TV Backlight Steps into a “Warring Period” with a Highly Competitive Mini LED Market

Facing Fierce Price War, TV Market Requires New Consumer Value.

In late July 2019, the prices of 55-inch 4K TVs on JD Mall have fell below RMB 2,000, including Hisense, TCL and Konka brands. As panel manufacturers, such as BOE, CSOT and Samsung, release the capacity of high generation production lines, a 55-inch TV priced at RMB 1,000 may not be far away in the coming future.

Whereas, the fact behind a RMB 1,000 55’’ TV is that the whole industrial chain faces unsustainably ferocious competition. It is time that the industry raised new consumer requests and changed the traditional pattern of competition via slashing prices. Mini LED backlight is a new technology emerging at the right time. It can create more consumer value by improving customer experience, and infuse new energy into TV industry which has reached the end of the road. Viewing the development of Mini LED backlight as promising, all of the relevant manufacturers make full efforts. That implies a “Warring Period” for TV backlight with a highly competitive market is just around the corner.

Fueled by Policies, the Era of UHD Video Industry is Approaching

MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology), NRTA (National Radio and Television Administration) and China Media Group issued the UHD Video Industry Development Action Plan (2019-2022) in March 2019. The Action Plan proposes two main development goals:

1. By 2020, production editing and broadcasting equipment including 4K video camera, monitor and switcher will realize industrialization, and the terminal sales of 4K TV - meeting the requirements of HDR, WCG, 3D sound, High frame rate, and high color depth - will account for over 40% of total TV sales.

2. By 2022, core components covering CMOS image sensors, optical lens, professional video processing chip, and codec chip will make breakthroughs and 8K advanced core equipment will achieve industrialization. Also, 4K TV terminals which meet the requirements of HDR, WCG, 3D sound, High frame rate, and high color depth enters a stage of all-around popularization and the terminal sales of 8K TV will account for more than 5% of overall TV sales. Besides, Guangdong Province and Hunan Province have respectively set development goals on the basis of this action plan in May 2019.

As a television, is it necessary to upgrade its resolution from 2K to 4K and even to 8K? Frame rate from 50 fps to 100 fps? Dynamic range from SDR to HDR? Taking only the functions of a television into account, perhaps such improvement is not a necessity. But if it is a smart display integrated with 5G technology, it naturally is required to satisfy these requirements.

As a Forthgoer, Mini LED Technology Accelerates the Pace into the UHD Era

Currently, Mini/Micro LED technologies are incontrovertibly the optimal option to meet the requirements mentioned above. OLED has obvious advantages in small-sized display field, but theoretically, it cannot win against Mini/Micro LED in large-sized display field. So far, due to technical bottlenecks including chip yield, mass transfer and repairing, Micro LED technology remains far away from commercialization, while Mini LED display technology is getting increasingly closer to commercialization as some manufacturers have launched related products.

At AWE 2019, Konka exhibited a Mini LED backlight TV prototype featuring numerous image quality techniques, such as mass transfer of +147%, DCI-P3 quantum dot, local dimming, HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging and peak brightness more than 2000 nits. At SID 2019 in the USA, CSOT showcased a 65-inch Mini LED backlight TV of an active-matrix drive type. The core Mini LED backlight source is made by RGB Super Business Department of NationStar, using active-matrix drive. In addition, it is equipped with 5,134 dimming zones and the peak brightness is up to 2,000 nits.

Also, combined with high local dimming function, the TV has contrast ratio reaching 1,000,000:1. Actually, a few products related to Mini LED TV can already be seen from some technologically advanced exhibitions or forums. In the next few years, the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing will raise higher requirements on display products, which is likely to become the catalyst to help popularize new-type display technologies.

Mini LED Technology is Likely to Reshape Backlight Market Landscape.

As the core of a whole Mini LED TV display solution, Mini LED backlight is still made by major medium- and large-sized backlight package manufacturers at present. Refond and NationStar respectively fabricated the key parts of the Mini LED TVs launched by Konka and CSOT mentioned above.

The landscape of traditional TV backlight package market is relatively stable. As the leading package manufacturers, Nichia and Jufei hold firmly the supply chain of overall market. According to LEDinside’s latest report - 2019 Chinese LED Chip and Package Industry Market Report, the top ten manufacturers in Chinese medium- and large-sized LED backlight market in 2018 occupied over 90% of the general market share. Top five are respectively Nichia, Jufei, Lextar, MTC and COREACH.

Form 1 The Ranking of LED Package Manufacturers in 2018 Chinese Medium- and Large-Sized Backlight Market

Source: 2019 Chinese LED Chip and Package Industry Market Report by LEDinside

According to LEDinside, aforementioned LED makers will remain as the major R&D forces in the future Mini LED backlight package market. But some companies which have never engaged in this market before also make an inroad into Mini LED market. Hongli, for example, set up Guangzhou Hongli Display Electronics with a professional technical team in January 2019.

Guangzhou Hongli specializes in Mini LED backlight and display business. And noticeably, by virtue of the advantages in self-owned product technology and enough capital expenditures, panel manufacturers, like BOE, have entered into Mini LED backlight and display fields. 2019 can be taken as “the year of Mini LED backlight” and the industry will pay more attention to its development in the near future. 

From the perspective of process, Mini LED backlight package technology is totally different from one SMD LED in the past. It needs to address the semi-mass transfer issue of tens of thousands of micro LED, and it faces sever challenges in the yield of products, packaging speed and display uniformity.

So from now on, the market performance and development of backlight LED manufacturers in the world will receive more market attentionss. Propelled by new technologies, TV backlight market, after a long fallow period, may re-welcome a “warring period” with fierce competition. Who will notch a success under such a new technical system? Probably time will verify all.


TrendForce 2019 Chinese LED Chip and Package Industry Market Report
Release:June 2019
Language:Traditional Chinese/English

Chapter I. Chinese LED Package Industry Trend

  • 2019-2023 Chinese LED Package Market Scale
  • 2019-2023 Chinese LED Package Market Scale- Market Segments
  • 2019-2023 Chinese LED Package Market Scale- Market Camps
  • 2019-2023 Chinese LED Package Market Scale- Product Power
  • 2017-2018 Global Top Ten LED Players in China
  • 2017-2018 Top Ten Chinese LED Players

Chapter II. Chinese LED Industry Market Segment Trend
Mobile Backlight and Flash LED Market

  • 2018-2023 Chinese Mobile Backlight and Flash Market Scale
  • 2019 Flash LED Supply Chain
  • 2018 Chinese Mobile Backlight and Flash LED Player Ranking

TV Backlight Market

  • 2018-2023 Chinese Large-sized Backlight LEDs Market Scale
  • 2019 TV Backlight LED Supply Chain Analysis
  • 2018 Chinese Large-sized Backlight LED Player Ranking

General Lighting and Architectural Lighting Market

  • 2018-2021 Chinese General Lighting LED Package Market Scale
  • 2018-2023 Chinese Architectural Lighting LED Market Scale
  • Chinese General Lighting LED Market Supply Chain Analysis
  • 2018 Chinese Lighting LED Player Ranking

Automotive Lighting Market

  • 2018-2023 Chinese Automotive LED Market Scale
  • 2019 Chinese Automotive LED Value Chain
  • 2018 Automotive LED Player Ranking

Digital Display Market

  • 2018-2023 Chinese Digital Display LED Market Scale
  • 2018 Display LED Supply Chain Analysis Application Market
  • 2018 Chinese Display LED Manufacturer Ranking

UV LED Market

  • 2018-2023 Chinese UV LED Market Scale

Mini/Micro LED Market

  • 2018-2023 Chinese Mini/Micro LED Market Scale
  • Mini/Micro LED Manufacturer Progress

Chapter III 2019 LED Industry Main Focus and Analysis
Topic One: The US-China trade frictions led to the downturn in market demand of Chinese LED industry.

  • The process that the US-China trade conflicts happened
  • Analysis on the influence of the US-China trade conflicts on LED industry

Topic Two: Opportunity for Chinese Lighting Market - Healthy Lighting and Architectural Landscape Lighting

  • Many Chinese manufacturers launched new products of healthy lighting after international enterprises.
  • As healthy lighting receives attention, the era of full-spectrum lighting is around the corner.

Topic Three: New Display Captures Attention and Mini LED is Expected to Achieve Mass Production in 2019.

  • Analysis on key factor of Mini LED mass production
  • Analysis on the development situation of Mini LED manufacturers

Chapter IV. China Major LED Package Player Analysis

  • 17 Chinese LED Package Manufacturers Operation Performance, Capacity Plan and Business Strategy

Chapter V. International LED Manufacturer Business Strategy in China

  • 16 Oversea LED Package Manufacturers Operation Performance and Business Strategy

Chapter VI. Competitiveness of Chinese LED Package Industry

  • Major LED Manufacturers Global Revenue
  • Major LED Manufacturers Revenue from China Market
  • Major Manufacturers Revenue from China
  • Concentration of Production Value
  • Key Drivers and Restraints in Chinese LED Package Industry
  • 2018 Chinese Package Maker R&D Expenditure Analysis

Chapter VII. Chinese LED Chip Market Analysis

  • 2011-2018 Government Subsidy for Chinese LED Chip Industry
  • 2016-2018 Chinese Chip Market Supply Change- By Camp
  • 2018-2023 Chinese Chip Market Scale
  • 2018 Chip Manufacturer Revenue Ranking in China
  • 11 Major LED Chip Manufacturers Operation Performance, Capacity Plan and Business Strategy


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