OLED is an emerging display technology that is fast becoming the mainstream display technology in many markets, as OLED enables display panels that offer the best image quality and free design as they can be made flexible and transparent. The Samsung OLED displays are considered to be the best in the industry and the Korean company is the clear lead in AMOLED production for mobile devices.

SDC 5.7'' FHD rollable OLED at SID 2016

Over the pay years Samsung invested billions of dollars in OLED research and production facilities as the company sees OLEDs fast replacing LCD displays in all mobile applications.

Samsung AMOLED displays

Samsung is currently producing over 300 million AMOLED displays in a year, used mostly in smartphones - such as Samsung's own Galaxy S7 (and S7 edge ) - but also in smartphones from Gionee, Meizu, Acer, HP, Vivo, Microsoft, Lenovo, ZTE, Hisense, Konka and others. Samsung also produces large mobile OLEDs for tablets, laptops and monitors.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge photoSamsung Galaxy S6 Edge

In August 2013 Samsung launched the company's first OLED TV, the KN55S9C, which used a curved 55" OLED panel. The TV was priced at around $8999 in the US and Korea, but is no longer in production, and was never in real mass production. Samsung has yet to return to OLED TV production.



Samsung flexible OLED displays

Following its initial flexible OLED production launch in 2013, and the huge success of its edge-type phones, Samsung is currently producing around 9 million flexible OLEDs each month to satisfy demand for the Galaxy S7 edge and its other flexible OLED products. Samsung has reportedly been chosen to supply 100 million flexible OLED panels to Apple's future iPhones.

Future Samsung OLED devices

Samsung is developing several next generation display technologies based on OLEDs. Samsung has been developing a foldable OLED device for a long time - which may dramatically change the mobile device market as it could enable smartphone to turn into tablets or phones that can be folded into smaller devices.

Samsung is also developing transparent OLEDs (see the company's 55" FHD transparent and mirror-type OLEDs here) for retail application, and also readies next generation displays for the automotive industry.

Several years ago Samsung released the following video, showing a concept transparent flexible AMOLED tablet device. It will be years before Samsung can commercialize such a display, but it's nice to see what the future holds:

Further reading

Latest Samsung OLED news

Business Korea: Samsung to decide on its QD-OLED TV plans soon

Samsung has not committed yet to its QD-OLED TV technology, and according to a new report from Korea the company will make its final decision by the end of June (or early July). Samsung originally planned to hold an investment review committee on April 2019 but that did not materialize. According to an industry insider, Samsung already decided to start QD-OLED TV production, the only question is timing.

QD-OLED stack scheme (DSCC, Oct-2018)

Samsung's plan is to shut down an LCD TV production line and convert it to QD-OLED production - although Business Korea now suggests that another possibility is to build a new production line instead of its planned A5 fab (which was delayed/canceled in early 2018).

Samsung is asking Apple to compensate it for not reaching its iPhone OLED agreed order quantities

According to a report from Korea, when Apple secured its flexible AMOLED supply from Samsung for the iPhone X (and later XS and XS Plus) it committed to a minimum order quantity. As sales of the iPhones were slower than expected, the company did not reach its MOQ, and is now facing penalties of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Apple iPhone X photo

It seems as if Apple is reluctant to pay the penalty (which isn't a big surprise) and is offering some alternative routes for Samsung - including the option of ordering OLED displays for future iPads or laptops (this coincides with a report from Korea last month).

The OLED Marketplace, find your OLED here

China-based JD.com: sales of the OnePlus 7 Pro in China are far surpassing Samsung's GS10+ sales

JD.com, a popular online retailer in China, says that sales of the OnePlus 7 Pro are more than ten times higher than the sales of Samsung's flagship Galaxy S10 Plus (which has a comparable display size). JD says that there were 250,372 OnePlus units sold - compared to only 23,266 GS10+ units.

OnePlus 7 Pro photoThe OnePlus 7 Pro is the company's flagship smartphone that features a large 6.67" 90Hz 1440x3120 Fluid AMOLED (which is apparently a 90Hz Super AMOLED) full-screen display with an under-the-display fingerprint sensor. The GS10+ sports a 6.4" 60Hz 3040x1440 (522 PPI) Super AMOLED display.

Reports from Korea suggest that Samsung still faces technology challenges before it can begin producing QD-OLED TVs

Samsung is developing its QD-OLED TV technology and the company was supposed to hold an investment review committee on April 2019 to decide whether to go ahead with plans to start production soon (mass production by the end of 2020).

QD-OLED stack scheme (DSCC, Oct-2018)

However in May we later reported that Samsung decided to delay the production - trial production will begin towards the end of 2020, with real mass production on a new 10-Gen line only at around 2023. A new report from Korea sheds some more light on Samsung's situation.

UBI: OLED production capacity to double by 2023, Korean makers to retain their 80% market share by area

UBI Research estimates that OLED production capacity will increase from 34.9 million sqm to 68.5 million by 2023. LG Display and Samsung Display are expected to increase production of OLED TV and introduce new 10.5-Gen fabs better suited for 65" TV production.

OLED production capacity by country (2019-2023, UBI)

Mobile OLED production capacity will also grow, but at a slower rate - from 13 million sqm in 2019 to 19.3 million sqm in 2023, mainly driven by Chinese OLED producers that produce flexible smartphone OLED displays mainly for the Chinese domestic market. Korean OLED producers (SDC and LGD) will continue to dominate the market and will retain their ~80% market share in 2023.

Asus demonstrates a dual display laptop with a main 15.6" 4K OLED

Last week we reported that Asus demonstrated an OLED gaming laptop - even though it still has some concerns with OLED displays and is not ready to release such a device commercially.

Asus ZenBook Pro Duo prototype photo

It turns out that Asus has another OLED laptop in the works - the ZenBook Pro Duo which actually features two screens - an SDC 15.6" 4K AMOLED main display and another, smaller 14" LCD that is placed above the keyboard. This is just a prototype, but according to reports this seems like a finished product, and it could reach the markets soon.

Planar launches its 2nd-Gen 55" transparent OLED signage displays likely based on LGD panels

In November 2015 Planar launched its LookThru displays, based on 55" FHD transparent OLED panels made by Samsung Display. SDC stopped producing these OLEDs shortly after, though, and Planar had to halt its sales.

In February 2019 LG Display launched its own 55" FHD transparent OLED production, and now Planar announced its 2nd-Gen LookThru (LO552) displays - which are likely based on LGD's panels this time.

Korean site suggests that Apple is considering adopting AMOLED displays in future iPads and Laptops

In February 2019 Samsung Display started to mass produce its new 15.6" 3840x2160 OLED display panels, and some of the first 2019 OLED laptops are already shipping.

HP Spectre x360 15 photo

Korea-site The Elec says that according to its sources, Apple is "considering adoption" of OLED displays in its Pro laptop and tablets lines. The iPad Pro will adopt an 11" OLED while the MacBook Pro will adopt a 15.6" one.