Demand for 4-inch or larger AMOLED panels has continued to increase in the fourth quarter of 2012 thanks to strong growth in the market for high-end smartphones with large screens, such as the Galaxy S and Note series by Samsung Electronics, according to a recent report released by Displaybank. The larger size group made up 88 percent of total AMOLED panel shipments, which amounted to 41 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012: In detail, 4.x-inch panels accounted for 65.1 percent and 5.x-inch ones 22.8 percent.
In particular, shipments of 5.x-inch AMOLED panels hiked in the fourth quarter of 2012, expanding its market share for the third consecutive quarter, to 22.8 percent of the total. It is a rather rapid growth, considering that 5.3-inch AMOLED panel was first released in the third quarter of 2011, thanks to the popularity of larger-screen smartphones. This is in stark contrast to 3.x-inch AMOLED panels whose market share plunged to 11.6 percent in total shipments in the last quarter of 2012 from more than 60 percent in the first quarter of 2011. Along with the 4.x-inch sector, which takes the majority of total AMOLED shipments, 5.x-inch panels are expected to become the main display size group in the market.
By application, demand of AMOLED panels for mobile phones accounted of 96 percent of the total AMOLED panel shipments in the last quarter of 2012, up from 86 percent in the first quarter of the year. Mobile phones have contributed to the rapid growth of the market for AMOLED panels, but this caused concerns about the market’s too much dependence on one application. The trend also indicates how difficult for the AMOLED technology to enter the mid-to-large-sized panel market.