Article last updated on: Jan 17, 2019

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.

LG OLEDW8 photoLG 2018 OLEDW8

Reviews of OLED TVs are terrific, and most experts and consumers agree that these OLED TVs are the best TVs ever produced - with virtually perfect image quality and beautiful form factors. LG is also developing next-generation OLED TV technologies, and has recently demonstrated a 65" rollable TV.

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 Flexible OLEDs for mobile devices

LG currently produces flexible OLEDs (branded as pOLEDs), for both wearable devices and smartphones. LG is the exclusive supplier of AMOLED displays for Apple's Watch smartwatch and it also supplies OLED displays for smartphones - such as the 6.4" 1440x3120 notch-type pOLED used in LG Electronics's V40 ThinQ, introduced in October 2018 and the 6" QHD+ display used by Sony in its Xperia XZ3 flagship. Click here for more information on LG's pOLED displays and its production capabilities.

LG V40 ThinQ photo

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 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.

LG Chem truly flexible OLED lighting panel photo

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.

Further reading

Latest LG OLED news

Will Samsung Electronics start using LGD's OLED TV panels?

According to an interesting report from Korea, Samsung Electronics is discussing a potential supply agreement with LG Display for WOLED TV panels. Samsung is aiming, according to the report, to buy 1 million OLED TV panels in 2021, and 4 million (around 50% of LGD's capacity!) in 2022.

This development, if true, may have a major impact on the industry, and may spur LGD (and other OLED makers) to accelerate OLED TV production and capacity expansion plans.

LG Electronics to close its mobile phone business unit

LG Electronics announced that it will close its mobile phone business unit. LG has lost around $4.5 billion in its smartphone business over the past five years, as competition, especially from China, is strong. LG's global smartphone market share is around 2% and the company did not manage to find a buyer for its money-losing unit.

LG Wing photo

In the past few years LG aimed to focus on high-end phones with new designs, especially the Explorer series of next-generation phone designs and technologies. The first Explorer phone was the LG Wing, a unique smartphone that sports dual displays in a swivel revolving display design. The Wing sports a main 6.8-inch 2460x1080 flexible LGD P-OLED display and another 3.9-inch 1240x1080 G-OLED (LG's rigid OLED brand) display.

OLED Handbook

Skyworth launches a 65-inch bendable OLED TV, and an 88" 8K one

China-based TV maker Skyworth announced two exciting new OLED TVs. First up is the the Skyworth W82, which is the world's first bendable TV, that can change from a flat screen to a curved one (with a curvature radius of 1000R), which Skyworth says is suitable especially for gamers.

The W82 sports a 65-inch 120Hz WOLED TV panel and features Dolby Vision, HDR10, Skyworth's AI Picture Quality 4K engine, VRR and 240Hz Crystal Motion OLED. The TV will start shipping in May 2021 in China for 29,999 Yuan (around $4,575).

You can now pre-order LG's rollable OLED TV in the UK, for 99,999 GBP

A few days ago we reported that LG Electronics is getting ready to launch its 65" rollable OLED TV, the 65RX OLED TV globally. And now the rollable TV is available to pre-order in the UK. The price is £99,999 - or around $137,000. This is higher than the price is Korea, which is around $87,000. If LG manages to find customers, it will ship the TV form Korea.

LG rollable OLED TV RX photo

LG started shipping the TV in Korea in October 2020. Last month it was reported that LG sold only 10 units.

LG Display's OLED TV panels receive a 'discomfort glare-free' verification from UL

LG Display announced that its OLED TV panels obtained a 'Discomfort Glare Free' verification from UL, a leading global safety science company. LGD says that this is the first display ever to be recognized as a display that emits no glare.

LGD OLED TV Discomfort Glare Free UL Verification photo

UL’s testing is based on the Unified Glare Rating (UGR), a glare assessment recognized by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE). The verification mark is issued only when the UGR is 22 or less when watching TV between 70 lux (lx), which is about the brightness of a bedroom floor lamp, and 300 lux (lx), which is equivalent to the light from a bright window.

Mercedes unveils the interior cabin of its upcoing EQS EV, with its unique 56-inch flexible OLED display

A few months ago Mercedes announced that its upcoming EQS electric vehicle will adopt a large curved front display, 56-inch in size, called the MBUX Hyperscreen. Today the company unveiled the interior cabin of the EQS:

Mercedes EQS interior photo

The display is 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. The whole AI-enabled system is powered by 8 CPU cores and 24 GB of RAM.

DSCC sees a low utilization rate at flexible OLED lines in H1 2020, high utilization at rigid OLED lines

DSCC says that flexible OLED fab utilization has been low since the beginning of 2021, and this will remain so for the next quarter as well. Utilization at rigid OLED lines is higher. This has been the pattern in previous years - lower production in the first half of the year and higher volumes at the second half of the year.

OLED and LCD fab utilization rates (2019-2021 H1, DSCC)

LG's OLED TV fab utilization has been historically very high (and close to 100%) - until 2020 which have seen lower utilization due the ramp-up at the Guangzhou fab. But in 2021 LG has managed to increase its yields again.

LG to ship the OLED C1 OLED TVs towards the end of April 2021

LG Electronics will soon start shipping its 2021 OLED TVs. The OLED C1, which will likely to be the company's most popular OLED TV, can now be pre-ordered in the US, starting at $2,000 for the 55-inch model. The 65-inch model costs $2,750. Both TVs will ship by the end of April 2021. We do not know the prices yet for the other sizes (the OLED C1 offers 120Hz 4K 48-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, 77-inch and also 83-inch panels).

LG C1 OLED TV photo

The 2021 C1 OLED TV range features LG's 4th generation a9 AI processor, the company's latest webOS v6 and supports HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos. For gamers, the TVs offer HDMI 2.1, G-SYNC, FreSync, VRR and ALLM.

Cambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDsCambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDs