Samsung Display is still leading the flexible OLED market where it continued to dominate over the second quarter of the year, data compiled by IHS Markit suggests. The Samsung Group-owned display manufacturer accounted for nearly 32 percent of all global sales of small and medium-sized panels over the three-month period ending June 30, having recorded approximately $3.92 billion in revenue in this segment. Japan Display Inc (JDI) was the second largest mobile display maker during Q2 2017, recording around $1.86 in sales and taking more than 15 percent of the worldwide market. LG Display also managed to stay in the top three largest companies in this segment with a share of 9.7 percentage points backed by more than $1.19 billion in sales, IHS Markit said.
The flexible OLED market itself is still growing at a relatively rapid pace, having experienced a year-on-year increase of 132 percent during the second quarter of 2017. In total, display module manufacturers sold more than $2 billion worth of flexible OLED panels over the observed period, marking a significant increase compared to $886 million in the same technology sold last year. While small and medium-sized (OLED) panels aren’t exclusively used in smartphones, the handset industry is by far their largest beneficiary, and recent design trends in the mobile space are believed to be directly responsible for a steadily growing demand for flexible OLED panels. Samsung Display’s sister company Samsung Electronics has been spearheading the bezel-less movement over the course of this year with the Galaxy S8 series and the recently released Galaxy Note 8, with its domestic rival LG Electronics also debuting its own bezel-free offerings in the form of the G6, V30, and the newly launched Q6 lineup of mid-range products. The same aesthetic was promptly adopted by a variety of Chinese original equipment manufacturers and even Apple’s own iPhone X opted for a similar look, consequently increasing the global demand for small OLED panels.
The current trend is unlikely to stop in the future as an increasing number of phone makers opts to minimize the bezels on their products, though it remains to be seen whether Samsung‘s recent investments will be enough for the company to ensure its dominance in this segment, with LG Display being adamant to provide it with fiercer competition going forward.