AU Optronics (AUO) will take a cautious attitude about how its investment in OLED can be recouped rather than trying to compete with fellow makers, according to company chairman and CEO Paul Peng.

OLED panels can meet some demand for displays but will not replace TFT-LCD panels in 2-3 years, Peng said. Production of OLED panels involves high technological barriers and large investments, Peng noted. Due to China-based panel makers' active investment in OLED, there will be large increases in global OLED production capacity in 2018, Peng said. However, it will take a long time for global demand to support large-scale production of OLED panels, Peng indicated.

AUO has engaged in R&D of OLED technology and currently focuses on production of OLED panels used in VR (virtual reality) and smart wearable devices in small volumes, company president Michael Tsai said. AUO is developing 3.8- and 5.2-inch OLED panels for use in VR devices as well as flexible OLED panels, Tsai added.

Currently, AUO's 8.5G TFT-LCD production capacity is not sufficient to meet demand. In particular, supply of Ultra HD TV panels and curved-surface TV panels is short of orders, Peng indicated.

While the average size of AUO-produced TFT-LCD TV panels has increased to 43-inch, AUO aims to hike shipments of high value-added TV panels, Tsai said. For example, AUO aims to increase shipments of curved-surface TV panels from four million units in 2015 to 10 million units in 2016, Tsai indicated. In addition, AUO will increase shipments of customized TFT-LCD panels for non-consumer use such as automotive, industrial control and medical-care displays, Tsai noted.