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What can you expect from LCD recycling business in 1-3 years?

May 15, 2019

price trendline

"Are you still buying used LCDs?"

"There are rumors saying China won’t be buying any screens anymore."

Why the LCD prices are dropping? What’s happening? I am losing too much money.

These are most frequently asked questions and complaints we had from our customers in 2months,everyone in used LCD recycling business is wondering why their buyers don’t buy their used LCDs any more Or lowered their price a lot.Some of our HK or Shenzhen competitors even tried to sell their screens to us which is quite interesting.

From our perspective,there are 3 reasons why prices have reached Rock bottom.

1.  3.15th World consumers rights day.

Every year,there is a “World consumer rights day” on 15th March in China, lots of factories and vendors from various industry are being targeted and under investigated way before 15th March. Some of them who make counterfeit products will be arrested and reported on TV .

The whole cellphone market in Shenzhen is in grey zone because inauthentic phones and counterfeit parts continue to be sold. These illegal practices have negatively portrayed the Huaqiangbei market as a notorious place in Shenzhen, China.
The Shenzhen Police and Investigation Bureau inspect the markets on a regular basis and heavily fine  even jail anyone who operates illegally. Many companys won't hold a large inventory, Instead, they lower their price in an early stage to avoids losses.
The sheep-flock effect is very visible in the LCD buyback industry. When one start to drop price, others will quickly follow.

2. Big breakthrough in high copy LCD technology.

No matter it’s called OT1 technology or XO5 LCD,iTruColor or Vivid LCD.Thing is that these new high copy LCDs have very similar color like OEM LCDs,almost same functionality and brightness.



Many repair or refurbish factories started to use new high copy LCD instead of refurbished OEM LCD.
Less demand directly leads to massive price drop in 2 months.
Rumor saids that the new invented high copy LCD are using display module comes from Innolux,which is a fully owned company by Foxconn,that’s the reason why color is so close to original.
No matter what the future is for high copies,that’s something we can’t ignore if we are in used LCD recycling business.

3. Apple sales falling.

iPhone sales have been falling these years, according to BBC.

sales falling

Obviously they are trying to make more money from Apple service.It’s not hard to tell the fact that they are doing very well.

apple service

And of course they won't forget about repair industry either ,Apple had made their products more difficult to repair than ever before so consumers will have to go to Apple store for repair,then the volume of used screen will decreased. Actually, Apple did challenged aftermarket screens/parts few times by updated IOS making it failed to function properly.

There are 3 different ways Apple might go:

Rumor has it that Apple is going to relax the supply chain of OEM screen to repair industry.
They might provide access to their supply chain to some of these big names in the repair space like Clover group etc.
Selling certified OEM parts seems like a profitable business for Apple just like how Samsung did.
Probably ,we can expect Apple service pack in the future.
Let’s say Apple be harsh to copy screens and had it removed from market while still keeping refurbished original screen, OEM screens can still have good value like Samsung.

In early march,Apple just announced that iPhone user can get repair support from Genius Bar or authorized repair store even if their phone were replaced with third party batteries.
It is possible that Apple will franchise some of biggest repair parts factories in China and make profit like what they did on the iPhone ”MFI” accessories? Apple could just make easy money by charging patent fee.
Noncertified factory will then barely survived in this industry, because this might pop out when you try touse noncertified aftermarket screen.
In other words,iPhone LCD recycling could still be a good business for some years.


Sitting still.Tech giants could be slow in action sometime,and what they do might impact lots of people in this industry,think about the “Rights to repair”stuff,so they might be very careful in making decisions.This could  be the worse situation,iPhone 8 Plus AB grade dropped from 50usd to 25usd in 3 months. That being said, we need to keep our eyes on high copy OLED technology. Used iPhone LCD value depends on the quality of aftermarket screens and the manufacturing cost from third party factories.
However,when there is full of uncertainty for iPhone LCD recycling,there are always new opportunities in this industry.
Back in 2018,Huawei has taken over Apple's market share in China and became the second biggest smartphone brand in the first quarter with volumes up nearly 50% year-over-year.


The demand of Huawei repair are rapidly increasing but less screens being recycled yet.
It provide a good opportunity for mobile recycler who based in Europe to buyback Huawei OLED screens,because they have very good value/margin like Samsung.

Anyway, we are going to left with a few questions.

What’s your opinion about the renovation of LCDs technology?

What else has caused prices dropped ?

Who has the best chance to win over ‘Right to repair’chaos ? Repair shop OR Apple?

Do you think Huawei will become the biggest smartphone brand in 2019?