[THE INVESTOR] LG Display will start supplying OLED panels to China’s top TV manufacturer Hisense in the second quarter, according to industry sources on March 26.
LGD CEO Han Sang-beom hinted at the new supply deal at the CES trade show in Las Vegas in January, saying the number of its corporate customers for OLED has increased from 13 to 15.
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He did not specify the names, but among the TV makers are Panasonic, Vestel, Chang Hong, Skyworth, Loewe, Philips, Sony, Toshiba and Sharp.
“LGD’s supply of panels to Hisense will likely begin in the second quarter,” an industry source told The Investor, who asked to be unidentified.
The Chinese TV maker had mainly focused on LCD TVs, but it has recently decided to opt for OLED panels after seeing the increased market share of OLED TVs, made by LG Electronics and Sony, in the premium segment, according to different sources.
It has not been confirmed if the Chinese company will entirely ditch LCD-based high-end TV models, including those fitted with quantum dots.
Hisense came fourth in the global TV sector in the fourth quarter last year with a market share of 6 percent in terms of sales after Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Sony, which hold 29 percent, 15 percent, and 11 percent, respectively.
In China alone, Hisense was the third-largest TV manufacturer after Samsung and Sony last year.
LGD has declined to comment on the issue.
CEO Han said earlier that the company plans to raise the sales proportion of OLED panels to 40 percent of the entire revenue by 2020, from the current 10 percent.
Market research firm IHS Markit expects that the supply volume of OLED panels will increase from 200,000 in 2014 to around 9.8 million by 2021.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)