The Galaxy Note 3 - so will it sport a plastic-based AMOLED display?

Two days ago we reported on new rumors from Korea saying that Samsung will have to use IPS-LCD displays in about 10% of the Note 3 phones due to expected AMOLED production shortages. Today MT Media (a Korean publication) posted an "Exclusive" article in which they say that Samsung will in fact use a plastic-based unbreakable 5.99" YOUM OLED display in the Note 3.

A prototype curved OLED displayYOUM phone prototype, CES 2013

This coincides with the OLED Association claim back in April that the Note 3 phone will use a YOUM display. Samsung's YOUM capacity (especially for these relatively large 5.99" panels) will be quite limited at first, but it seems that Samsung really has to innovate in their new phones. The GS4 is a great phone with a terrific display, but it isn't really innovative in hardware or design (and some suggest that sales aren't as good as Samsung hoped for).

Sichuan CCO plans to build a $1.15 billion 4.5-Gen AMOLED fab, production will begin in 2016

Sichuan CCO Display plans to construct a 4.5-Gen AMOLED production fab in Chengdu (western China) in a 7 billion yuan ($1.15 billion USD) investment. This fab will have a monthly capacity of 30,000 substrates.

Construction will begin in mid-2014 and will be completed in 2015. Mass production will begin in 2016. This fab will produce small and medium panels (2.6" to 10" in size) - to be used in mobile devices.

Samsung to use LCD in some Note 3 phones due to AMOLED shortage?

A new report from Korea suggests that Samsung will use IPS-LCD displays in some Note 3 models. The Korean company aims to have about 10% of the Note 3 phones use LCD displays. The rest will use Super AMOLED displays. Apparently Samsung will buy those LCD displays from Sharp (Samsung owns about 3% of the troubled display maker following a recent investment).

Galaxy Note IIGalaxy Note II

The main reason the report gives for this decision is that Samsung may have an AMOLED supply issue. Earlier this month DisplaySearch estimated that AMOLED supply/demand ratio will fall to 1% in Q4 2013 - basically saying that supply will be very tight with a good chance shortages. So perhaps Samsung is working on a backup plan by designing models with LCDs instead of AMOLEDs.

New research aims to use graphene in flexible plastic OLED backplanes

Cambridge University's Graphene Centre and Plastic Logic have signed a research collaboration agreement on graphene in flexible plastic electronics. This strategic agreement has several activities and goals, one of them is to develop graphene as a transparent, highly conductive layer for plastic backplanes for unbreakable LCD and flexible OLED displays.

Flexible E Ink panel by plastic logicFlexible E Ink panel by plastic logic

The two other research goals are to develop new transistor structures that use graphene-like materials as the active layer and to exploit the commercialization of graphene for flexible electronics.

Sumitomo developed a new PLED inkjet printing technology

Sumitomo Chemical announced it has developed a new PLED inkjet-printing technology that achieves 423 PPI on glass substrates sized 370x470 mm. We don't have more information about Sumitomo's new production process, but apparently it isn't ready for commercialization yet as the company says they will "continue to improve the performance and process of PLED materials".

Panasonic printed P-OLED 56-inch OLED prototype

Panasonic used Sumitomo's PLED materials in their 56" 4K2K printed OLED TV prototype shown at CES 2013. Panasonic and Sumitomo has been collaborating on OLED TVs since 2009. The companies hope that ink-jet printing will enable them to lower the production costs of OLED panels compared to evaporation based production. Panasonic aims to launch their first OLED TVs in 2015. The company is collaborating with Sony, and may setup a production-JV together (although if this happens, it's not clear which production technology will be used).

Samsung launches 55" curved OLED TVs in Korea for $13,000, will not ship regular OLED TVs in 2013

Samsung held a press conference yesterday in Korea, in which they launched their first OLED TV, the KN55S9 curved Full-HD one. The TV is now shipping in Korea for 15 million Won (just over $13,000) - exactly the same price of LG's own 55EA9800 55" curved FHD TV. Samsung promises it will launch this TV in more countries next month.

Samsung didn't reveal a lot of technical details on this new curve OLED TV. They simply say that it offers the "perfect picture quality", as the distance from the viewer to the TV screen is the same from almost any angle. It sports a "timeless arena" design (the display is placed within a luxurious frame whose curved shape mirrors the curvature of an arena). The TV supports Multi-view (where two viewers can watch two different programs using active-shutter 3D glasses) and Samsung's Evolution Kit, (which means users can add features in the future).

Samsung S9C (KN55S9C)

Samsung's S9C (KN55S9C) was a Full-HD 55" curved OLED TV that offered the "perfect picture quality" (according to Samsung) as the distance from the viewer to the TV screen is the same from almost any angle. It sports a "timeless arena" design (the display is placed within a luxurious frame whose curved shape mirrors the curvature of an arena).

The S9C supports Multi-view (where two users can watch two different 2D programs using active-shutter 3D glasses) and it's also compatible with the company's Evolution Kit, ensuring that the TV is future-proofed. The TV weighs 27Kg and is 5.3 inches deep. You cannot mount it on a wall due to the curve.

LG Chem developed plastic-based "truly" flexible OLED lighting panels, to mass produce them in 2015

In February 2013 LG Chem unveiled their flexible OLED lighting panels, with plans to start producing them in July 2013 (they now aim to do so in September 2013, a slight delay). Those panels use a thin-glass substrate and a metal protective layer with LG Chem's Face-Seal encapsulation.

Today LG Chem announced that they developed new plastic-based (transparent polyimide) OLED lighting panels (shown in the photos above and below). These panels are more bendable (see photo above) than the current metal/glass ones, and LG Chem refers to them as "Plastic Film type Truly-Flexible OLED Panels". The company aims to mass produce these new panels in H1 2015. The new panels are even lighter than the current ones (which are only 0.33 mm thick and weigh under 8 grams).

Pixelate by Birot

The Pixelate lamp (designed by Pablo Alvarez for Birot) is a suspended OLED lamp that is inspired by the undulating movement of a manta ray sliding across the air. The lamp is made from several weaved layers of stainless steel, and each OLED panel has an independent movement. The lamp uses Philips' GL350 gen-2 OLED panels (3250K, >90CRI, 33 lm/W)

The Pixelate is available in three sizes:

Universal Display changes stock ticker and web site

Universal Display held their annual shareholder meeting yesterday, during which the company announced it is changing its stock ticker from PANL to OLED (CDT's old ticker). They also launched a new web site domain at

During the ASM, the company reviewed the recent business and financial developments. 2012 was a very successful year for UDC as net income more than tripled, operating income rose 141% and revenues were up 36% compared to 2011. Samsung finally adopted UDC's green PHOLED (emitter and host) for the GS4 smartphone and this is a very positive development for Universal Display.