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China to boost mobile phone display shipment

Posted: 06 Mar 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile phone display  display module  display shipment  display manufacturing 

Chinese display module makers are preparing to increase its mobile phone display shipment this year to tackle the oncoming stronger competition in the market, according to a new IHS report.

The forecast 4 per cent year-over-year increase in display shipments predicts an even stronger competition in the industry, with mobile phone displays reaching 2 billion this year. China, however, seems to be on the right track. In fact, BOE unseated Samsung Display to become the leading mobile phone display supplier in the field in the third quarter of 2014.

"BOE has benefitted not only from Samsung's LCD outsourcing strategy, but also by aggressively developing direct relationships with Chinese mobile phone makers," said Terry Yu, senior analyst for small and medium displays and display technologies for IHS Technology. "BOE, Tianma and InfoVision are all focusing their G5 capacity on the mobile phone market, placing strong emphasis on a-Si based mobile phone displays."

Chinese display module makers will not only increase their global shipments but will also aim to improve their share in the high-end mobile phone display market. BOE, Tianma and China Star have already announced their plans to invest in G6 LTPS last year, and local Chinese LC module maker Truly is investing in G4 AMOLED manufacturing.

"Until these capacities are ready in China, however, stronger competition in the high-end mobile phone display market will be primarily centred on panel makers in other parts of Asia, especially among Japan Display, Sharp and Samsung Display, all of which have aggressive plans for the Chinese smartphone market in 2015," Yu said.

Reacting to lowered demand for handsets, OLED module makers have been aggressively promoting AMOLED products in China, but they still face competitive pricing pressure. Average prices for AMOLED modules in China's open market have seen significant decreases in the past year, but HD display modules widely used in handsets with high cost-performance ratios vary from $95 (599 CNY) to $160 (999 CNY).

With increased competition, low-end high-CP value handset prices are expected to fall as low as $80 (499 CNY) in 2015, so $25 AMOLED module costs will still face bill of materials (BOM) cost-control challenges.

On the other hand, in order to differentiate their products, local Chinese brands plan to adopt FHD (1920x1080, normally over 400 PPI) displays, which will cost about $160, on the higher-end of high CP-value handsets. In fact, local smartphone brand Meizu has already launched its first sub-brand handset, Noblue Note, which is equipped with a 5.5in FHD display, selling for $160 (999 CNY). According to Yu, the pricing pressure of these FHD displays will drive an even stronger competition among FHD display module makers in 2015.

"Local Chinese brands are now simplifying their handset models in order to achieve better revenue performance," Yu said. "Larger orders for each handset model will drive stronger competition among leading global panel makers."

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