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 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 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

Reports from Korea suggest that LGD signed OLED supply deals with Mercedes, Volkswagen, Toyota and GM

In 2016 it was reported that Mercedes signed an agreement with LG Display to supply its 12.3" FHD flexible P-OLED displays for a future E-Class automobile. A couple of months ago this was confirmed in a new report from Korea, that also said that Mercedes plans to launch cars with LGD's OLEDs in 2022.

LGD 12.3'' P-OLED automotive concept

A new report from Korea, now says that Mercedes-Benz is planning to adopt LGD's flexible OLED displays starting with some of the Mercedes E Class models it will release in H1 2020. Following that, Mercedes plans to use LGD's P-OLEDs in several cars - both in dashboards and in rear-seat monitors. The Mercedes will use LGD's OLEDs in the form of a wide screen, combining the dashboard and the central infotainment display.

Digitimes - Apple will introduce two new OLED iPhones in 2018

Apple's iPhone X sales were lower than expected, which resulted in a reduction of OLED display orders from SDC (from an estimated 40 million in Q1 2018 to 20 million). Several reports also suggested that Apple may decide to only introduce one new OLED iPhone model in 2018 (the larger 6.5" one, with panels made by LGD).

Apple iPhone X photo

One of these reports came from Taiwan's Digitimes, but a new report from Digitimes suggests that Apple does plan to upgrade its OLED iPhone X in 2018. According to Digitimes, Apple will introduce a slightly larger 5.9" OLED model. In total Apple will buy 110-130 OLED panels in 2018, for all three OLED models (the 2017 iPhone X, the 2018 5.9" iPhone XI and the larger 6.5" OLED iPhone XI plus).

OLED Handbook

LG's Crystal Sound turns flexible OLED lighting panels to speakers

In early 2017 LG introduced its Crystal Sound OLED technology, which vibrates a flexible OLED display panel and turns it into a speaker. This technology can create seamless OLED TV designs that do not require speakers.

LGD Crystal Sound OLED lighting speakers (L+B 2018)

In a very natural move, LGD announced today that it will bring the Crystal Sound technology to its OLED lighting panels as well. LGD will unveil the first OLED lighting speakers at the Light and Building tradeshow next week in Germany. You can see a couple of such lighting speaker designs above.

Google and LGD developed a 1443 PPI 4.3" 120Hz VR AMOLED display

In May 2017, Google announced that it has partnered with "one of the leading OLED makers" to develop a high-end VR display. Google is now set to demonstrate this display at SID 2018 in May.

Google Day Dream VR photo

The new Google-designed display is a 4.3" 18Mp (1443 PPI, probably around 5500x3000 resolution) VR display featuring a refresh rate of 120 Hz. This will be the highest-density OLED display ever (not counting OLED-on-silicon microdisplays). Current VR AMOLEDs in production reach only about 600 PPI.

DSCC sees OLED fab delays and line cancellations ahead

Market analysts from DSCC say that the low utilization rates at Samsung Display has caused the company to delay its capacity expansion plans. SDC's decision to delay its A5 fab has already been discussed, but DSCC now says that Samsung is also significantly delaying the ramp-up at its new A4 line. DSCC estimates that SDC will delay this new line by at least a year.

LG Display has also reportedly cancelled the first phase of their next flexible OLED line, the P7 (which can be a conversion of LGD's old P7 LCD line). DSCC sees LGD ordering equipment for a new flexible OLED line only at the beginning of 2019.

LG Display is also developing large-area Micro-LED TVs

In early 2018 Samsung unveiled its 146" modular Wall Micro-LED TV, and LG Display was quick to announce that it is also developing similar technology. According to reports, LGD aims to unveil its first Micro-LED TV in September 2018 (at IFA perhaps?) - and it will be larger than Samsung's.

Samsung 146'' micro-LED TV, The Wall

Samsung 146-inch Wall Micro-LED TV

Samsung's focus for the premium TV market is on two technologies, Quantum Dots and Micro-LEDs. It is not likely that LG Display is shifting its focus from OLEDs to Micro-LEDs, but it may be that Micro-LEDs will be used for very large area TVs and maybe for modular designs signage displays.

LG Display orders the deposition equipment for its Gen-10.5 line in Paju (P10)

Towards the end of 2015 LG Display announced that it plans to build a new OLED fab (P10) in Paju in a $8.7 billion investment to produce both mid-sized flexible OLED and large-sized OLED TV panels. LGD considered for a while whether this new fab will be based on Gen-8 production or Gen-10.

LG Display production hub in Paju

According to a new report from Korea, LGD has ordered its first batch of deposition equipment for the P10 line, which will be Gen-10.5 (2940 x 3370 mm). The first line will have a production capacity of 30,000 substrates per month, which will greatly increase LGD's total OLED TV production capacity. LGD finished the construction of the building and the fab is expected to be complete in the first half of 2018.

eMagin: Apple, LG and Valve did not participate in the latest offering

On January 2018 OLED microdisplay maker eMagin announced that it plans to raise $11.5 million in an underwritten public offering, and on the company's filing it mentioned five specific investors - Apple, LG Display, Valve Corporation, Stillwater Holdings and Immerex.

eMagin SXGA OLED-XL microdisplay photo

While we all assumed these companies invested in eMagin, the company released a statement yesterday saying that this is not the case - "As of today, to the Company’s knowledge, none of these consumer electronics companies have taken part in the offering.". eMagin's CFO says that "eMagin listed those companies in the filing because it had discussions with them at industry event".

LG, Apple and Valve participated in eMagin's latest funding round

Update: eMagin published a statement saying that these companies (Apple, LG, Valve, Stillwater and Immerex) in fact did not participate in the offering.

On January 2018 OLED microdisplay maker eMagin announced that it plans to raise $11.5 million in an underwritten public offering, which closed on January 29. It turns out that eMagin's SEC filing specifies five investors - Apple, LG Display, Valve Corporation, Stillwater Holdings and Immerex.

eMagin XGA096 OLED-XL photo

eMagin has been saying that it is working with large companies ("Tier-1") on its consumer VR technologies, and it is a very encouraging sign to see this impressive list of new investors. Apple's AR and VR plans are still unknown, but it has been assumed for a long time that Apple is looking into OLED microdisplays, and it's interest in eMagin is not a surprise. LG is also interested in VR and AR displays, and is reportedly collaborating with Google, and it's great to see it investing in eMagin as well.

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