Since the beginning of this year, OLEDs have been blown out in the global market, but the market is mainly concentrated in the small-screen mobile phone field, while business opportunities are mainly concentrated in the upstream panel. This again validates the “smile curve” principle, that is, the largest share of business value is always in the hands of companies with product definition and market definition capabilities.
Recently, TCL Chairman Li Dongsheng publicly proposed that he hopes to increase the production capacity of small-screen OLEDs and supply OLED screens for iPhones in the future. Prior to this, a number of Chinese screen manufacturers have put into production of small-screen OLED production lines; at the same time, Chinese mobile phone manufacturers are also actively seeking the OLED panel production capacity left by Apple.
This made the whole market realize that the OLED market was detonated, but the business opportunities were in the hands of upstream panel suppliers. Similarly, although in recent years, a large number of color TV companies have been struggling to pursue the detonation of OLED products, they have been robbed by mobile phone manufacturers.
Samsung is both the largest supplier of OLED screens and the largest demand side. Prior to Samsung NOTE Edge, the characteristics of OLED screen bending were not unearthed. Like Apple, Samsung's generations of mobile phones have basically the same design and market competitiveness is getting weaker. But when Samsung introduced the curved screen on the NOTE Edge and the S6 series, it really detonated market consumption and industry public opinion. For a time, Samsung replaced Apple and became a new mobile phone design subversive.
Since then, global mobile phone manufacturers including Apple have been interested in OLED screens. Xiaomi and other domestic brands have taken the lead in introducing OLED screens. Apple is also working with Samsung this year to prepare for testing OLED screens in new mobile phones. However, OLED may not change the future of mobile phone manufacturers.
OLEDs are more flexible than liquid crystals, have a wider color gamut, and have higher contrast. In the small screen field, OLED replaces LCD. There is no doubt that OLED is just a new standard for small screen display in the future. A large number of mobile phone manufacturers including Apple will face new homogenization using OLED. Samsung's success in OLED panel applications is because they are the first companies to eat crabs and cannot be copied.
From the perspective of upstream suppliers, only Samsung and LG can produce OLED screens in quality and quantity in the world, but LG's interest is not in small-screen mobile phones, but in large-screen TVs. This makes OLEDs quickly become a scarce resource after both processors. Because of the inevitability of OLEDs instead of liquid crystals, China's TCL's Huaxing Optoelectronics, BOE and other manufacturers have invested in building new small-screen OLED production lines, which has become an important measure for enterprises to develop future display technologies.
Although mobile phone manufacturers cannot change their future trends due to the use of OLEDs in the future, the upstream screen manufacturers are vying for the layout, only to let the first crab company, Samsung, get rich profits. For the latecomers, it can only turn the original blue ocean market into another Red Sea and even the blood sea market. This also reminds all Chinese companies that in order to obtain the cake of the blue ocean market, they must master the definition of the industry and have the ability to create and lead a new industry.