Resolution, slim and bezel-less designs, and a wide color gamut are barometers of innovation in display technology as well as key marketing points of different display products.
After the introduction of organic light-emitting diode (OLED), quantum dot (QD), and microLED display technologies that guarantee high definition and flexibility in design, a wide color gamut is now the key feature that determines the premium value of a display.
QD displays, groomed to be the core display technology for Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display, are expected to boost the growth of the premium display market.
Ever since the start of the digital display era, display size, design, and resolution have been used as barometers of innovation in display technology. Display makers marketed size and design as their distinctive features to lure consumers. To make a display slimmer, light-emitting diode backlight unit liquid-crystal displays (LED BLU LCDs) widely adopted edge BLU and bezel-less designs. Curved and bendable display technologies that enabled the production of super-large sized and flexible display designs also gained consumers’ attentions.
Recently, OLED displays with improved resolutions and designs as well as outstanding color reproductions have emerged as next-generation displays for smartphones. This had led to OLED rapidly replacing LCD as a premium smartphone screen. The newcomer microLED display that has advantages of both LCD and OLED display technologies and can enable a modular display is also seeking to expand its presence in the market.
Aside from the aforementioned technologies, other display technologies such as 3D, hologram, and high dynamic range (HDR) have been introduced, which raises expectations of a steady growth in demand for premium displays.
The OLED display, having helped to significantly improve color reproduction and enable foldable smartphone screens, is cementing its position as a premium display technology after it ushered in the new premium display era.
To fend off the ascent of OLED, the LCD sector has also rolled out its own premium display using QD display technology that enables a very wide color gamut. The demand for QD displays is forecast to reach 6 million units in 2019 after an increase of a million units yearly since 2015 when its demand started to show substantial growth. QD film is a key technology in QD display; the first-generation QD display used a QD film that produced white light with high purity when combined with blue LED light. Producing 75-inch or larger-sized displays with QD display technology, which is a challenge for OLED display technology, has become easier with QD films that can be coated with red and green quantum dots. This has given QD displays the upper hand in the large display sector.
The second-generation QD display uses a QD color filter with blue OLED. However, it will take a long time to develop a quantum light-emitting diode (QLED) display, which is a self-luminous QD display that is touted as the highest-level QD display technology and would be realized after first- and second-generation QD display technologies are perfected. The priority is to secure all the necessary quantum dot materials and processing techniques.
Samsung Electronics and its display-making unit Samsung Display are in the frontlines of developing QD display technology and expanding its distribution network. Samsung Electronics has named the brand of its TV “QLED TV” and has been gradually increasing its market share in the large-sized TV market with the launch of QD film-based QD TVs. Thanks to the steadily growing demand for its QLED TVs, Samsung Electronics has succeeded in building an extensive parts/materials supply chain for its QLED TVs, which allows the company to secure QD films at cheaper costs and increase its overall QLED TV sales by adding low-end and mid-range QD TVs to its lineup.
Samsung Display has set a target to mass-produce QD-OLED displays by 2021. Thanks to its strong grip on the small- and mid-sized OLED display market, it is expected to use a large-sized blue OLED display with a QD color filter to produce a QD-OLED display that would boast outstanding color reproduction and a highly improved viewing angle. Once this QD-OLED display is rolled out, it would immediately emerge as a strong contender against the white organic light-emitting diode (WOLED) display that currently dominates the large-sized OLED market.
As leading forces in the display market, Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display are expected to facilitate the rapid growth of the premium display market through their aggressive push to market their QD displays.
This challenge against the OLED display, the current leader in the premium segment, will provide consumers with more options in choosing premium displays and spur the demand for premium displays further. It is now time to pay attention to how the future changes in the burgeoning premium display market and how the overall display market trend would be affected.