Originally Posted by rogo
Seems probable they can raise $1-4B just from Apple (debt, equity, whatever). That would be dedicated to mobile sizes in theory, but it's like the old guns and butter argument: it's money they won't need from elsewhere.
It's really noteworthy how much the TV forecasts have slowed, basically the timetables have shifted out and to the right by what now amounts to 5+ years since the original "launch" but is still 2-3 years since the more general promise of continuation with OLED TVs / expansion / etc.
Consider that 6 million TVs (with LG as the sole supplier more or less) means that <3% of TV sales globally will be OLED in 2020. [b]The market share for OLED isn't even remotely threatening where PDP / plasma was in its heyday when that segment closed in on 10%. [/BIt seems likely OLED won't hit 10% of TV sales until the middle of next decade.
But that was 10% taken from Prehistoric CRT, right? Before the LCD juggernaught can on the scene and drove CRT out of town (followed by PDP
OLED-versus-LED/LCD is less of a transformational shift that the move to flat-screen from tube TV (conincident with the move to dgital from analog, to HD from 480i, to DVD from VHS...).
If OLED can dominate the premium TV segment, that feels like exactly the right place to be for the next decade or so...
It's fair to note OLED has some remarkable achievements nevertheless.
1) It will have a ~90% share of the high end smartphone market by this time next year. It will have a non-zero presence in the sub $200 smartphone market, but will be dominated by LCD there through the end of the decade.
2) It will have a ~50% of the high-end TV market by 2020-21 even with a paltry 3% of the total market. I can sort of "prove" this mathematically by simply defining "high end" at LG's lowest price point for OLED TVs. But to give you a sense of what I mean, there are probably on the order of 5% of global TV sales at $1500 or above, less than 15M. LG should own half that segment with just its OLEDs by 2020. (Incidentally, if I'm wrong and that segment is larger -- color me skeptical, but I don't have recent data to check -- LG will still dominate >$2000 even on those putative 6M sold.
Right, so let's take that 5% / 10-15M $1500+ segment as the market WOLED TV should focus on until it needs further segments for growth. Adding up existing 60,000 sheet capacity, new 60,000 sheet China capacity, and initial 30,000 2Xsubstrate/month capacity from P10, LG will still only be selling about half of this total segement by 2021/2022 (~7.5Mu).
My point is that just with 55" and 65" (and eventually 75") WOLED TVs, LG has enough to keep themselves busy (and profitable) on the premium segment for quite a while.
The first signal that they are starting to think about breaking out into the broader market will be the introduction of smaller screen sizes.
4x2 production of 49" screens is very efficient on 8.5G but the pixels would be smaller than anything LG has produced in WOLED, so the 55" FHD WOLED LG just introduced may be a first gentle probe to understand whether there is demand for FHD at smaller screen sizes. (But on the other hand, pixel size for a 98" 8K WOLED is identical those of a 4K 38" WOLED
To wrap up this summary, OLED has mostly come less far than nearly every optimistic projection made about it. It has also come much farther than it would have without the strong investments by Samsung (mobile) and LG (TV).
I got involved late in the game, so I've probably missed many of those early forecasts. Obviously a WOLED TV market supported by only a single manufacturer is going to grow less quickly than one supported by two, so forecasts from the Samsung & LG OLED TV ERA were overly optimistic the moment Samsung pulled out.
LG has a prudent production plan that increases capacity by 1/3 to 1/2 per year for the next 4-5 years and they will be in a much stronger posituon once that plan has been executed.
And I'm holding out hope that LG decides to master the switch to top-emission before P10 is in production (partly because I don't think I can wait until 2021 to buy my next WOLED TV