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 Lighting

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 320x320 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 early 2017. The new fab will enable LG to increase production volume and cut prices dramatically.

Further reading

Latest LG OLED news

A report from Korea claims that LGD decided to produce LCDs and not OLEDs in its upcoming P10 fab

May 22, 2017

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. Production was planned for the first half of 2018.

LG Display P10 construction photo

According to a new report from Korea, LGD decided to scrap these plans and use the P10 fab to produce LCD panels and not OLEDs. LGD will establish a 10.5-Gen production line and will start making large-area LCDs (mostly 75" TV panels) towards the end of 2018.

LG launches its 77" Wallpaper OLEDW7 TV in Korea for $30,000

May 18, 2017

LG Electronics launched its 77" Signature OLEDW7 Wallpaper TV in Korea, with a price tag of 33 million Won (almost $30,000, although there's a 4 million Won discount if you order before the end of June). LG aims to gradually release its flagship TV globally in the coming months.

LG 77'' OLEDW7 Korea launch event

LG's OLED W7 is the company's top-of-the-line OLED TV for 2017. The TV is extremely thin (2.57 mm all the way) and attaches to the wall using magnets. A thin cable on the bottom connects to the sound bar. Other features include a 4K resolution, HDR support (to four different standards), WebOS 3.5 and Dolby Atmos sound. The 65" model is now shipping for around $8,000.

OLED Automotive Market Report

LG to start adopting flexible OLEDs in all its premium smartphones, starting with the V30

May 17, 2017

LG Display's 900 million E5 line in Gumi is scheduled to start producing flexible AMOLED soon, and according to the Korea Herald LG aims to adopt flexible OLEDs in its upcoming V30 smartphone (due out in September) and also in the 2018 G7 phone.

LG 6'' flexible OLED edge phone prototype photo

The Korea Herald says that LG aims to start adopting OLEDs in all its future smartphones - although it is likely that the Korean maker will only use OLEDs in premium phones (especially as it is only producing high-end flexible OLEDs rather than glass based ones). LGD will also reportedly devote some of its capacity to Chinese phone makers.

LG Display reports a record quarter, increases OLED investment

Apr 27, 2017

LG Display reported its financial results for Q1 2017 - with a record operating profit of just over $900 million as the selling price of its display panel increase.

LG Display says that the company is increasing its investment into OLEDs (going forward 70% of its capital expenditures will go to OLED production and R&D), and is also increasing production of OLED TV panels. The company is currently making about 300,000 OLED TV panels in a quarter, but this will be increased to 500,000 in the second half of 2017.

LG Display is developing higher image quality OLEDs for broadcast monitors

Apr 21, 2017

LG Display announced that it developed an OLED display with a higher image quality and high color uniformity. LG Display says it is aiming to use these new OLEDs in broadcast monitors.

LGD says that the new displays feature a "Real Black" image. LG Display used various OLED and TFT compensation technologies to achieve this high uniformity and better image quality. LG Display will provide more information at SID DisplayWeek 2017 next month.

LGD to supply Xiaomi with curved flexible OLED panels

Apr 19, 2017

Reports from Korea suggest LG Display has secured an OLED supply deal to Xiaomi, for the company's next-gen flagship phone. LGD will supply Xiaomi with curved flexible OLEDs, similar to the ones used in Xiamoi's Mi Note 2.

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 photo

According to the report, LGD already supplies flexible OLEDs for Xiaomi's Mi Note 2 - but with very limited volume. Once LG's E5 fab starts producing panels later this year the company's capacity will be increased dramatically and it will be able to support volume production to Xiaomi - and also to other handset makers in China. We recently reported that Apple is in talks with LGD regarding flexible OLED supply for the 2018 iPhone, and other reports say that Google is also discussing a possible supply agreement with LGD.

Apple wants LGD to supply it with flexible OLEDs starting in 2018

Apr 17, 2017

Apple is moving forward with its 2017 flexible OLED phones, and the company has to rely exclusively on Samsung Display as SDC is the only OLED maker capable to produce the capacity Apple needs and the quality flexible OLEDs.

LG Display 5.5'' flexible AMOLED panel (SID 2015)

But in 2018 LGD is also planning to ramp up its flexible OLED capacity, and according to a new report from Business Korea LGD was approached by Apple with an aim to secure LG's capacity for Apple's 2018 phones. LGD reportedly did not yet make a decision - which will have to be made at the end of June once its new Flexible OLED fab comes online.

Skyworth unveils its own Wallpaper OLED TV

Apr 14, 2017

Skyworth has been producing OLED TVs since 2014, and the China-based TV maker has now unveiled its latest two OLED TVs, the S9E and the Wallpaper OLED TV. The Wallpaper one resembles LG's Wallpaper OLEDW7 TVs and also use a design that enables hanging the 3.6 mm screen on the wall and connecting the input box via a cable.

Skyworth Wallpaper OLED TV photo

Skyworth's Wallpaper OLED TV will cost ¥99,999 ($14,500) for the 65" model - which is almost double than LG's OLEDW7 ($7,999)!

ETNews: Google wants to invest $872 million in LGD to help secure flexible OLEDs for its next-gen Pixel phone

Apr 11, 2017

ETNews reports that Google aims to help LG Display to scale up its production of flexible OLED panels. Google offered to invest 1 trillion Korean Won ($872 million USD) as it seeks to adopt LG's flexible OLEDs in future Pixel phone devices.

Google Pixel photo

Google first-gen Pixel use rigid AMOLED displays produced by Samsung Display, but Google reportedly could not get enough displays from Samsung Display (Google is not alone with this problem). Google wants to secure its supply of flexible OLEDs - the same as Apple does with its deal with SDC.

LG Display expects 50% of its revenue to come from OLED displays by 2020

Apr 08, 2017

LG Display's CTO says that the company current generates about 10% of its revenues from OLED displays, but it expects OLED's share to reach 50% by 2020.

LG 2017 OLED TV lineup photo

Currently almost all of LGD's OLED revenues come from OLED TV panels. LGD managed to reach production yields of 80% in two years, while this took 10 years to reach the same yields in LCD production. The price decline rate of OLEDs have been faster than that of LCDs - which makes LGD optimistic it will be able to increase production and profits going forward. OLEDs of course also have other advantages of LED LCDs, including the possibility of a flexible design.