LGD to start flexible OLED production in its E6 line in Q3 2018

LG Display reported its Q4 2017 financial results. Revenues reached KRW7,126 billion ($6.6 billion USD) - up slightly from Q3 2017 but down 10% from Q4 2016. Net income was KRW 44 billion ($42 million USD, a drop of 91% from Q3 2017 and 95% from Q4 2016).

Looking back at 2017, LGD says that it solidified its OLED business, increased its annual OLED TV shipments to 1.7 million units and started production of flexible OLEDs at its E5 production line. The 6-Gen E5 line has started mass production in Q3 2017 but will only start to output displays for products that will launch at the end of 2017 - the 6" P-OLEDs used in LG's own V30 and Google's Pixel 2 XL were produced at LG's older and smaller E2 line, and reviewers and consumers alike were disappointed in LG's AMOLED performance. . In August we first reported that LGD is still facing very low yields at its 6-Gen E5 line, but it seems that yields and display quality are improving.

Looking forward, LGD says it will "speed up its shift to an OLED-focused business structure in order to strategically prepare for the future by investing around KRW 9 trillion ($8.4 billion USD)". More specifically, LGD is aiming to start flexible OLED production at its 6-Gen E6 line in Paju in Q3 2018. The E6 line will have a capacity of 15,000 monthly substrates and LGD's total investment in this fab is around $1.7 billion.

Earlier this month it was reported 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 (LGD will supply Apple with 6.5" AMOLEDs for its 2018 large iPhone OLED variant). Some reports now suggest that LGD will supply Apple with OLEDs from its E6 line in 2018, but that seems somewhat optimistic as usually takes a few months between official beginning of production and actual volume production of commercial displays. LGD could of course provide the 15-16 million OLEDs to Apple from its E5 line, which should be in full production capacity by mid 2018.

Posted: Jan 23,2018 by Ron Mertens