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OLED panels with in-display sensors gaining dominance in handset market

The popularity of OLED panels paired with in-display fingerprint sensors in the smartphone segment will continue to expand in 2019, driven by the reduction in sensor prices and the price gap between OLED and LTPS LCD panels, according to industry sources.


The market size of OLED panels with in-display fingerprint sensors has expanded significantly as handset vendors including Samsung Electronics, Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo have extended the adoption of in-display fingerprint sensing technology from the premium smartphones to mid-range models, said the sources.


The introduction of optical fingerprint sensing solutions by vendors including Synaptics and Goodix Technology in 2018, which came with more competitive pricing and fitted with the prevailing all-screen display design for smartphones, has helped bring down overall prices of in-display fingerprint sensor chips and therefore further drive up the popularity of such a technology, said the sources.


Meanwhile, being the largest supplier of rigid OLED panels currently, Samsung Display has also implemented a strategy aiming to narrow the price gap between rigid OLED and LTPS LCD panels as a means to ramp up its output and sales, added the sources.


The price gap between rigid OLED and LTPS LCD panels has been reduced to within US$5 per unit recently, said sources, adding that the lower OLED panel price with more affordable in-display fingerprint sensors will further squeeze the sales of LTPS LCD panels in 2019.


Overall shipments of LTPS LCD panels to the handset sector are expected to reduce by 30 million units in 2019, according to an estimated of China-based AVC Revo.


AVC Revo also estimated that smartphone shipments in the China market reached about 98 million units in the first quarter of 2019 and would bounce back to over 100 million units in the second quarter.

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