Giants have layout to drive the industry to flourish
With the technology updating, mini LED is about to land. In backlight applications, mini LED can replace the traditional LED backlight in LCD display, which has the characteristics of energy saving, thinness, wide color gamut, ultra-high contrast and fine dynamic partition. It can greatly improve the display effect of LCD panel, and can approach or even exceed the level of OLED. At the same time, it has the advantages of life and cost compared with OLED. In the display application, mini LED display is the result of the further reduction of the size and spacing of small spacing LED chips, which mainly aims at the high-end small spacing market. Mini LED has attracted much attention because of its broad market prospect. Traditional display manufacturers and color TV manufacturers are racing to speed up the introduction of mini LED products.
It is reported that apple is expected to release iPad pro and MacBook Pro products with mini LED screen from the end of this year to the beginning of next year. BOE has layout in backlight and direct display applications. In the second half of this year, the glass based Mini LED backlight products will start mass production, and the Mini LED applications will be in large quantities. In addition, micro LED is also in the pipeline. Apple acquired luxvue as early as 2014 to acquire micro LED technology. At present, the cumulative investment of micro LED is close to US $4.8 billion, and nearly 5500 patents have been applied. Major companies have laid out micro LED technology in advance, driving the vigorous development of the industry, and it is expected to continue to expand the market space in the future.
With Apple's upcoming Mini LED backlight products, it will drive the growth of mini led demand and stimulate relevant manufacturers to expand production capacity. Industry insiders believe that it is difficult for a single manufacturer to meet such a huge shipment volume, and the major LED chip manufacturers will have the opportunity to divide Samsung, apple and the following major customers. Therefore, each upstream LED chip manufacturer has arranged one after another to gain a share. The "free rider" follow-up of mini LED related enterprises is a time to actively embrace the industrial trend driven by leading enterprises such as Samsung and apple, and enjoy the expansion of industrial scale, the rise of industrial value and the overflow of industrial dividends.
Patent continues to grow, industry ushers in new climax of innovation and development
The market demand of mini LED has been foreseen. In addition to technology, relevant patents have become the focus of market attention. If the technical capability determines whether the manufacturer can enter the mini LED market, then the patent layout determines how far the manufacturer can go in the mini LED market.
In February 2019, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) released a new patent of Apple called "display module and system application". It can be seen that the patent war of mini LED is not very active, but it is already undercurrent. In 2017, some manufacturers in China have arranged the mini LED related patents, and applied for 17 Mini related patents in the whole year. In 2018, the number of applications exploded, reaching 92 in the whole year. Large manufacturers have joined the layout of mini LED related patents. In 2019, 64 new patents will be added. By 2019, the total number of mini LED related patents applied in China has reached 173. The past two years have witnessed the explosion of mini related patent applications. It is expected that the number of patent applications will continue to increase with the continuous investment in R & D in the next few years.
The domestic Mini LED industry environment is far better than other regions. The upstream has the world's largest LED chip production capacity, while the downstream has the world's largest LCD production base, including panel and complete machine. The superior industrial environment provides a good R & D environment for domestic Mini LED manufacturers. It can be predicted that in the future, with the continuous investment in R & D of manufacturers and the continuous improvement of technology, the number of domestic Mini LED related patents will continue to increase, which will effectively guarantee the healthy development of domestic Mini LED industry.
For led enterprises, patent layout has a decisive impact on their future development and positioning. At present, some enterprises actively layout patents, forming a strong and effective patent protection network, while others have weak awareness of patent protection, so that peers can take advantage of it. For the current Mini As for the LED market, the more core technologies they master, the more they will have the right to speak in the future market, and occupy an active position in the market competition. The unprecedented popularity of mini related patent applications, to a certain extent, has prompted more and more domestic led enterprises to pay attention to the cultivation of their core technologies, and pay more and more attention to the layout of patents, and the market order will be more orderly.
In a word, mini LED has entered the business cycle. The maturity of the industrial chain will accelerate the increase of mini led penetration rate. The addition of apple and other giants is expected to drive the LED industry to flourish. Mini LED will become the next growth point of LED industry. The emerging of new products, the continuous expansion of enterprises, the acceleration of patent layout, the continuous reduction of costs, and the acceleration of the whole industrial chain all indicate that the industry has seen the market potential of mini led, and is deepening its efforts to broaden the new industrial circuit.