South Korea’s LG is making aggressive plans to convert existing LCD production lines to OLED output. By the middle of next year LG says it should be producing 6,000 panels per hour and will have improved production quality. This year LG expects 1 million 4K displays to be shipped to the market, higher than previously anticipated.
Describing OLED TVs as “our ultimate differentiated product”, Hee Yeon Kim, LG’s head of investor relations, talking on LG’s Q1 2013 Earnings conference call, said Q1 product shipments were down 19 per cent to 8.2 million sq metres of display products, with TVs taking 43 per cent of that output, monitors taking 21 per cent, notebooks 9 per cent and tablets 14 per cent. Mobile products took 13 per cent of output.
LG said that its production capacity declined 6 per cent quarter-on-quarter to 11.2 million square metres “since we allocated some [factory space] capacity to fresh R & D activities, and converting an LCD production line for [other uses].”
Hee expected shipments during Q2 to increase slightly “in a mid to high single digit level”.
Hee added that for 2013 he expected LCD demand to be similar to that of 2012. However, he said that LG anticipated that high-resolution, larger size displays “might go faster this year…and we will pro-actively prepare for the growing needs of high resolution larger panels for the industry.” He said that OLED production was going well and that LG is focusing on improving the cost competitiveness of OLED by raising the [successful] production rate and product efficiency.