LG Display's OLED unit is currently mostly focused on OLED TV production, but the company also has plans to enter the small OLED display market with its flexible plastic-based OLED panels. According to reports, LGD is stepping up its effort to market OLED panels for Chinese phone makers.
LGD currently mostly makes small flexible OLEDs for wearables (such as Apple's Watch and LG's own Watch Urbane 2). LG makes a single handset flexible OLED, the curved 5.5" FHD panel adopted in the company's own G Flex 2 - but this was never really a mass produced device. LGD is also said to be developing a smartphone display that curves around the edges (a-la the GS6 edge)
LG currently produces plastic-based OLEDs in its Gen-4.5 fab, with a monthly capacity of 14,000 substrates, which is more than double its capacity in the beginning of 2014, but still represents a very low capacity. Earlier this year, LGD announced plans to build a Gen-6 (1500x1850 mm) flexible OLED fab in a $900 million investment. The new E5 line will be located at LGD's Gumi Plant and will have a capacity of 7,500 monthly substrates - or 1.5 million 5.5" panels. The new fab is scheduled to begin mass production in the first half of 2017.
According to Digitimes, LG Display is discussing an AMOLED shipment supply deal with Chinese phone makers Oppo and Vivo. Samsung is currently supplying Super AMOLED displays to both companies, with shipments expected by Digitimes to reach 21 million panels in 2015 (15 million to Oppo and 6 million to Vivo).
LG Display reportedly wants to enter that market, and is willing to offer major discounts for Oppo and Vivo, hoping to become an OLED supplier to both in 2016. The main question though, is whether LGD will have the capacity to make so many small-sized OLED panels?
LGD may try to bring its upcoming Gen-6 flexible OLED fab online sooner than expected, perhaps they will want to start producing glass-based small-sized OLEDs in their existing 8-Gen OLED TV fab, or perhaps they will increase capacity in its current 4.5-Gen flexible OLED fab.