According to Reuters, Samsung Display plans to invest $3.6 billion in a new OLED fab from 2015-2017, aiming to make small and medium size displays. Samsung did not release any information regarding the type and capacity of this fab.

One option for Samsung it to build another glass-based OLED fab. The company aims to reach OLED-LCD cost parity for small-sized displays towards the end of 2015. If this happens, it's likely that OLED prices will drop below LCD by 2017 (especially if more capacity is added) and thus demand for AMOLED displays for mobile phones and tablets will soar. Samsung increased their 5.5-Gen capacity from 10K substrates per month to 140K/m from 2009 to 2013.

Another option is that this new fab will produce flexible OLEDs on plastic substrates. Current flexible OLED production capacity is small (a 5.5-Gen line with a capacity of only 8,000 substrates per month) but Samsung aims to start production in its new 6.5-Gen fab in the beginning of 2015.

While current flexible OLED update is modest - Samsung only uses such displays in wearable products which use very small screen area and the Galaxy Note Edge which is a high-end premium phone. According to reports, next month Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S6, and it too will have a variant with a curved display.



Continental flexible AMOLED based car display prototype

But the future looks very bright for flexible OLEDs, which will unlock several interesting applications - such as foldable phones/tablets (some reports say that Samsung aims to have such a product on the market by the end of 2015) and curved/bendable displays in the automotive industry. It seems likely that flexible OLED capacity will increase dramatically by 2017, and I would guess that this new fab will indeed produce flexible OLEDs.

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