Samsung is one of the leaders in OLED display research and the clear leader in AMOLED production. OLED Displays are thinner, more efficient and offer better picture quality than LCD or Plasma displays.
Samsung are confident that OLED displays is the best future technology. Samsung invested billions of dollars in OLED research and production facilities. In February 2012 Samsung PR summarizes the company’s view on OLED technology: “Currently, the display market is undergoing rapid changes with OLED panels expected to fast replace LCD panels to become the mainstream.”
Samsung AMOLED displays
Samsung is currently producing over 200 million AMOLED displays in a year, and those displays mostly end up in Samsung products. In fact, most of Samsung's phones use AMOLED displays - including the Galaxy S6 (and S6 Edge) and the Note 4. Samsung is also using AMOLEDs in their Tab S tablets, in their wearable products, digital cameras and other products.
After years of research, in October 2013 Samsung announced they have started to mass produce flexible OLEDs. Samsung is currently producing flexible OLEDs in a 5.5-Gen line with a capacity of only 8,000 substrates per month - which is about 1 million 5" displays or so. This line producing panels that are used in Samsung's wearable products, the Galaxy S6 Edge and the Galaxy Note Edge. Samsung is finishing a new 6.5-Gen flexible OLED fab which will dramatically increase the company's flexible OLED capacity..
Samsung OLED TVs
In August 2013 Samsung launched the company's first OLED TV, the KN55S9C, which uses a curved 55" OLED panel. The TV was priced at around $8999 in the US and Korea, but is no longer in production. Samsung's TV panels used direct-emission and an LTPS backplane and these technologies could not be easily scaled for mass production. It is hoped that Samsung will launch new OLED TVs in 2016 or 2017.
Samsung transparent OLEDs
Samsung are developing transparent OLEDs, but these are lagging behind flexible OLEDs. In 2010 they actually announced a product with such a display (the IceTouch, an MP3 player with a 2" full-color transparent AMOLED) that was never released sadly. They also unveiled larger transparent display prototypes such as an OLED 'window' and an OLED laptop, but currently they have never actually started producing transparent OLEDs, even though the company still shows transparent OLED prototypes from time to time.
Here's a nice 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:
The latest Samsung OLED News:
- Samsung: good Q1 2016 results driven by successful GS7 launch, reports increased OLED production
- New report suggests Samsung to start construcing a Gen-8 OLED TV fab in Q3 2016
- The Korean Government to actively support OLED projects and offer business subsidies
- Yonhap news: SDC to supply 100 milllion 5.5" AMOLED displays to Apple annually, starting in 2017
- Kyulux announces its full investor list - which includes SDC, LGD, JDI and JOLED
- UBI: the OLED emitter material market grew 17% in 2015 as producers increase capacity and change material suppliers
- ETNews: Samsung to release a foldable smartphone next year