OLED is an emerging display technology that uses thin films of organic materials to make efficient, thin and high quality displays. OLED panels can made flexible, rollable and transparent. Korea's LG is at the forefront of OLED development and production - as the world's only OLED TV producer and a leading developer of flexible OLED and OLED lighting panels. LG's subsidiary LG Display is responsible for OLED R&D and panel production, while LG Electronics produces and markets OLED TVs.
LG OLED TVs
LG's 2018 OLED TV lineup include the flagship Wallpaper OLEDW8 (which attaches to the wall using magnets), the OLED-on-glass OLEDE8, the basic OLEDC8 and the entry level OLEDB8. The only TV that is shipping now is the 55" OLEDC8 which is priced at $2,500 (note: this is an affiliated link to Amazon).
As of 2018, the only company that produces produces commercial OLED TV panels is LG Display, and LG Electronics is the leading OLED TV producer - although LGD also supplies OLED panels to other companies including including Panasonic, Sony, Grundig, Philips, Metz, Loewe, Skyworth, Changhong, Haier, Konka and others.
While the basic OLED TV design uses RGB OLED sub-pixels to create each 'pixel' (what is referred to as direct emission OLED, the design used in mobile OLED displays used in Samsung's and Apple's smartphones, for example), LG Display opted for a different OLED TV design. The so-called WRGB (or WOLED-CF) architecture uses four white OLED subpixels with color filters on top (hence W+RBG). The WRGB technology (developed by Kodak and now owned by LG Display) is much easier to produce and scale-up, even though it has some technical disadvantages - and it is the technology that enabled LG to be the first company to actually produce commercial OLED TV panels.
LG Display is developing and producing OLED lighting panels, and the company is one of the leaders in OLED lighting. The company produces several panels, including flexible OLED panels and high efficiency panels. In December 2017 LG started mass production at its new 5-Gen OLED lighting fab in Gumi, Korea.
The 5-Gen line 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. 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.
LG Display reported its Q4 2021 financial results. Revenues increased 18% compared to Q4 2020, and reached $7.3 billion, while net income fell to $150 million down from $500 million a year ago. LGD says that the drop in profit is due to one-off costs related to employee bonuses, and lower LCD panel prices.
For the whole of 2021, LG Display recorded all-time high revenues of $25 billion, with a 23% increase over 2020.
The 2022 Mercedes EQE electric car comes with either a 12.8-inch AMOLED or (optionally) Mercedes' MBUX Hyperscreen. The Hyperscreen is a 56-inch display, actually made from three different OLED units, embedded in a single glass display. There's a central 17.7-inch panel plus two 12.3-inch panels. The 56-inch glass also includes holes for the air-vents which are integrated into the display.
Construction equipment maker Doosan Bobcat is showing a new electric excavator concept that features a see-through AR windshield display that is based on a transparent OLED.
Bobcat's E35e concept uses LGD's 55" FHD transparent OLED to overlay information for the operator, such as the location and conditions of a construction site. The display is touch enabled so the operator can perform functions through the display, and even control other excavators from a distance.
Market research firm Omdia estimates that 5.58 million OLED laptop displays shipped in 2021, up 389% from 2020. The leading producer is Samsung Display with a 84% market share, followed by LG Display (10%) and BOE (5%).
Omdia estimates that in five years, OLED penetration into the laptop display market could exceed 10%. The total laptop display market in 2021 amounted to 280.85 million panels.
A new report from Korea suggests that Samsung and LGD have finally reached an agreement over panel prices (Samsung will pay the same as LG Electronics), and it is estimated that an official agreement will be reached soon. Samsung plans to unveil its first WOLED TV in July 2022.
Sony announced its 2022 TV lineup, which includes three new OLED TV series, including the A95K, which is the world's first QD-OLED TV ever announced.
The Sony A95K Master XR TV will feature 55" or 65" 4K 120Hz QD-OLED panels (produced by SDC), Sony's XR cognitive processor, Acoustic Surface Audio, XR Triluminos Max and Google TV OS. It features HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision.
According to reports from Korea, LG and Samsung did not reach an agreement on WOLED panel prices, even though LGD agreed to offer its WOLED panels to Samsung at a lower cost than it sells these to LG Electronics.
LG Display unveiled its latest OLED TV technology, branded as OLED EX. LG says that these WOLED panels combine new deuterium compounds and personalized algorithms to improve the image quality and increase brightness by up to 30%. EX is an acronym of Evolution and eXperience.
LG Display says that it has "successfully converted the hydrogen elements present in organic light emitting elements into stable deuterium". LGD extracts the deuterium compounds from water, and after stabilization, the compounds allow the OLED devices to be brighter - and also last longer.
First up is the Shopping Managing Showcase which uses a wooden display stand. This retail application is "ideal for luxurious department stores as it can "display eye-catching visual content on the screen that harmonizes with the products on display behind".