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

DisplayMate: Samsung's Galaxy Note 10+ AMOLED is the world's best smartphone display

DisplayMate tested Samsung's latest OLED flagship phone, the Galaxy Note 10+, and (as expected) says that this is the world's best smartphone display. DisplayMate says that the Note 10+ set 13 new display performance records - including the world's highest absolute color accuracy and highest peak brightness (at 1,308 nits).

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 photo

Other records set by the Note 10+ Dynamic AMOLED include the best image contrast accuracy, the smallest shift in color accuracy with image content, the largest native color gamut (113% DCI-P3 and 142% sRGB / Rec.709) and the lowest screen reflectance.

LG Display to double its transparent OLED display production by the end of 2019

In February 2019 LG Display started producing its 55" FHD transparent commercial OLED displays, and now the company says it plans to double its transparent OLED production in Q4 2019 - and continue to ramp up production years to come. LGD sees possible applications in shop windows, building façades and exhibition spaces.

LG Display is also working with partners such as Planar - who recently announced its 2nd-Gen LookThru (LO552) OLED displays.

OLED Automotive Market Report

Dell starts shipping its XPS 15 OLED laptop

Dell started shipping its XPS 15 2019 laptop with the 15.6" UHD (3840x2160) OLED display (produced by Samsung Display). The price of the OLED models starts at $1,799.

Dell XPS 15 OLED 2019 photo

The Verge recently reviewed another OLED laptop, the HP 2019 Spectre x360 15, which uses the same SDC 15.6" display. The Verge says that the OLED is tremendous, and the reviewer sees "no reason why someone would pick an LCD over this OLED, given the option".

Samsung: we fixed all the Galaxy Fold issues, will start shipping it in September

In April 2019, after early reviewers reported that that the foldable screen in their Galaxy Fold devices broke down after a day or so, Samsung decided to delay the release of its foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold.

Samsung Galaxy Fold photo

Following three months of re-design, Samsung now announced that it fixed all the issues in its foldable smartphone and is ready to start shipping in September 2019. Here are the list of changes that Samsung announced, including both design and construction improvements:

OLED production in Korea could be halted by the end of July due to Japan's restriction of free exports

A few days ago we reported on Japan's government decision to restrict some material exports, including fluorinated polyimide, to South Korea, following a diplomatic tension between the two countries.

Samsung W2019 photo

Polyimide is required for OLED production, and Japan controls about 90% of the world's production. According to a new report from Korea, Samsung and other companies have warned the Korean government that production in some plants could be halted as early as by the end of July if these materials are not available. It is not clear what is the situation of Samsung's (and LG's) OLED production.

Samsung reports its financial results for Q2 2019, includes a one-time $684 million payment (could be from Apple)

Samsung Electronics reported its financial results for Q2 2019. The company's operating profit totaled ₩6.5 trillion (around $5.6 billion). Interestingly Samsung reported a one-off gain of $684 million, which could be Apple's compensation for lower-than-agreen-on iPhone OLED panel orders.

Samsung Galaxy S10 photo

Samsung's smartphone sales have been lower than expected, which is one of the factors behind the earnings miss. CLSA analysts expect Samsung Display's to enjoy a 47% growth in OLED sales in the next quarter as demand from Apple, Samsung and Chinese smartphone makers is expected to increase in Q3.

Bloomberg: Samsung completed the Galaxy Fold redesign, will resume production soon

Bloomberg reports that Samsung Electronics completed its two-month Galaxy Fold redesign which fixed the problems that caused the foldable OLED to fail. Samsung will be able to resume production soon, but the company cannot yet commit to a new shipping date.

Samsung Galaxy Fold photo

Samsung had to re-engineer the Galaxy Fold hinge, to help protect the OLED display, and it also stretched the protective film to wrap around the entire scree which makes it impossible to remove it (which some reviewers mistakenly did).

Japan to restrict exports of some materials to Korea, could effect OLED production

Japan's government decided to restrict some material exports to South Korea. The restricted materials are fluorinated polyimide, resist - and high-purity hydrogen fluoride. Japan is the world's leader in production of these materials (about 90% of fluorinated polyimide and resist) which makes it difficult for producers to find alternatives.

These restrictions could mean that both Samsung and LG Display may find it difficult to keep OLED production at its current level. Both companies have accumulated a large stock of these materials, but if these restrictions hold up for a long time this could be a problem for the South Korean OLED makers (and a boon for Chinese OLED makers, of course).

The Verge: SDC's 15.6" laptop AMOLED display is tremendous, absolutely worth the extra cost

The Verge posted a review of one of the world's first 2019 OLED laptops, the HP 2019 Spectre x360 15. The reviewer loves the OLED display: "The Spectre x360 15’s display is tremendous, and I see no reason why someone would pick an LCD over this OLED, given the option. It’s absolutely worth the higher cost (Ed: around $400)."

HP Spectre x360 15 photo

HP's Spectre x360 15 features an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD storage. The OLED display is a 15.6" 3840x2160 panel produced by SDC. HP's Spectre x360 15 laptops are now shipping, the OLED models start at $2,299.

DSCC: Samsung, Apple and Huawei are the world's top flexible AMOLED smartphone customers

DSCC published an interesting note, detailing the world's top 10 devices by flexible AMOLED sales in the first half of 2019. The list contains only three vendors: Samsung, Apple and Huawei.

Huawei Mate P30 Pro photo

Total flexible AMOLED revenues for these ten devices are almost $4.7 billion, and Samsung phones account for 53% ($2.5 billion). Apple has only 2 leading models, but accounts for 30% of the revenues ($1.4 billion) and Huawei phones generated $723 million in flexible AMOLED revenues.

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters