LCD products，applications and market trends 2022
Already in 2022, what are the expected changes in LCD products, applications, and market trends after the rapid development of the past few years?
From the perspective of global macroeconomic performance, it is not difficult to find by tracking the IMF’s forecast data on global GDP growth, that the economic performance of various regions in the world has been significantly differentiated in the post-epidemic era. The relatively strong economic performance of developed economies has certain support for the global consumer electronics market, especially the demand for high-end products, while the performance of emerging economies is relatively less optimistic, showing a trend of differentiation.
In this context, the global consumer electronics market where LCD is located is affected in many ways. First of all, due to the pull of the economy, purchasing power can still remain strong, especially the commercial and education market demand in the North American market will remain relatively strong. There is also a downside. Due to the promotion of consumer demand in the early stage, especially the resident assistance policy, the phenomenon of demand overdraft has already occurred, and consumer demand will be affected by demand overdraft, and the future trend is not optimistic.
China’s economic growth will still face challenges in 2022, which will be manifested in the following three aspects:
First, exports are not optimistic, especially due to factors such as the fading of epidemic dividends, the increase in inflation risks, and the increase in costs caused by shipping congestion. It is expected to show a gradual weakening trend in 2022.
The second is the decline of infrastructure, and the growth trend of infrastructure driven by policies will gradually slow down.
Third, the cyclical decline of China’s real estate will have a certain impact on the domestic economy.
Affected by those, China’s domestic LCD demand market is not expected to grow significantly in 2022.
In 2021, the LCD market demand showed the characteristics of “weak ends and strong middle”, and will face demand shifting in 2022
From the perspective of LCD panel shipment performance, according to the shipment performance of the four major mainstream LCD applications such as TV, Monitor, Notebook, and Mobile in 2021, it shows the characteristics of “weak at both ends and strong in the middle”. Looking forward to 2022, the shipments of LCD for mobile phones are expected to remain relatively stable, while the shipments of large-size LCD panel applications such as Notebook, Monitor, and TV have experienced a year-on-year decline of varying degrees due to the fading dividends of the epidemic, but the shipment area of large-size panels has performed significantly better than performance in terms of shipments. From the perspective of notebook LCD shipment performance, it is expected that the shipment area in 2022 will decrease by 3.8% year on year, and the decline in the area is lower than the decline in quantity. The shipment area of Monitor and TV panels can still maintain relatively good growth. The area growth brought about by large size is still the most effective way for LCD panel manufacturers to reduce production capacity.
Among large-size LCD applications, TV panels are the absolute main force in reducing production capacity. From the perspective of the shipment area in the first three quarters of 2021, TV panel shipments account for more than 70% of all application panel shipments. In the future, it is expected that the global display panel market will still exhibit cyclical fluctuations, and TV panels will still undertake the important task of reducing production capacity. Since the second half of 2020, the LCD panel price, especially the increase in the price of large-size panels, has driven the profitability of LCD manufacturers to improve significantly. At present, manufacturers are still in a period of high profitability. Of course, it cannot be ignored that the price of large-size panels continues to decline. It is expected to face profit challenges in 2022. The profitability of LCD manufacturers will face differentiation, and some manufacturers may fall into loss expectations.
Capacity investment: The pace of LCD investment has slowed down significantly, and OLED investment remains positive
From the perspective of production capacity investment, investment in the global display panel market will show two characteristics: first, the pace of investment in new LCD lines by panel manufacturers has slowed down significantly; second, investment in OLED will remain active, but the direction of investment in OLED will change. Significant changes occurred.
The change in the direction of OLED investment is embodied in the following aspects:
First of all, it turns out that panel manufacturers are very active in investing in small-sized OLEDs, especially flexible OLEDs. The future investment strategy will shift from small-sized to medium-to-large-sized, and from low-generation (6th generation) to mid-to-high-generation lines. According to statistics, it is expected that three 8.5-generation OLED production lines will usher in mass production by 2025. At the same time, the change of OLED investment direction will also change from the original Flexible OLED to multi-technology, WOLED will continue to expand production, and QD-OLED production capacity will continue to increase. At present, panel manufacturers represented by Korean factories（SAMSUNG & LG） are very active in investing in Hybrid OLED. Statistics show that it is expected that the global OLED display panel production area will continue to grow by more than 10% by 2025, especially with the gradual mass production of high-generation OLED production lines. It is expected that QD-OLED and Hybrid OLED will play an increasingly important role in the global OLED panel market from 2023.
Although the investment pace of panel manufacturers in LCD panels has slowed down, Chinese panel manufacturers still maintain a positive strategy for the expansion of existing production lines. The expansion of production will also drive the continuous growth of the supply area of LCD panels. According to statistics, it is expected that the global display panel production capacity will reach a high-speed growth of 12% year-on-year in 2022, and the overall production capacity growth rate will reach the largest increase since 2013. Therefore, it can be predicted that the pressure on panel manufacturers to reduce production capacity in 2022 should not be underestimated.
Competitive landscape: The global display industry has formed a clear competitive landscape of “one superpower, many strong”
How will the global display industry pattern evolve? In 2021, an obvious “one superpower, many strong” competition pattern has been formed. BOE maintains a very clear leading edge in all applications. The market share of each application market has exceeded 20% in terms of the number of shipments and shipment area, and the leading edge is obvious. There is an imbalance in other panel manufacturers. Most manufacturers have certain competitive advantages in some fields, but the overall competitiveness is still not strong. For example, TCL (CSOT) and HKC can maintain a market share of about 15% in the TV panel market. It cannot be ignored that the performance of the IT application panel and the Mobile application panel is still relatively weak. Under this competitive landscape, it is expected that Chinese panel manufacturers including TCL and HKC will adopt active strategies for LCD applications other than TV in the future, including the expansion of existing production lines, and strive for opportunities to increase investment in new production lines.
Let’s look at the evolution of the competitive landscape of OLED. At present, OLED technology, especially in mobile phone applications, has gradually gained popularity. According to statistics, the overall proportion of OLED in the global smartphone shipments will reach nearly 40% in 2021, and will continue to grow in the future. The proportion will be close to 50% before 2025. In particular, the penetration rate of flexible OLEDs in mobile phone applications has shown a trend of significant growth. In 2021, the overall proportion will reach 22%, and it is expected that this proportion will continue to increase to 33% by 2023. From the perspective of panel makers, currently, flexible OLEDs are still dominated by Korean factories. Samsung Display will account for more than 50% of the entire global flexible OLED market in 2021. Although it will shrink due to the increase in production capacity from Chinese panel makers, it will also shrink in 2022. But it will still maintain a share of about 50% in 2022. Chinese panel manufacturers are particularly active in capacity expansion, especially BOE, TCL, and Visionox are all actively deploying flexible OLEDs. It is expected that the market share in 2022 will increase significantly compared to 2021.
Supply chain strategy: Panel factories focus on supply chain risk management, while famous brand factories seek diversified supply chain layouts
Changes in the panel supply pattern have a huge impact on the global display industry, and will inevitably bring about changes in the industrial chain cooperation model. Under the current competitive landscape and environmental background, the global display industry should pay special attention to the industry chain.
The first is the upstream material supply chain. The shortage of upstream materials, especially semiconductor materials, has accelerated the restructuring of the upstream supply chain in the past year or so. Panel manufacturers pay more attention to the risk management of the supply chain. Chinese panel manufacturers will continue to expand and cooperate with local manufacturers. BOE is constantly introducing more local partners, and will continue to strengthen its thinking on display semiconductor materials in the future; TCL will also introduce more local supply chains to prevent supply chain risks and actively seek win-win cooperation with upstream manufacturers situation. From the downstream point of view, the diversified layout of the supply chain will become an obvious trend to prevent supply chain risks and achieve the purpose of supply chain balance.
The supply and demand of TV panels are loose, and the trend of large-size will accelerate
In 2022, the overall demand for TV panels is not optimistic, but there are structural opportunities. The famous brand’s overall stocking strategy tends to be conservative, which affects the number of panel shipments to maintain a year-on-year downward trend. However, thanks to the accelerated promotion of large-scale size, the shipment area continues to increase. At the same time, from the perspective of subdivisions, although the performance of the 8K LCD market is mediocre, the shipment scale of OLED panels and high refresh rate panels will expand significantly, which is worth looking forward to. Especially in 2022, Samsung Electronics and other leading TV manufacturers will join the OLED camp, and Samsung Electronics will also carry out active and strategic cooperation with LGD in the WOLED field, which is expected to drive the global OLED TV and OLED TV panel shipments to continue to expand. According to statistics, the number of OLED TV panel shipments in 2021 will reach 7.6 million units, a year-on-year increase of 72.2%. It is estimated that the global OLED TV panel shipment scale will exceed 10 million units in 2022, with a year-on-year growth rate of 47.1%.
On the whole, in 2022, the plans of various panel factories will gradually become differentiated, the supply scale of panel factories in mainland China will continue to increase, and Taiwanese and Korean manufacturers have reduced the number of TV panels planned to vary degrees.
In 2022, the overall LCD TV supply and demand environment will be loose. In the first quarter, there will be excess supply in the off-season, and panel prices will continue to decline, but the decline will gradually narrow. In the second quarter, supply and demand will tend to balance, and panel prices are expected to stabilize.
Monitor LCD demand is stable, and user habits bring continuous structural upgrades
Entering the post-epidemic era, the global displayer (monitor) consumer demand will inevitably fall, but because of the good support of commercial demand, the overall displayer demand remains at a historically high level. There is a good willingness to pay for new display technologies, which will promote the continuous structural upgrading of the displayer market.
The gradual increase in the production capacity of displayers, coupled with the growth of LCD panel manufacturers in monitor display supply planning, is expected to maintain a growth trend in the supply trend of display panels in 2022. Combined with the changes in the demand structure, the overall supply and demand situation in 2022 will be relatively loose. Therefore, it will lead to a continuous decline in the cost of displayer panels in at least the first half of 2022. Affected by the demand structure, the upgrade momentum of the monitor market will slow down, but there are still representative markets with growth potential, such as the Gaming monitor, which is driven by the dual engines of 240Hz and OLED, and the Gaming displayer market in 2022 can still maintain positive growth; Another example is Ultrawide displayer. Under the influence of the active strategy of suppliers, the joint force of the entire supply chain will promote the positive growth of the Ultrawide displayer market in 2022; the Curved surface LCD market will enter a state of slow growth, with the hope that the market can find new growth momentum.
The demand for notebook panels has fallen rationally, and high-performance consumer demand has driven the growth of multiple technologies
In the post-epidemic era, global consumer demand has declined as a whole, but we believe that the size of the notebook market after the decline in demand is still at a historically high level. At the same time, we should see opportunities brought about by changes in demand structure. This opportunity is mainly based on the consumer demand for high-performance products, so we believe that the notebook market upgrade structure has strong demand potential.
With the growth of Notebook LCD production capacity, especially the mid-to-high-end production capacity, the supply shortage of Notebooks will be significantly eased in 2022. From the purchasing point of view, there is a certain risk of saturation in the notebook market in 2022. Therefore, in 2022, we should be alert to the risk of oversupply. In this process, there is still a positive side, such as the accelerated trend of large-scale LCD size and structural upgrading, etc. Accelerating this change will have a better impact on the market.
By sorting out the development potential of 5 core technologies such as Gaming, OLED, LTPS, Oxide, and Mini-LED in LCD panel applications for Notebook, we believe that on the whole, in 2022, the situation of the coexistence of multiple new notebook technologies and development and competition will become more obvious. In the process, the technologies with the greatest development potential in 2022 are Gaming, OLED, and LTPS; Oxide has slowed down in the past 2 years due to the influence of certain factors, but we believe that after 2023, Oxide will usher in new. The development of Mini-LED is limited in the future due to the high cost.
The supply chain structure of the smartphone panel market has shifted, and the foldable phone has great growth potential
In 2021, under the panel supply pattern with the participation of BOE and Samsung Display, and more players, the competition in the smartphone panel market will show a hot trend, and the integration of the industry chain will also accelerate. In terms of technology types, the trend of the proportion of each technology type shows a differentiation phenomenon. Among them, the demand for flexible OLED continues to grow driven by the supply side. It is estimated that by 2025, the market share of flexible OLED smartphone panels will reach about 33%; In addition to the growth of flexible OLEDs, the penetration rates of a-Si（IPS）, LTPS, rigid OLEDs, etc. are all in a downward trend, forming a “hamburger” shape market.
In recent years, smartphone terminal brands have maintained high inventory levels. As of the end of 2021, there will still be a lot of inventory in some technology-specific panels, but the demand for flexible OLED panels for high-end brands in 2022 will still show a growing trend. The structure of the supply chain is shifting to mainland China. At the same time, flexible OLED panel factories in mainland China will also grow rapidly, and the customer structure will be further enriched.
The foldable smartphone has great growth potential in the next 3 years. Statistics show that the global shipments of folding display panels will be close to 13 million units in 2021, and it is expected to be close to 80 million units by 2025. The compound growth rate from 2019 to 2025 will reach About 88%, showing a trend of rapid growth. From the perspective of manufacturers, Samsung Display, a Korean manufacturer, will continue to dominate for a long time, and the global foldable display panel market share will stabilize at around 80%. More and more Chinese panel manufacturers are participating, such as BOE, TCL, Visionox, and other manufacturers, but based on the current capacity planning and overall technical strength of Chinese panel manufacturers, we believe that the scale of shipments is still relatively limited, and the proportion of Chinese panel manufacturers will be around 20%.
Automotive smart cockpit promotes panel demand upgrade, LCD applications for LTPS vehicle shipments will grow significantly
The data shows that the cumulative shipments of in-vehicle displays in the first 3 quarters of 2021 will reach about 120 million pcs, and the annual shipments will be about 164 million pcs, a year-on-year increase of about 22%. It is worth mentioning that the shipment of LTPS displays will increase significantly in 2021, which is mainly due to the increased requirements for in-vehicle displays in smart cockpits. At the same time, due to the shift of applications such as smartphones to OLED panels, more LTPS LCD production capacity has been allocated to automotive displays. In 2021, the LTPS market share will reach 12%. It is expected that the shipment will reach 50 million pcs by 2025, and the market share will also increase. to about 23%.
In terms of technology, the development trend of the in-vehicle displays toward large size and high resolution is also very clear. At the same time, in the future, there will be more and more car brands and models equipped with OLED. However, considering that it is more difficult to apply vehicle display technology, it is estimated that by 2025, the shipment of OLED vehicle displays will be about 3 million pcs. Mini-LED backlight products have been mass-produced in other applications, but currently, there are relatively few applications in the automotive field. There are already models released, and mass production is expected to be achieved in 2022. Mini-LED backlight is an upgrade of a-Si LCD, and each panel factory has a layout. Therefore, we expect that by 2025, the shipment of Mini-LED backlight vehicle display products will reach about 4 million pieces, with rapid growth.
In summary, the LCD applications and market in 2022 will see significant technological advances alongside the challenges. As an LCD supplier and manufacturer, VISLCD is optimistic about the future of LCD development and will maintain stable shipments and reasonable market prices, regardless of whether the market is hot or the demand is slow so that we can move forward together with our customers.