Do­mes­tic com­pa­nies move in to grab a larger slice of the cake

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By MA SI and CHENG YU

Dis­play screen man­u­fac­tur­ers in China are ex­pand­ing their mar­ket share in the smart­phone sec­tor as they move into high-end prod­ucts.

Geng Yi, deputy sec­re­tary­gen­eral of China OLED In­dus­try Al­liance, con­firmed that the trend is gath­er­ing pace.

“The core screen tech­nol­ogy used to be dom­i­nated by Ja­panese and South Korean firms,” Geng said. “But as do­mes­tic brands in­vested in screen in­no­va­tion, they started catch­ing up and ex­panded pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity.”

A re­port re­leased by China Academy of In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tech­nol­ogy, or CAICT, showed in the first half of this year that more than 66 per­cent of 226 mil­lion hand­sets shipped into the coun­try had Chi­nese-made screens.

This was an in­crease of 14.1 per­cent­age points com­pared to the same pe­riod in 2015, CAICT, a re­search in­sti­tute un­der the Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, re­ported.

From the same sur­vey, fig­ures showed China’s Tianma Mi­cro-elec­tron­ics Co Ltd sur­passed Ja­pan Dis­play Inc as the coun­try’s big­gest sup­plier of smart­phone screens by sales vol­ume in the first six months. But it was sparse on de­tailed num­bers.

Chi­nese com­peti­tors Truly Smart Dis­play Ltd and BOE Tech­nol­ogy Group also grabbed more than 10 per­cent of the mar­ket.

“Home­grown dis­play com­pa­nies have made progress in re­duc­ing prod­uct de­fect rates and they have gained mo­men­tum in the pre­mium seg­ment,” Geng said.

About 19 per­cent of smart­phones, sold for 3,000 yuan ($445) or more in China, are us­ing do­mes­tic screens. Com­pared to last year that was an in­crease of 10 per­cent­age points.

LCD, or liq­uid-crys­tal dis­play, is still the main ma­te­rial for do­mes­tic smart­phone screens, while OLED, or or­ganic light-emit­ting diode tech­nol­ogy, is mainly used in high-end prod­ucts.

In China, more than 80 per­cent of the smart­phones have LCD screens with 13.9 per­cent us­ing OLED.

As for AMOLED, or ac­tive ma­trix/or­ganic light-emit­ting diode, its pres­ence in the smart­phone mar­ket here is still lim­ited.

Th­ese cut­ting-edge pan­els of­fer lower-power con­sump­tion, bet­ter color sat­u­ra­tion, a slim­mer struc­ture, and most im­por­tantly, flex­i­ble and even fold­able ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Up to now, Sam­sung Dis­play has been the dom­i­nant sup­plier of AMOLED smart­phone pan­els. But un­der ca­pac­ity and surg­ing de­mand are mo­ti­vat­ing Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ers to ramp up pro­duc­tion.

“China still has a long way to go to beef up do­mes­tic smart­phone screen pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity, although progress is be­ing made,” Geng said.

The core screen tech­nol­ogy used to be dom­i­nated by Ja­panese and S. Korean firms.” Geng Yi, deputy sec­re­tary­gen­eral of China OLED In­dus­try Al­liance. In the first half of this year, more than 66 per­cent of 226 mil­lion mo­bile phones shipped here had Chi­ne­se­made screens, a re­port by China Academy of In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tech­nol­ogy has shown.

Con­tact the writer at masi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

ZHOU CHAO / FOR CHINA DAILY

Staff test equip­ment for a 6th gen­er­a­tion LTPS-AMOLED dis­play screen man­u­fac­tur­ing line at Shen­zhen China Star Op­to­elec­tron­ics Tech­nol­ogy (CSOT) Co Ltd’s fac­tory in Wuhan.

ZHU XINGXIN / CHINA DAILY

Xiaomi’s mo­bile phones are on dis­play at the 3rd World In­ter­net Con­fer­ence in Wuzhen, East China’s Zhe­jiang prov­ince.

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