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Press Release

Share of In-Cell Touch Display Solutions for Smartphones Is Set to Rise Rapidly Due to Strong Support from Panel Makers, Says TrendForce

Thursday , 09 / 10 / 2015 [ Analysts: Boyce Fan ]

The share of In-Cell and On-Cell touch display solutions within the smartphone application is rising fast, according to WitsView, a division of TrendForce. With Japanese panel makers as the leading adopter, the combined share of In-Cell and On-Cell solutions in the smartphone market is expected to hit 40.6% this year and will likely reach 47.8% in 2016, as these technologies will subsequently gain support from other panel makers from South Korea, Taiwan and China.

“In-Cell technology began to attract the market’s attention when Apple introduced it to the iPhone 5 series,” said Boyce Fan, senior research manager for WitsView. “The technology gained additional momentum as Japanese panel maker Japan Display (JDI) seized the opportunity to apply its Hybrid In-Cell solution to all of its high-end smartphone panels. Since then, JDI has aggressively promote this technology in China, raising both the reputation of In-Cell displays in the high-end smartphone market and the panel maker’s brand recognition.”

Fan added that In-Cell technology, which is now featured in almost all high-end smartphone displays, is also attempting to enter the mid-range segment as to enlarge its overall market share. Also, an increasing number of panel makers are drawn into developing In-Cell solutions since a single supplier is unable to meet the soaring market demand. Besides South Korea-based LG Display (LGD), which has been marketing its Advanced In-Cell (AIT) solution, other panel companies are also planning to launch their own In-Cell products in the second half of this year. They include leading Taiwanese suppliers AU Optronics (AUO) and Innolux as well as Chinese majors such as BOE Technology Group (BOE) and Tianma Microelectronics. 

In-Cell and On-Cell Solutions steadily gain market share over Film Type technologies

The expansion of In-Cell comes at the expense of other Out-Cell touch display technologies. Even Film Type, which had an absolute cost advantage in the past, is losing grounds as the whole market matures and competition with In-Cell and On-Cell intensifies. WitsView projects that the market share of Film Type products will drop from the estimated 49.3% in 2015 to 44.3% in 2016.

Taiwanese panel makers, which are proponents of On-Cell solutions, are also losing market shares due to the rise of In-Cell technology. Consequently, they have to offer lower prices in the ODM market in order to stay competitive. On the other hand, South Korea-based Samsung Display (SDC) has applied On-Cell technology on its Super AMOLED panels, and this fuels the demand for AMLOED with On-Cell solutions. Besides being featured in Samsung products, AMOLED with On-Cell technology has also gained a foothold in China this year owing aggressive marketing efforts. Consequently, On-Cell adoption rate in the smartphone has actually stabilized.

Fan noted that SDC’s AMOLED products are developed in a way that is limited to using On-Cell technology, whereas other panel makers appear to rush ahead into launching their In-Cell solutions. With the smartphone market evolving rapidly, panel makers will initially launch In-Cell FHD products that are without Touch with Display Driver Integration (TDDI) in the second half of 2015 as to raise their brand visibility in the market. After TDDI chips enter mass production towards the end of this year, panel makers will then take advantage of the situation and release In-Cell FHD products with TDDI. WitsView concludes that with more panel makers employing In-Cell solutions, products based on this technology will become common in the market next year, and there will be notable increase in the adoption rate within the smartphone application.

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Smartphone touch display In Cell On Cell Apple JDI high-end smartphone panel China LGD Innolux AUO BOE Tianma Microelectronics Film Type AMOLED Full HD

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