Samsung sold 40 million GS4 phones in six months

Samsung announced today that they sold over 40 million Galaxy S4 phones worldwide, six months after launching their flagship phone. This is an impressive number but it's actually lower than Samsung first anticipated - the company hoped to sell 10 million devices a month and reach 100 million sales.

Samsung's GS4 features a 4.99" Full-HD (1920x1280, 441 PPI) Super AMOLED display, an Octa-core (Quadcore in some models) 1.6Ghz CPU, 2GB of memory, 13 mp camera and a 2,600 mAh battery. The GS4 includes a lot of new software features and special UI controls, include the Adapt Display which allows extensive display calibration adjustments.

Samsung sells their stake in their LCD glass JV to Corning, will take a 7.4% stake in Corning

Corning and Samsung announced a complicated deal today - Corning will buy out Samsung Display's stake in their LCD glass joint venture (Samsung Corning Precision Materials, or SCP). In exchange, Samsung will receive convertible preferred shares in Corning that are valued at $1.9 billion and will acquire more shares for $400 million. If Samsung converts all these shares, they will own 7.4% of Corning.

Corning Lotus XT

Corning estimates that this move will add about $2 billion in annual sales and about $350 million in profit. As part of the deal, the two companies signed a new 10-year LCD display glass supply agreement. Corning will also buy other minority shareholders in SCP for about $300 million, and will also pay a special $1.4 billion dividend payment to SDC.

Samsung Gear now supports the GS4, GS3, Note 2 and more devices

When Samsung launched the Galaxy Gear, the only devices that could connect to it were the new Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. Now Samsung announced that it is offering Android updates (to v4.3) to more devices (including the GS4, GS3 and the Note 2) and these will now be able to connect to the Galaxy Gear.

Samsung Galaxy Gear photo

The Galaxy Gear, Samsung's first smartwatch, features a 1.63" 320x320 (275 PPI) Super AMOLED display, a 1.9 mp camera (720p videos), 800Mhz processor, 4GB of storage, 512MB of RAM, Bluetooth 4, and a 315 mAh non-removeable battery. The gear now shipping from Amazon for $299.99.

Samsung's Galaxy Round - does it really use a plastic-based flexible OLED?

Update: It seems to me that Samsung did clarify this issue saying that this is not a glass-based display, but I'm not 100% sure yet.

On October 9th, Samsung launched the world's first device with a flexible OLED display, the Galaxy Round smartphone - with it's curved 5.7" Full-HD flexible Super AMOLED. Strangely Samsung does not refer to this display as a YOUM display, which is the brand name for plastic-based OLEDs they launched at CES 2013.

In their PR, Samsung also never mentioned that this display is "unbreakable" - which is one of the biggest advantages of plastic-based OLEDs. Samsung's design is also much less exciting that the design prototypes they unveiled at CES that used a YOUM display. A couple of weeks ago I thought that perhaps this display uses a glass substrate and not a plastic one, which will explain everything. I checked with my sources and they said that it is using plastic and this is a YOUM display.

LG Display confirms flexible OLEDs in production, monthly production capacity at 6,000 Gen-4.5 substrates

In October 7, LG Display announced that it will soon start mass producing flexible OLEDs. Today we have talked with LG Display officials, and they confirmed that mass production has indeed started. The company currently makes 6" panels that weigh just 7.2 grams are are only 0.44 mm thick (only a third of the thickness of LG's thinnest mobile LCDs).

LGD updates us that the current flexible OLED production capacity in their 4.5-Gen line is 6,000 substrates a month (previously we reported that capacity will be 12,000 substrates). Perhaps the rest of the capacity is dedicated to R&D. In any case 6,000 substrates a month means almost 400,000 6" panels - assuming 100% yields. Of course yields will be lower but it seems that LGD indeed means to produce a fair share of displays and it'll be interesting how they (or other companies) adopt these panels in products.

LG G Flex

LG's G Flex is the first phone that uses LG Display's flexible plastic OLED display. The G Flex has a 6" 720p RGB flexible OLED display made by LG Display that is curved from top to bottom (unlike Samsung's Galaxy Round which is curved from left to right).

The G Flex has a 2.3Ghz Snapdragon S800 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal memory, a 13MP camera, NFC, Android 4.2.2 and a 3500mAh non-removable battery (LG Chem's curved battery). The G Flex has two rear-mounted buttons and a "self-healing" back (that will heal scratches quickly).

LG's G Flex leaks again, this time with video

Update: The G Flex is finally official, with a 6" curved plastic OLED

LG is soon to release its first phone with a flexible OLED display, the G Flex. A few days ago Engadget got hold of some "press renders" showing the upcoming phone, and now Argentinian broadcaster Telefe managed to get hold of the device, showing a video of it in action (the video also includes Samsung's Galaxy Round). Unfortunately I cannot show the video here, but you can watch it at Telefenoticias.

LG G Flex leaked photo

The G Flex will use a 6" flexible OLED display made by LG Display that is curved from top to bottom. I think this makes more sense than Samsung's Galaxy Round which is curved from left to right. From the video you can see that the G Flex has rear-mounted buttons (like in LG's G2). The camera is reportedly 13 mp and that's all we know currently. LG will release the G Flex in Korea soon, and will probably not release it anywhere else (similarly to Samsung).

CNet: it may be time for Apple to consider OLED displays

CNet is reviewing Apple's iPhone 5s against Motorola's Moto X smartphone. This week they are comparing the display. The reviewer says that the Moto X display (a 4.7" 720p AMOLED, 316 ppi, non PenTile) is excellent and it may be time for Apple to consider using AMOLEDs in their products.

CNet correctly explains why Apple cannot yet use OLEDs though: there's a single supplier (SDC) with limited capacity, OLEDs still cost more than LCDs and they are more power hungry. These things will improve in the future, and the reviewer concludes that "Apple would be stupid not to use the display technology down the road".

AUO's president confirms that the company started mass producing AMOLEDs

Last week we reported that AUO finally started AMOLED mass production. Today AUO's president Paul Peng confirmed this report in an interview: "AUO has made progress in developing AMOLED and has begun volume production of small-size AMOLED panels".

AUO 4.4'' 413PPI prototype photoAUO 4.4-inch AMOLED prototype

According to our information, AUO is mass producing AMOLEDs in their AFPD fab in Singapore. This is a Gen-4.5 LTPS fab that was converted for AMOLED production. The fab has a monthly capacity of 45,000 substrates (we're not sure if all lines were converted to OLED though).

Cheil Industries completes Novaled's acquisition

A couple of months ago Samsung announced it is acquiring Novaled for €260 million (almost $350 million). Today the Novaled announced that the deal is closed and the company is officially now owned by Samsung.

So now Novaled is owned by Samsung Cheil Industries (50%), Samsung Electronics (40%) and Samsung Venture Investment (10%). Samsung actually paid €230 million, and the rest of the amount (€30 million) is conditional to reaching certain milestones.

Cambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDsCambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDs