Apr 19, 2017: In an effort to compete with Samsung Display that has monopolized OLED market, LG Display will start mass producing small and medium-sized plastic organic light emitting diodes (POLEDs) at the end of 2017. The company will supply these POLEDs to Chinese smartphone makers.
LG Display will start mass production of a POLED (1,500×1,850㎜) at the Gumi E5 production facility in North Gyeongsang Province.
While the large TV OLED market has been dominated by LG, the small and mid-size smartphone OLED market has been led by Samsung Display. According to IHS, a market researcher, Samsung Display had a 97.7% share in the small and mid-size OLED market in the first quarter of 2017.
Till now, only a few brands use OLED panels in smartphones. Apple and some Chinese smartphone makers have started using OLED panels in their products, hence OLEDs are now in great demand.
LG Display will currently produce 14,000 units of a 4.5th-generation POLED per month, at the Paju plant in Gyeonggi Province. It will begin mass production of the 6th-generation POLED production facility in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province.
LG has already invested 1.99 trillion won (US$1.75 billion) in building the 6th-generation POLED production line with a monthly production capacity of 15,000 units, at the E6 plant in Paju in 2016. This plant will start mass production from the second quarter 2018.
Recently Google had announced that it will invest 1 trillion won (US$878.73 million) in LG Display’s facilities, as it seeks to form a strategic partnership with LG Display to use OLEDs in its Pixel flagship phone.
Apple has chosen Samsung Display and not LG Display to supply OLED panels for its iPhone 8 to be released in 2017. However, industry insiders believe that LG Display will also supply some quantities of OLED panels to Apple as Samsung Display may face difficulties to meet Apple’s strict conditions.