SEOUL, March 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korean firms led the global market for display panels in 2018 despite a slight on-year drop, data showed Sunday, as they targeted high-end models while Chinese rivals focused on budget products.
According to the data compiled by industry tracker IHS Markit, Samsung Display posted revenue of US$26.1 billion in the market for medium and large-sized display panels in 2018, taking up a share of 23.7 percent.
Samsung stood as the leader despite the figure marking a slight retreat from 24.2 percent posted a year earlier.
LG Display followed with a share of 19.6 percent last year with revenue of $21.5 billion, the data also showed. The smaller rival of Samsung saw its market presence drop from 21.7 percent and 20 percent posted in 2016 and 2017.
China-based BOE Technology Group followed at the third spot with a share of 10.4 percent, up from 9.4 percent posted a year earlier, trailed by Taiwan's AU Optronics Corp. with 10.1 percent.
Other major players included Taiwanese Innolux Corporation and Japan's Sharp Corp. that posted a shares of 9.1 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively, last year.
"While Chinese firms are rapidly expanding their investment, their portfolios mostly rely on budget models. Thus, their increase in shipments do not lead to a major leap in revenue," an industry watcher said.
"South Korean firms' strategy of bolstering their presence through premium products, on the other hand, is being effective," the industry watcher added, but claimed that local companies should still be aware that Chinese firms are rolling out aggressive investment on the back of state-supported policies.