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

Some of Google's Pixel 2 XL P-OLED displays are better than originally reported

Google 's Pixel 2 XL (which started shipping in October 2017) is one of the first two phones to adopt LG Display's new 6" 1440x2880 (538 PPI) P-OLEDs (alongside with LG's own V30). While on paper these displays are superb, actual reviews were rather dismal - as both reviewers and customers complained about bad color reproduction, graininess and problematic viewing angles. In addition many users seem to report serious image retention issues.

According to reports in 2017, LGD faced very low yields at its 6-Gen E5 line, and so had to produce these smartphone displays at its Gen-4.5 flexible AMOLED line. Some users are now saying that these issues do not plague all of Google's phone - and some come with noticeable better displays. This should be good news for LGD and it's likely that as the company gains more experience with smartphone P-OLED production, it will produce better looking displays in better yields.

Business Korea: Mercedes to adopt LGD's flexible OLED displays in 2022

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. Business Korea now claims that LGD is indeed jointly developing specific OLEDs for future Mercedes cars, and the plan is to launch these in 2022.

LGD 12.3'' P-OLED automotive concept

LGD is already supply Mercedes with displays for its cars - but these are LCDs and not OLEDs (it also supplies these LCDs to other car makers, including Toyota, GM and Hyundai). LG Display is also supplying Mercedes with OLED lighting panels for its 2018 S-Class Coupe and Convertible.

Transparent OLEDs Market Report

Here is LGD's rollable 65" OLED TV prototype

LG Display is demonstrating its latest prototype at CES, a 65" rollable OLED TV that can roll inside its base when not in use. The video below shows this display in action, although we cannot see how the display actually rolls inside the box which is a shame:

Remember that this is still just a prototype display, and it's likely that LGD has no immediate plans to actually release such a display. Last year LGD said it plans to bring rollable OLED TVs to market by 2020.

LGD brings a rollable 65" OLED TV to CES 2018

LG Electronics is bringing its new OLED TV lineup to CES this week, and LG Display already said it will demonstrate a 88-inch 8K OLED panel at the trade show. However the most exciting display will probably be LGD's newest prototype - a 65" rollable OLED TV that comes with a base that holds the TV when it is rolled away.

LGD 65'' rollable OLED TV, CES 2018

This is a prototype display, and it's likely that LGD has no immediate plans to actually release such a display. Last year LGD did say it plans to bring rollable OLED TVs to market by 2020.

Korea Herald: LGD will start supplying Apple with flexible OLEDs in 2018

The Korea Herald claims that LG Display is in the final stages of its discussions with Apple, and the Korean OLED maker expects to supply 15-16 million flexible OLEDs to Apple in 2018. According to the report, LG will supply Apple with 6.5" AMOLEDs for its 2018 large iPhone OLED variant.

Apple iPhone X side photo

Samsung Display will remain Apple's main OLED supplier, and this new report says that SDC will supply apple with more than 120 million 5.8" OLEDs in 2018. An earlier report by Business Korea estimated that SDC will supply Apple with 180-200 OLEDs in 2018.

CLSA: Samsung's OLED production will grow 26% in 2018 to reach 570 million units

CLSA estimates that in 2017 Samsung Display produced 450 million OLED displays, and this will grow 26% in 2018 to reach 570 million units. Samsung's current capacity for flexible OLEDs is about 330-385.

Oppo A79 photo

Looking at the OLED TV market, CLSA expects it to continue its fast growth. Global OLED TV shipments will grow to 2.7 million units in 2018 (up from 1.6 million in 2017). LG Display is said to shift its focus to larger panel production (65-inch and 77-inch) so this may effect the number of panels produced.

LG announces its 2018 OLED TV lineup, no big surprises there

LG Electronics announced its 2018 OLED TV lineup. The company updated all of its models, except the OLEDG7 which will not get a successor in 2018. All the TVs are based on new a9 "intelligent processor" that promises better color and fast smart TV (webOS) operations - except the entry-level B8 which uses a scaled-down version of the chip.

LG OLEDW8 photo

The OLEDW8 will be LG's flagship TV for this year, a wallpaper design OLED TV which attaches to the wall using magnets - with a thin cable that connects to the sound bar and interface box. Like all the rest of the TVs, the W8 will support Google's Assistant for natural language control, Dolby Atmos, HDR and 4K HFR (120Hz).

LG Display developed the world's first 88" 8K OLED display

LG Display announced that it has developed the world's first 88-inch 8K (7680x4320) OLED display. LGD will demonstrate this at CES 2018 next week and it seems as if it aims to launch this as a product soon as it says this will expand its OLED product portfolio.

LGD 88'' 8K OLED prototype photo

A couple of weeks ago it was reported that LGD indeed aims to focus on larger-area OLED TVs going forward. LG's current 77" OLEDs start at $9,999 (for the OLEDG7 model), and we can expect a 88" OLED to be much more expensive (a 88" TV has a 30% larger area than a 77", but yields will be lower and of course this is a high premium TV size).

Korea approves LGD's plan to build an OLED TV fab in China

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

Reuters reports today that LGD's plan was officially approved today. The Korean government did LGD committed to increase its use of Korean materials and equipment, invest more in Korea and strengthen security checks at its production fabs.