Business Korea - LG may decide to shut down its flexible OLED smartphone business to focus on automotive OLED displays

LG Display currently produces flexible OLEDs (branded as pOLEDs), for both wearable devices and smartphones, is the exclusive supplier of AMOLED displays for Apple's Watch smartwatch (although this could change soon) and it also supplies OLED displays for various smartphones, including the company's own flagship phones.LG V40 ThinQ photo

LG Display has been struggling, though - with low yields, poor display quality and securing orders. According to a new report from Business Korea, there is some skepticism regarding the viability of this business - including some inside LG Display's management itself.

Business Korea says that LG Display may decide to shut down its flexible OLED smartphone business, and focus on automotive OLED displays (in a somewhat similar move to what it may have decided to do with its OLED lighting business).

LG Display has several flexible OLED production fabs. The first one is a pilot 4.5-Gen line, with limited capacity - and so the E2 line is used to produce LGD's flexible wearable OLED displays. LG Display's main current fab is its E5 line in Gumi, which has a monthly capacity of 7,500 monthly 6-Gen substrates (or about 1.5 million 5.5" panels at 100% yields). The new lab started pilot production in early 2017, even though it took LGD time to stabilize the production which only actually in earnest in 2018.

LG Display production hub in Paju

LG Display is constructing a third flexible OLED line, the E6 line in Paju which is another 6-Gen line, but with a larger capacity of 15,000 monthly substrates. The E6 line is expected to begin production towards the end of 2018.

LG's fourth flexible OLED line may be built at the company's large P10 display production complex in Paju. The P10 will be a large display complex with a total investment of close to $10 billion - but will mostly produce OLED TV panels. It could include a flexible OLED line, but LG's plans are not finalized yet, its seems.

Posted: Apr 16,2019 by Ron Mertens