Korean media indicate that Huawei’s shipping target for the next year is 100 million units, surpassing market research company predictions by over 40%, which estimated around 70 million units.

The demand for Huawei’s new smartphone models is on the rise, especially as its high-end products extensively adopt LTPO backplane technology, occupying a portion of panel manufacturers’ capacity. Additionally, other customers initiating preparations for new models have contributed to the surge in demand, bringing China’s AMOLED panel capacity back to 80-90%.

Looking ahead to next year, the demand for AMOLED panels will still need to be monitored, particularly around the Lunar New Year. If demand continues to grow steadily, it will likely support panel prices.

As for the crucial component, OLED DDI (Display Driver IC), the process is gradually shifting from 40nm to 28nm. Currently, only UMC (United Microelectronics Corporation) globally can mass-produce the 28nm HV (High Voltage) process required for OLED DDI, while SMIC (Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation) employs the 40nm HV process.

With TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) set to join the 28nm HV process in 2025, there is no imminent shortage of supply. Therefore, the price increase in AMOLED panels may have limited impact on OLED DDI prices, and the fourth quarter and the first quarter of next year are likely to maintain a stable trend.

Please note that this article cites information from TechNews

Read more

(Photo credit: Huawei)


iPhone 15 Pro Max Boasts Exclusive Periscope Lens, Anticipated to Capture Nearly 40% of New Device Production

Apple is slated to unveil four new iPhone models in mid-September: the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. TrendForce predicts a production figure of approximately 80 million units for the iPhone 15 series. This represents a 6% YoY growth, bouncing back from last year’s Foxconn-related production hiccups. The Pro series, armed with smoother production cycles and the Pro Max’s exclusive periscope lens, is poised to be a consumer magnet and potentially propel the Pro series to constitute over 60% of Apple’s new device production. However, with overall gloomy market sentiment and Huawei’s comeback in full swing, Apple’s total iPhone sales for the year may take a hit, expected to hover between 220 to 225 million units for a 5% YoY decline.

In regard to specifications for the iPhone 15 series, several noteworthy hardware upgrades have been made. Compliance with EU regulations has led Apple to jump on the USB Type-C bandwagon this year. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will come with significant camera upgrades, sporting a 48MP main sensor to align with the Pro series. Furthermore, they will also be featuring Apple’s Dynamic Island. On the other hand, the Pro series promises cutting-edge processor upgrades, increased Dram capacity, and introduces a titanium-aluminum alloy frame. The Pro Max also intends to elevate mobile photography to the next level with its exclusive periscope lens.

Advances in technology, while exciting, can also ratchet up the intricacies of mass production. Reports of component snags and assembly issues have surfaced as production of the new iPhone models revs up in the third quarter. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, in particular, have been grappling with lower-than-expected yield rates for their new 48MP cameras. Meanwhile, the Pro series is confronting challenges with panel and titanium alloy frame assembly. However, evidence suggests that the Pro series is likely to overcome its obstacles more swiftly than its non-Pro counterparts.

iPhone 15 Pro Max may see a price increase to reflect cost differences

In light of the global economic downturn, Apple is contemplating a cautious pricing strategy to preserve its sales volumes. While the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus boast 48MP main cameras, they’ll inherit the A16 processor from the iPhone 14 Pro series, with no other significant upgrades. Hence, their starting prices are projected to be aggressively competitive. The iPhone 15 Pro may sport several enhancements that inflate costs, yet these are anticipated to be offset by cost reductions in other components.

Overall, TrendForce predicts a stable pricing landscape for the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, and iPhone 15 Pro, largely mirroring last year’s figures. The Pro Max, however, is a different story. Equipped with an exclusive high-cost periscope lens, it’s expected to command a premium—likely a bump of up to US$100—to reflect its increased production costs. Should this price adjustment materialize, it would mark the first such move since the era of the iPhone X.


Automotive Panels Embrace TDDI for Size and Spec Improvements

As the pandemic has eased, the global automotive market is picking up momentum, and it is estimated that the global shipments of automotive panels will exceed 200 million units in 2023. With the continuous demand for size enlargement and specification improvement in automotive panels, the adoption of TDDI architecture is becoming more prevalent, and it is expected that TDDI will gradually become the mainstream for automotive panels.

On the other hand, AMOLED panels have started to have opportunities for adoption in emerging electric vehicles and some high-end car models. However, their adoption has been slow due to potential issues with reliability, lifespan, and brightness. Currently, the overall penetration rate for AMOLED panels in the automotive sector is estimated to reach 6% by 2026.

Can Panel Manufacturers Replace Traditional Tier 1 Players and Directly Serve Automakers?

As traditional internal combustion engine vehicles transition to electric vehicles and the level of in-car electronics continues to rise, coupled with the development of autonomous driving technologies, the demand for automotive displays is constantly expanding. The integration of digital display panels with touch functionality is gradually becoming mainstream, and panel sizes are increasing, moving towards more integrated designs. Specifications such as resolution, wide viewing angles, and high refresh rates, as well as unique designs, are becoming focal points. Currently, display panel specifications are moving towards LTPS LCD panels, which offer larger sizes, superior display performance, and better energy efficiency.

Looking at the market conditions, after the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, the demand for automotive panels declined, but it gradually recovered in 2021 and 2022. However, there is still an oversupply situation, and it is estimated that there will be a slight growth of 5.1% to reach 205 million units in 2023. In terms of shipment scale, China’s panel shipments maintain the best position with a share of over 40%, while Japanese panel manufacturers have been squeezed by Chinese counterparts, reducing their share to about 20%. Taiwan’s panel manufacturers account for approximately 21%, and Korean panel manufacturers represent 8%.

The traditional shipment model involves Tier 1 players contracting with car manufacturers for related validation, assembly, and supply chain management roles, and then subcontracting Tier 2 panel suppliers. With the transformation of the automotive industry and the semiconductor component shortages in the past few years, as well as the increased requirements for interior design in vehicles, car manufacturers are starting to seek better control over the supply chain. As a result, panel manufacturers may replace Tier 1 players and directly supply to automakers, and Tier 1 suppliers will face competition from panel manufacturers.

The Automotive TDDI Architecture Has Cost Advantages

In the early days, LCD automotive panels mainly used external touch solutions, with car-use DDI and independent touch ICs on the IC architecture. However, as panel sizes increased, the number of ICs used also increased, leading to higher costs. Therefore, the TDDI architecture became a new development direction.

TDDI is commonly used for panels up to 30 inches in size. A single TDDI solution can be used for 20-inch panels, while for 20-30 inch panels, a TDDI-cascade solution with approximately 2-3 TDDI-cascade architectures is often used. Panels larger than 30 inches use the LTDI (Local TDDI) structure.


New Display Technology Awaits Automotive Certification; Significant Growth Expected after 2025

AMOLED is mostly used in high-end car models or stylish new electric vehicles, but its rapid development is hindered by limitations in brightness, panel lifespan, and reliability. In comparison, LCDs with MiniLED BLU architecture offer similar display performance to AMOLED but at a more affordable price and with better safety, and they are expected to compete with AMOLED in the market.

For more information on this report or market data from TrendForce’s Department of Display Research, please click here, or email Ms. Grace Li from the Sales Department at


Fierce Rivalry in AMOLED Panel Market Triggers Rapid Price Drop

Due to weak demand in the mobile phone market, the decline in prices of mobile phone panels, especially AMOLED panels, has accelerated this year. Under overcapacity pressure, the price decline has exceeded expectations.

According to our survey, some brands actively introduced Ramless DDI flexible AMOLED panels in the second half of last year, trying to narrow the price gap with rigid AMOLED panels and increase usage rates through DDI cost optimization. However, the inventory level of flexible AMOLED panels with Ram is high, and the price decline has also accelerated, while also narrowing the price gap with rigid AMOLED panels.

The current prices update:

  • Rigid AMOLED panels are around USD 18-20.
  • Flexible AMOLED panels with Ram are priced at around USD 25 or even lower, which is a significant drop from the average of USD 30 or more last year.
  • The above price reduction of flexible AMOLED panels with Ram has led to a price reduction of Ramless DDI flexible AMOLED panels, which are currently priced at around USD 20-22.

The significant price reduction of flexible AMOLED panels with Ram has dimmed the cost advantage of Ramless DDI flexible AMOLED panels, and currently only Xiaomi has adopted them. Other first-tier brand customers remain cautious.

In addition, due to the momentum of flexible AMOLED panel price declines, whether the price of rigid AMOLED panels will follow suit has become a challenge for SDC. We believe that SDC should follow the price reduction strategy and may even approach the level of USD 15 in the second half of the year after abandoning the USD 20 threshold.

However, there are two reasons why we believe SDC may find it difficult to reverse the current situation even with a price reduction strategy. These reasons include:

  • Weak overall smartphone demand this year.
  • Chinese brand customers will gradually adjust their procurement strategy to focus on domestic panel factories. For SDC, how to dispose of rigid AMOLED panel capacity in the medium to long term will be a major issue.

Due to the sustained pressure on AMOLED panel prices, LTPS LCD panel prices are also forced to continue to decline, and it is expected that prices will continue to drop from the current range of USD 10-15 and may even fall below USD 10.

On the other hand, because LTPS LCD prices have approached a-Si LCD panel prices, it has aroused the interest of some brand customers. Under the overall weak market conditions, adopting low-cost LTPS LCD specifications may help improve revenue performance or stimulate demand by upgrading from HD to FHD specifications at the same price.


Display driver IC: Growing Demand but Lingering Concerns

The latest study by TrendForce shows that demand for large-size and mobile driver ICs will steadily grow as various applications recover. However, the speed of capacity supply adjustment and competition among different technologies will remain the key focus in the next few quarters.

Another thing worth noting is that the US chip ban has led to a trend of independent development between Chinese and non-Chinese supply chains. While this may increase production time and cost, it also presents opportunities for individual Chinese domestic suppliers and Taiwanese wafer foundries to acquire fresh orders.

Observations by TrendForce on each sector of driver ICs are summarized below-

  • Large-size panel driver ICs: demand is expected to recover gradually and stabilize prices, but suppliers are cautious about inventory, which could lead to a supply shortage if demand surges too quickly.
  • TDDI for mobile devices: prices and inventory have reached a low point, with a small rebound expected. In the long run, AMOLED panels are expected to dominate, so IC suppliers will need to explore new applications for medium-sized panels.
  • AMOLED driver ICs: UMC’s 28nm high-voltage process is producing AMOLED driver ICs. If Apple shifts all 40nm AMOLED driver IC production to 28nm, TSMC’s 28nm capacity availability will be crucial to the market’s supply-demand balance.
  • RAM-Less AMOLED driver ICs: RAM-Less AMOLED driver ICs with Chinese flexible AMOLED panels are gradually taking shape due to China’s domestic policy. However, the rapid price drop of Full-Ram AMOLED has caused brands to hesitate on adopting Ram-Less AMOLED.
  • Page 1
  • 3 page(s)
  • 11 result(s)