Fueled by Apple, SDC's and LGD's tablet OLED shipments saw massive surge

Jessica Tsai, Taipei; Jack Wu, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: AFP

With Apple's launch of the new iPad Pro tablet that features OLED displays, South Korean providers Samsung Display (SDC) and LG Display (LGD) saw a significant increase in their tablet OLED panel shipments for March 2024.

Citing data from market research firm Omdia, Seoul Economic Daily reported that in March 2024, SDC and LGD's tablet OLED panel shipment volume reached 980,000 units, representing a 350% monthly increase. Among them, SDC shipped 385,000 units, a 97.4% monthly increase, while LGD's shipments reached 595,000 units, a staggering 2,486.96% monthly increase compared to 23,000 units in February 2024.

While Chinese company BOE's panel shipments also rose from 65,000 to 100,000 units, it represents only a 53.8% growth rate, much lower than the growth rates reported by SDC and LGD.

Analyses believe that the strong growth in tablet OLED panel shipment momentum is primarily due to the influence of Apple's new iPad Pro. On May 7, Apple launched the iPad Pro with OLED displays. It comes in two sizes, 11-inch and 13-inch, with LGD supplying both the 11-inch and 13-inch OLED panels and SDC supplying the 11-inch OLED panels.

Because the OLED panels used in the iPad Pro deploy the two-stack tandem technology, BOE ultimately didn't become a panel supplier for the OLED iPad Pro due to a technical gap and the lack of mass production capabilities.

Some South Korean perspectives hope that BOE's inability to become an OLED supplier for the iPad will allow South Korean companies to expand their dominance in the OLED market.

Moreover, the performance of South Korean display companies is expected to rebound earlier than anticipated. Reportedly, the average supply price for smartphone OLED panels is around US$50-$60, while the price for iPad OLED panels (based on the 13-inch model) is around US$380-$390.

South Korean market research firm UBI Research predicts that the market scale for tablet OLED panels will grow from 1.8 million units in 2023 to potentially 6-7 times that amount in 2024.