A couple of days ago we reported that according to tests by DisplayMate, SDC's new 5.1" FHD Super AMOLED panel (used in the GS5) is a lot more efficient than Samsung's previous generation panels (a 27% compared to the GS4 which is actually a little smaller). DisplayMate's Raymond Soneira told us that Samsung said that the improvement mostly came from more efficient OLED materials.
This is quite interesting, and according to my own checks, it seems that indeed Samsung is using new materials. In fact, my sources say that Samsung adoped new and improved phosphorescent materials.
It may be the UDC is supplying Samsung with a new red emitter, green host or green emitter. Although I would have assumed we'd know if UDC had a new, more efficient commercial. The only new public commercial material from UDC lately was a new red material that achieved commercial status a few months ago (this was reported by UDC in May 2013). But UDC said that this specific red PHOLED only improves the lifetime and not the efficiency of the previous red (it was also reported that this specific red emitter is aimed towards OLED TV applications).
This may be a nice surprise for UDC investors. A new red (or green) material may mean that the volume discounts Samsung enjoyed will be defaulted and so UDC may see a jump in near term revenue. We'll probably know more when we see UDC's next quarterly report. Another possible scenario is that Samsung switched to a different red host (not currently supplied by UDC).
Disclosure: the author of this post holds some shares in Universal Display