According to a BCC technical market research report, global shipments of OLEDs totaled $3.2 billion in 2011 and $4.9 billion in 2012. Total OLED shipment value is expected to reach $20.3 billion in 2017 after increasing at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32.6%.
The market for OLEDs can be broken down into three segments: displays, lighting, and sensors.
Displays, the largest segment in terms of cost, accounted for $4.9 billion in 2012 and should total $19.6 billion in 2017, a CAGR of 31.8%.
Lighting and sensors accounted for negligibly small shares in 2011 and 2012, and are expected to be worth $700 and $2.5 million, respectively, in 2017.
Organic light-emitting diodes are thin film devices that consist of organic layers sandwiched between electrodes. The basic principle behind organic light-emitting devices is electroluminescence; the material emits light in the presence of an electric current. This structure is different from the inorganic LED semiconductor approach, but both types are used for lighting, displays and microelectronic applications.
Organic light-emitting diodes have an electroluminescent layer composed of organic compounds. The layer typically contains a polymer substance that allows suitable organic compounds to be deposited. The polymer layer is also responsible for the flexibility that is one of the major advantages of OLEDs vs. competing technologies.