Article last updated on: Jan 17, 2019

ETNews: Chinese OLED producers are attempting to find customers in Korea's smartphone industry

In July we reported that LG Electronics is in talks with China-based BOE to supply OLED panels for future smartphones, to replace LGE's current supplier - its sister company LG Display. A new report from Korea's ETNews confirms this, saying that LG Display is focusing on Apple as its future customers, and LGE's small shipments is not critical for the company.

LG V50 ThinQ 5G photo

ETNews also suggests that Samsung Electronics is in early talks with China's CSoT for flexible OLED supply for low-end and mid-tier smartphones. CSoT is not yet producing flexible OLEDs in volume - the company started pilot production in its Wuhan fab in May 2019.

IHS: OLED TV display revenues to reach $7.5 billion in 2025

IHS Markit estimates that OLED TV displays revenues will grow from $2.9 billion in 2019 to $7.5 billion in 2025. Note that IHS is looking at OLED TV display revenues and not total TV set revenues. In 2019 the market share of OLED TV displays out of the total TV display market will be 8.6% - and this will grow to 20.6% (IHS estimates the total TV display market at $36 billion in 2025).

OLED TV revenue forecast (2017-2025, IHS)

IHS sees OLED TV panel prices starting to decrease in 2020 as OLED TV panel makers (LGD is currently the only one) start to adopt new technologies to decreases costs such as multi-model glass (MMG), ink-jet printing and QD-OLEDs.

LGD considers shutting down its E2 OLED production line due to the company's financial problems

LG Display is currently producing flexible AMOLED displays for Apple's smartwatches in its E2 4.5-Gen line in Paju. The company hasn't been able to improve its financials as LCD prices are under pressure, and following a recent managerial shuffle, it is now reported that LGD is considering shutting down its E2 line.

Apple Watch Series 5 photo

The E2 production capacity is around 20,000 substrates per month, but it is less economical than LG's larger OLED lines, the E5 and E6 lines which are 6-Gen lines. LG will reportedly move production from its E2 line to its larger lines.

Solas files a lawsuit against Apple saying it infringes upon its OLED patents

Ireland-based OLED IP company Solas OLED has filed a lawsuit in the US (Texas) against Apple for patent infringements. The lawsuit mentions three patents (USPTO# 6072450, 7446338 and 7573068) that relate to the OLED stack, structure and circuitry (for example one of the patents relates to the formation of a backplane on a polyimide substrate).

Solas OLED team photo

Apple is of course not the producer of the OLED displays - but Solas says that Apple is accused of "making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing products that infringe the claims" of its patents. Apple's OLED suppliers are Samsung (for the iPhone and MacBook Pro Touch bar devices) and LG Display (for the Apple Watch display).

LG launches its 88" 8K OLEDZ9 in the US, priced at $29,999

LG announced that it is starting to ship its 88" 8K flagship OLED Z9 TV in the US, with a price of $29,999. The OLED88Z9 is based on LG's 2nd-gen Alpha 9 intelligent processor the enables LG's ThinQ AI to offer new display algorithms and Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant.

LG OLED Z9 photo

The Signature OLED Z9 features HDMI 2.1 which enables high frame rate (HFR) support, enhanced audio return channel (eARC), variable refresh rate (VRR) and automatic low latency mode (ALLM). LG's flagship OLED also feature Dolby Atmos for immersive entertainment.

LG Display starts to use Korean-made hydrogen fluoride in its OLED fabs as Japan restricts exports

In July 2019 Japan's government decided to restrict some material exports to South Korea, following a diplomatic tension between the two countries. One of the materials Japan restricted is hydrogen fluoride which is used in OLED production as an etching gas and cleaning fluid.

LG OLED C9 photo

According to a new report in Korea, as the OLED industry does not require an extremely high purity hydrogen fluoride and LG has been able to quickly find a source for this gas in Korea. It already started to use the Korean material in production - and aims to source 100% of its hydrogen fluoride from Korean vendors.

LG delays the launch of its rollable OLED TV

In early 2019 LG Electronics announced the world's first rollable OLED TV, the 65" Signature OLED TV R. The company later announced that it will ship the TV in the second half of 2019, but now LG is delaying the launch of its signature rollable OLED TV.

LG Signature OLED TV R photo

LG says that the OLED TV R will ship in Korea in "2019 or 2020", but that consumers elsewhere will have to wait longer - which probably means it does not have any plans to release it before 2021. According to TechRadar, the main reason is that LG is highly expensive and LG fears that it will be difficult to find a market outside of Korea for such a premium TV.

Here is Skyworth's 88" 8K OLED TV prototype

In January 2019 during CES Skyworth demonstrated a 88" 8K (7680x4320) OLED TV prototype, in addition to other OLED technologies. We have posted a photo of the Skyworth 88" OLED, but today this nice video from our friend Charbax was published that shows Skyoworth's CES booth, starting with the 88" OLED:

The TV uses a 88" 8K pane made by LG Display, as used in its own OLED Z9 OLED TV which is now entering the market.