Following weak sales growth in 2019, global demand for flat panel displays is expected to increase by a robust 9.1 percent to reach 245 million square meters in 2020, up from 224 million in 2019 according to IHS Markit | Technology, now a part of Informa Tech.
“Although there are still uncertainties due to the trade war between the U.S. and China, demand for flat panel displays is expected to increase on the back of historically low panel prices and the impacts of various sports events held during even-numbered years,” said Ricky Park, director of display research at IHS Markit | Technology. “In particular, area demand for OLED displays is expected to increase sharply amid expectations for significant growth in the mobile phone and TV markets.”
In 2019, demand for flat panel displays fell short of expectations in the consumer market amid escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China and a slowdown in global economic growth rates. Area demand for flat panel displays increased by a negligible 1.5 percent compared to the previous year. The future direction of the market will hinge upon the progress of talks between the U.S. and China, which have been engaged in negotiations since October.
Despite remaining uncertainties, demand for flat panel displays is projected to increase by nearly a double-digit rate in 2020 due to several factors. One significant growth driver is the Tokyo Olympics, which is scheduled to take place in July and August.
Japan’s NHK plans to broadcast the 2020 Olympics in 8K resolution. Many TV brands are expected to try to boost sales ahead of the Olympics by promoting their 8K capabilities.
Alongside the rise in resolution, TV brands will cater to demand for larger-size sets. The weighted average size of an LCD TV is expected to expand to 47.6 inches in 2020, up from 45.1 inches in 2019. This increase in size is the result of rising production and increased yield rates at new 10.5 G LCD fabs.
Also, the volume of panel supply is expected to increase with the launch of mass production at LG Display’s new Guangzhou OLED fab. Overall OLED display area growth is expected to rise by more than 80 percent in 2020 as prices and production costs fall.
More new products will be introduced in the market in 2020 with the successful debut of foldable smartphones. Despite a fall in unit sales, demand for mobile phone displays by area is expected to grow. In particular, demand for mobile phone OLED displays is projected to grow 29 percent in 2020 versus 2019 amid the increase in demand for foldable displays.
As a result, area demand for OLED display is projected to grow by 50.5 percent in 2020. This compares to 7.5 percent growth for TFT-LCDs.
The Display Long-term Demand Forecast Tracker from IHS Markit | Technology covers worldwide shipments and long-term forecasts for all major flat panel display applications and technologies, including details from worldwide flat panel display producers and analysis of historical shipments.