TV market post-pandemic: Display Week 2022

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Bob O’Brien, Co-Founder, DSCC, presented on TV market post-pandemic. TV prices always come down. Panel prices drove the first-ever increase in TV prices. Samsung, LG, and Sony have seen declining revenues from 2015-2020. Then the pandemic happened, that led to rise in sales. LGE has done so much better in OLED TVs than LG Display. TCL has generated consistent profits.

The global TV market is not really global. In emerging economies, affordability is the key to volume growth. The main battle is the premium space. Samsung dominates advanced TV shipments. However, its shares eroded in 2021. LG’s expansion of OLED TVs to 48″, along with expanded capacity, drove share gains. Sony generally holds no. 3 position, with TCL close behind.

Bob O’Brien.

In China, brand battle has become a battleground, with four companies at double-digit market share — Samsung, Huawei, HiSense, and TCL. Huawei is leading with advanced LCD TVs. Samsung has deteriorated in 2021, and LGE fared poorly in China, with <5 percent share, and OLED TVs not doing well. HiSense introduced OLED TVs in 2019, and is the only one to sell OLED and advanced LCD TVs.

There is a technology battle in premium TVs, based on miniLED LCD, white OLED, and QD-OLED. LCD has vanquised all the other technologies, and reigns supreme. QD-OLED has limited penetration. Technologies selected for advanced FPD TV include QDEF, WOLED, 8K LCD, miniLED LCD, and QD-OLED. Except QDEF, all are at much higher cost than standard LCD. QD OLED 4K cost is higher than 8K miniLED. WOLED cost is lower with China production and MMG.

OLED TV has gained share with new screen sizes of 48″ and 83″, in Q4-2021. OLED TV revenue share is higher than unit share. MiniLED is starting to challenge OLED. TCL introduced miniLED in 2019. Other brands has also introduced miniLED, such as Samsung, LG, HiSense, Philips, Xiaomi, etc. MiniLEDs grew rapidly in 2021, but continue to be outsold by OLED TVs.

The total TV market will continue to be dominated by LCD technologies, including miniLEDs. LCD TV units will decline 3 percent CAGR, but area will grow at 4 percent. Advanced TV market will see LCD growing 21 percent, driven by miniLED and 8K. OLED will grow 23 percent with QD-OLED and inkjet-printed OLED, adding to WOLED. MicroLED will grow to 3 percent of revenues with super-premium prices. It will remain a miniscule fraction of advanced TVs.

8K will become important feature for premium TVs. By 2026, 10 percent of advanced TV units and 27 percent of revenues will be 8K. MiniLED and 8K will be dominant product for over 75″ advanced TVs. OLED and microLED are not expected to be competitive in 8K.

MiniLED TV has become a major new category for brands such as Samsung, TCL, and LG. In 65″+, miniLED will be paired with 8K at higher price points. We expect substantial price erosion after 2022, as costs decline and competition heats up.

TVs using quantum dot technology will grow 16 percent from 2019-2026. QD will be the dominant configuration for miniLEDs. Samsung’s QD-OLED will extend the technology further. We do not expect electroluminescent QD within the forecast period.

To conclude, TV remains the display industry’s most important app. TV brand revenues increased during the pandemic. Samsung is dominating the advanced TV shipments globally, but share has eroded. China’s premium TV market is a new battleground. LCD and OLED will continue to battle for premium TV share. MicroLED will emerge with few units at super-premium prices.

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