The OLED Association confirms a plastic-based OLED for the Galaxy Note 3

The OLED Association posted an interesting article today in which they say that Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Note 3 phone (phablet?) will use a YOUM display (a plastic-based unbreakable flexible OLED). Samsung will unveil the new phone at IFA 2013 (September) and will launch it in Q4 2013.

Galaxy Note II

Samsung YOUM displays use a plastic (Polyimide) substrate, an LTPS backplane, direct-emission RGB patterned OLED sub pixels and thin-film encapsulation (using Vitex's multi-layer technology). It's not known yet what the size and resolution of this particular display, but the OLED-A estimates it will be at least 5.9" in size, but probably will not achieve Full-HD resolution. The Note 3 will also not use a curved display.

A prototype curved OLED display

A plastic-based OLED will be lighter and thinner compared to glass based OLEDs. In fact, while a 6" LCD is about 3.2 mm thick and weighs 150 grams, and a glass-based AMOLED of the same size will be 1.5 mm thick and weigh 100 grams, a plastic based OLED will be 0.5 mm thick and weigh just 50 grams. Impressive!

The OLED-A also says that Samsung's yields will still be quite low in the flexible OLED production lines, which means that mass production of these panels isn't expected even in Q4 2013, which means that initially they will only produce a limited number of Note 3 phones. This seems very unlikely to me as the Note series is very successful (they sold around 10 million Note 2 phones already). Perhaps Samsung will build two models, one with regular glass-based OLED (or even an LCD, as some suggest) and a "premium", thinner and lighter one with the unbreakable OLED? Or perhaps they do hope to achieve mass production in Q4 2013 or early Q1 2014.

Just a few days ago we reported that Samsung still hasn't managed to overcome the technical issues with their encapsulation technology - and they may have to delay their introduction of the flexible panels to 2014. If this new report from the OLED-A is correct, it means that the company did in fact solve most of their issues and that's great news.

Posted: Apr 21,2013 by Ron Mertens