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 is the world's clear leader in OLED TV technologies. LG Display is the only company that produces commercial panels (although China's BOE is also entering production), and LG Electronics has several OLED TV models on the market - ranging in size from 55" to 77". Some of these are flat, and some are curved, and all the latest models support 4K (UHD) resolution and HDR. Reviews of LG's OLED TVs are great, and most experts say that these are the best TVs ever produced - with virtually perfect image quality. Following is a table of LG's 2016 models (LG's 2017 OLEDTV models are just entering the market now as well)

LG OLED65C6P photo
Curved 55"/65" ($2,497 / $3,499)
LG OLED65E6P photo
Flat high-end 55"/65" ($3,499 / $4,999)

In early 2017 LG launched updated 2017 models, and the company's new flag ship TV is the Wallpaper Signature OLEDW7. These extremely thin TVs (2.57 mm all the way) attach to the wall using magnets. LG Display also supplies panels to other companies - including Panasonic, Sony, Grundig, Philips, Metz, Loewe, Skyworth, Changhong, Haier, Konka and KTC.

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 such as those in Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Apple's Watch), 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 Flexible OLEDs for mobile devices

LG currently produces plastic-based OLEDs in its Gen-4.5 fab, with a monthly capacity of 14,000 substrates (more than double its capacity in the beginning of 2014). LG Display's flexible AMOLEDs were used in LG's mobile phones (the G Flex 2) and are currently used in wearable devices (such as the Wear 2.0 Watch Sport) and in Apple's Watch and Watch Series 2.



LG's flexible OLED capacity is quite limited at this stage, but the company is set to dramatically increase its production capacity. With 3 flexible OLED fabs already underway. The first one will be the the E5 6-Gen (1500x1850 mm) $900 million line that is scheduled to begin mass production in the first half of 2017.

LG Transparent OLEDs

LG are also working on transparent OLEDs. In 2014 LGD unveiled a 18" transparent OLED prototype, and later in 2016 LGD demonstrated transparent 55" FHD AMOLED display prototypes. These panels are not yet in production, but hopefully LG will start producing these eventually.

LG OLED Light

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 the world's largest OLEDs (at 300x300 mm) and the world's first flexible OLEDs (on a glass substrate).

LG Chem truly flexible OLED lighting panel photo

LG's current OLED lighting production capacity is limited, but the company is constructing a Gen-5 OLED lighting fab that will enter production in late 2017. The new fab will enable LG to increase production volume and cut prices dramatically.

Further reading

Latest LG OLED news

UBI: The price gap between premium OLED and LCD TVs is almost gone

Nov 16, 2017

UBI Research is tracking the price of premium TV sold on Amazon.com in the US. As competition intensifies, the price gap between OLED and LCD TVs keeps getting lower - to the point where is not much difference between a high end Samsung QLED TV and LG's OLEDC7 OLED TVs.

LCD vs OLED TV price gap, (UBI Research, 2016-2017)

In December 2016, the price gap between a 65" LG OLED TV to a 65" Samsung SUHD TV was about $1,000. The price gap as of today is only about $300. The price gap for a 55" TV is even lower (around $200).

New videos show the latest LG Display OLED installations in Korea and Hong Kong

Nov 13, 2017

LG Display published three very nice videos showcasing three new OLED lighting installations. First up is an OLED chandelier that was specifically designed for the presidential suite suite in the Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong.

As you can see in the video above, the Chandelier has a unique design that uses 36 modules each with 4 OLED Panels (for a total of 144 10x10 cm panels). The project managers (TELCS Lighting Design and Consutancy) and the chandelier designer (Joyce Wang Studio) say that only OLED lighting panels provided them with the light quality and design possibilities that they wanted.

OLED for VR and AR Market Report

IKEA launches its first OLED lamp, the Vitsand chandelier

Nov 11, 2017

IKEA launched its first OLED lamp, the Vitsand - a chandelier with 7 OLED panels. The Vitsand provides 700 lumens at 2700K. Each panel is about 77 lm/W (total 7W). The lamp is dimmable, and the panels unfortunately cannot be replaced.

IKEA Vitsand OLED photo

The Vitsand is now available in IKEA Europe for €199. It is great to see OLED lighting enter a retail store like IKEA, even though the price is still very high. The panels are likely made by LG Display but we are not sure.

Tom's Guide: the iPhone X has the best OLED display on the market

Nov 04, 2017

Tom's guide posted an interesting review that compares the OLED display of the iPhone X (5.8" 1125x2436) to the OLED displays of the Galaxy Note 8 (6.3" 2960x1440) and the Google Pixel 2 XL (LGD 6" 2960x1440 P-OLED). This is Apple's first OLED phone, but Tom's Guide finds it superior to the OLEDs used by the other phones, especially if you want a realistic color reproduction.

OLED viewing angles comparison (Nov 2017, Tom's Guide)

The review shows how the iPhone is brighter than the other displays (574 nits, compared to 438 nits no the Pixel 2 XL and 408 nits on the Note 8. This test was performed for full-screen content. The Note 8 can actually achieve 1,240 nits but on specialized conditions and only when a small part of the screen is active.

The Korea Government approves LG's Guangzhou OLED TV fab

Nov 01, 2017

In July 2017 LG Display announced that it has decided to build a 8.5-Gen (2200x2500) OLED line in Guangzhou, China, to make OLED TV panels. The Korean government hesitated whether to approve this plan, as it sees OLED as a strategic technology Korea' economy and this is the first time a Korean company plans to build an OLED fab outside of Korea.

LG Display's LCD fab in Guangzhou, China

According to a rather confusing report from Business Korea, it seems that the Korean Government committee decided to approve this plan, and LG is now free to start constructing its fab. The new fab, according to the initial plan at least, will be a joint-venture with the local government and LGD will hold a 70% share. The total cost for this fab will be KRW2.6 trillion ($2.3 billion USD).

LGD shipped over 200,000 OLED TV panels in September

Oct 31, 2017

LG Display announced that it has shipped over 200,000 OLED TV panels in September, over double the volume compared to September 2016. LGD is seeing high demand for its OLED TV panels, mostly from LG Electronics and Sony.

Sony XBR-A1E OLED TV, on sale in Tokyo (July 2017)

LGD expects OLED shipments to reach 210,00 units in November 2017. The company aims to produce 1.7 million OLED TV panels in 2017, and as new capacity comes on line the shipments in 2018 will reach 2.5 million panels.

LGD: OLED holds 25% of the premium TV market share in Europe, details its product roadmap

Oct 29, 2017

During a press event in the UK, LG Display said that OLED technology holds 25% of the premium TV market in Europe. The company defines this market as TVs sold over 1,300 Euro. The market share in Benelux and Italy is 35% and in the UK it is 31%.

LG OLED premium TV market share 2016-2017

LGD also detailed its product roadmap. All of its OLED TVs in 2017 support 4K, and the company hopes to add 8K support in 2019 - when it will also release 80" OLEDs.

DSCC: Here's why LGD wants to build its new OLED TV fab in China

Oct 29, 2017

In July 2017 LG Display announced that it has decided to build a 8.5-Gen (2200x2500) OLED line in Guangzhou, China, to make OLED TV panels. This is the first time a Korean company plans to produce OLEDs outside of Korea, and the Korean government is still considering whether to approve this plan as it sees OLED as a strategic technology Korea' economy.

55'' OLED TV panel production cost, 2016-2022 China vs Korea (DSCC)

Beyond lower-wages in China compared to Korea and the proximity to the huge Chinese market, LG is looking for a subsidy from the local government. LG Display's Guangzhou OLED line is supposed to be a joint-venture with the local government, where LGD will hold a 70% share.

DSCC: LGD will start mass producing top-emission OLED TV panels in 2019

Oct 27, 2017

LGD's current OLED TV panels use a bottom-emission architecture, but according to DSCC LGD is aiming to shift their production process to a top-emission design starting in 2019. LG currently has a pilot capacity of about 3,000 monthly top-emission substrates, and plans to start mass production (with over 10,000 monthly substrates) in 2019.

Toshiba X97 photo

DSCC says that top-emission will be required for 65" 8K panels as a bottom-emission design will not be bright enough with such a high density. The shift to top-emission will increase the aperture ratio (=brightness) by around 10%.

Google responds to user complains on the Pixel 2 XL display

Oct 27, 2017

Google started shipping its Pixel 2 XL smartphone a few weeks ago, and this is one of the first two phones to adopt LG Display's new 6" 1440x2880 (538 PPI) P-OLEDs. While on paper these displays are superb, actual reviews were rather dismal - to the point that some reviewers say that these are simply "bad displays".

Google Pixel 2 XL photo

Both reviewers and customers complain about bad color reproduction, graininess and problematic viewing angles. In addition many users seem to report serious image retention issues. Google has now posted an update regarding the Pixel 2 XL display.

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