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Samsung dominates OLED market

20 Sep 2005

Shipments of OLED grow 82% with Samsung accounting for 30% of sales.

The Korean electronics giant Samsung is dominating the soaring market for organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays, according to the latest set of figures from the US-based analyst DisplaySearch.

In its most recent “Quarterly OLED Shipment and Forecast Report”, DisplaySearch reveals that OLED shipments in Q2 2005 grew 82% over the same period in 2004 to reach 14.2 m units worth $124.8m. Samsung SDI dominated the market accounting of 30% ($37.2m) of sales in the period, followed by RiTdisplay, Pioneer, Univision and LGE (see table).

DisplaySearch says that the growth in shipments was largely due to an explosion in demand (1300% growth) for passive matrix (PMOLED) displays for portable music (mp3) players. It believes that OLEDs have now captured about 40% of the market. The reason for dramatic transition from LCDs to OLEDs in portable equipment is likely to be OLED’s reduced power consumption which helps extend battery life.

“All of the growth is in PMOLEDs using small molecule material,” said Display Search in its report. “PLED [Polymer light emitting diode] material panel producers now represent less than 3% of the total shipments.”

While this is good news for Kodak which pioneered small molecule OLED technology and has now licensed it more than a dozen firms it must be worrying for companies such as CDT of the UK which are developing rival polymer organic light emitting material (PLED).

Last month, Philips decided to exit the PLED market after saying that its PolyLED business did not become financially viable within an acceptable period of time. OTB of The Netherlands purchased the business for an undisclosed sum of cash.


Oliver Graydon is editor of Optics.org and Opto & Laser Europe magazine.

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