[THE INVESTOR] LG Display has recently started supplying OLED TV panels to Chinese TV maker Hisense that is widely rumored to launch its first OLED TV in the third quarter, according to industry sources on June 11.
Amid falling LCD prices, the Korean display maker has been seeking to diversify its clientele for OLED TV panels. The firm, along with its sister unit LG Electronics, is betting big on the burgeoning OLED TV market to compete against Samsung Electronics-led premium LCD TV market.
Global TV makers like Panasonic, Philips, Sony and Toshiba have already launched their own OLED TVs using LG panels. Following Sharp owned by Taiwan’s Foxconn, Chinese TV makers like Hisense are expected to join the move this year.
Hisense is the largest TV maker in China that accounted for 15 percent of the US$2,000-plus premium TV shipments last year globally.
Industry watchers say its new entry would lead to higher demand for OLED TV panels and raise the prices overall, a boon to LG Display, the largest OLED TV panel maker.
According to market tracker IHS Markit, OLED TV sales more than doubled to 602,000 units in the first quarter this year from 287,000 units in the same period last year. The quarterly figure is estimated to reach 673,000 units in the second quarter, followed by 743,000 and 804,000 units.
“LG Display is enjoying a near monopoly in the OLED TV panel market. Largely buoyed by the surging demand, its OLED TV panel business division is expected to see operating profit for the first time this year,” an industry source said on condition of anonymity.
By Lee Ji-yoon (email@example.com)