April 20, 2012 — Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) will be a nearly $11 billion market in 2017, and will take some display market share from the $100-billion liquid-crystal display (LCD) sector, according to a Lux Research report.
OLEDs made up a $1.9 billion market in 2011. In small-screen displays, like smartphones, OLEDs are gaining adoption and working toward cost parity with LCDs. For large-screen displays, like televisions, OLEDs require further technological advancements, bringing down cost barriers, said Jonathan Melnick, Lux research analyst and lead author of the report, “Cutting Up the LCD Pie: Calculating the Billion-Dollar Slices from Display Innovation.”
OLEDs give smartphones thinner designs with better-performance displays, longer battery life, and lighter weight for an acceptable higher cost than conventional displays. Lux Research’s component materials and manufacturing cost analysis shows that “OLEDs will decrease from their current $3,000/m2 for small-area displays to be cost competitive with LCDs by 2016,” Melnick reports. By 2017, more than one third of all smartphones will use OLED displays, or $9.5 billion of the $11 billion OLED market. If Apple switches its iPhone and iPad designs to OLED displays, this could drive 3x growth or more, to $35 billion.
In 2017, the reflective display market will reach $1.6 billion. Lux Research expects the e-reader market to be subsumed under tablet PCs and hit market saturation starting in 2013. E-readers dominate the non-segmented reflective display market. With e-reader numbers dropping, digital signage will take over as the primary application for reflective displays in 2017.
In the flexible display space, manufacturing technologies are immature, such as barrier films, restricting potential use in new and existing display form factors. Flexible displays will reach a $140 million market in 2017. OLEDs are considered candidates for the flexible display market, though materials and manufacturing challenges exist, keeping OLEDs to a 15% share of the total flexible display market.
The report, “Cutting Up the LCD Pie: Calculating the Billion-Dollar Slices from Display Innovation,” is part of the Lux Research Printed Electronics Intelligence service. Lux Research provides strategic advice and on-going intelligence for emerging technologies. Visit www.luxresearchinc.com for more information.