UDC and BOE sign a long-term OLED agreement

Universal Display announced that it has signed long-term OLED agreements with BOE Technology Group. Under these agreements, UDC will supply phosphorescent OLED materials to BOE. UDC and BOE signed their first agreement n 2014 and it is great to see these evolve into long-term agreements.

BOE Flexible AMOLED prototype photo

BOE started to produce flexible OLED displays at its Chengdu B7 6-Gen fab in October 2017. BOE's B7 fab is the company's first flexible AMOLED line and actual real mass production will probably begin at about Q1 2018. The full capacity is 48,000 substrates per month, but this will only be achieved in the first half of 2019.

LGD sort of confirms it is in talks with Apple regarding an OLED display supply agreement

Apple is currently relying on Samsung Display as its exclusive supplier of smartphone OLED displays (SDC produces the 5.8" flexible Super AMOLED display on its flagship iPhone X), and Apple is obviously not content with this situation.

Apple iPhone X photo

Finding a second supplier is not easy as SDC is the only company that can produce quality flexible OLEDs at the quantities that Apple requires. Reports suggested that Apple is in talks with LGD (also with other companies, such BOE Display) and in its recent filing, LG Display hinted that it is indeed talking to Apple.

LG starts mass production at its 5-Gen OLED Lighting fab, with 30X its previous capacity

LG Display announced that it has started mass production at its new 5-Gen OLED lighting fab in Gumi, Korea. The 5-Gen line (1100x1250 mm substrates) has an initial capacity of 15,000 substrates per month - about 30 times the capacity of LG's previous 2-Gen line that had a monthly capacity of 4,000 substrates.

LGD 5-Gen OLED lighting fab in Gumi, Korea

LG hopes that the new line will enable it to produces OLED lighting panels at a much lower cost (initial estimates suggested a 95% cost reduction!) which it hopes will trigger the widespread adoption of OLED lighting globally.

Sharp still hopes to form a Japanese OLED alliance with Japan Display

In August 2016 Sharp said that it wants to collaborate with Japan Display to co-develop and produce OLED displays. JDI responded saying that Sharp did not actually reach out regarding such a collaboration, but it seems that Sharp did not give up on that idea.

Sharp 3.4'' flexible IGZO OLED prototype (Apr 2016)

Sharp's stock returned to the Tokyo Stock Exchange first section after a year of absence, and the company's president told Reuters that it is going to ask Japan's government it help it form an alliance with JDI. Sharp is also considering an investment in JOLED.

Sony, Panasonic and Sumitomo to participate in JOLED's next financing round

A few day go JOLED announced that it started commercial shipments of its 21.6" 4K OLED panels for use in medical monitors, in its low-volume 4.5-Gen ink-jet printing production line.

JOLED 4K prototype OLED Monitor (July 2017, Japan)

Foolowind JDI's decision to halt its plans to increase its stake at JOLED, the company is now seeking to raise $900 million to support its plan to start mass producing OLEDs in 2019. According to a report from Japan the company has received commitments from Sony and Panasonic and both Sumitomo Chemical (who supplies its P-OLED materials to JOLED) and Screen Holdings (who supplies its equipment to JOLED) are likely to take part in the financing round as well.

DSCC sees flexible smartphone OLEDs overtaking rigid ones for the first time in Q4 2017

DSCC estimates that 88 Million smartphone OLED displays were shipped in Q3 2017, which represents a 4% drop from Q2 2017 and a 13% drop from Q3 2016 - mostly due to delays in iPhone X shipments. Flexible OLED shipments were up 25% from Q2 2017 (30.4 million units).

Smartphone flexible OLED market shipments (2016-2017, DSCC)

Shipments are expected to grow significantly in Q4 2017, though, to reach 151 million units. Flexible OLEDs shipments (78.3 million) will grow 157% from last quarter and 544% from last year, and will surpass rigid OLED shipments (73.3 million) for the first time.

Light Polymers introduce the world's thinnest OLED circular polarizer

US-based Light Polymers launched a new circular polarizer for OLED displays based on its lyotropic liquid crystal technology. The new polarizer is said to be the world's thinner polarizer at only 45 µm.

Light Polymers lyotropic liquid crystal OLED circular polarizer image

These lyotropic liquid crystals are water-based, and can be coated using industry standard coating equipment at nearly room temperatures. This enables the company to produce these displays at a lower-cost compared to alternatives, and its production line can currently coat around 30-40 million m2 per year, costing a tenth of the capex and lower energy costs than competing processes (this is according to Light Polymers, of course).