OLED is an emerging display technology that is fast becoming the mainstream display technology in many markets, as OLED enables display panels that offer the best image quality and free design as they can be made flexible and transparent. The Samsung OLED displays are considered to be the best in the industry and the Korean company is the clear lead in AMOLED production for mobile devices.

SDC 5.7'' FHD rollable OLED at SID 2016

Over the pay years Samsung invested billions of dollars in OLED research and production facilities as the company sees OLEDs fast replacing LCD displays in all mobile applications.

Samsung AMOLED displays

Samsung is currently producing over 300 million AMOLED displays in a year, used mostly in smartphones - such as Samsung's own Galaxy S7 (and S7 edge ) - but also in smartphones from Gionee, Meizu, Acer, HP, Vivo, Microsoft, Lenovo, ZTE, Hisense, Konka and others. Samsung also produces large mobile OLEDs for tablets, laptops and monitors.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge photoSamsung Galaxy S6 Edge

In August 2013 Samsung launched the company's first OLED TV, the KN55S9C, which used a curved 55" OLED panel. The TV was priced at around $8999 in the US and Korea, but is no longer in production, and was never in real mass production. Samsung has yet to return to OLED TV production.

Samsung flexible OLED displays

Following its initial flexible OLED production launch in 2013, and the huge success of its edge-type phones, Samsung is currently producing around 9 million flexible OLEDs each month to satisfy demand for the Galaxy S7 edge and its other flexible OLED products. Samsung has reportedly been chosen to supply 100 million flexible OLED panels to Apple's future iPhones.

Future Samsung OLED devices

Samsung is developing several next generation display technologies based on OLEDs. Samsung has been developing a foldable OLED device for a long time - which may dramatically change the mobile device market as it could enable smartphone to turn into tablets or phones that can be folded into smaller devices.

Samsung is also developing transparent OLEDs (see the company's 55" FHD transparent and mirror-type OLEDs here) for retail application, and also readies next generation displays for the automotive industry.

Several years ago Samsung released the following video, showing a concept transparent flexible AMOLED tablet device. It will be years before Samsung can commercialize such a display, but it's nice to see what the future holds:

Further reading

Latest Samsung OLED news

Will Hyundai Genesis adopt SDC's flexible OLEDs in future cars?

May 23, 2017

Last Month Hyuandai's premium sub-brand Genesis unveiled a concept car, the GV80 SUV, that featured a long curved OLED display - 22" in size, which we assumed was supplied by SDC. The Korea Herald reports today that Samsung is in talks with Genesis to supply OLED panels for its automobiles.

Genesis GV80 interior photo

It's not clear if this first deal involves flexible OLEDs as was demonstrated in the GV80 or whether it will involve regular rigid OLEDs. The Korea Herald reports that Samsung is strongly pushing for a comeback into the automotive market with a range of technologies including displays, batteries and even the Tizen OS.

Samsung Display to supply 180 million flexible OLED panels for the 2018 iPhone 9

May 23, 2017

According to the Korea Herald, Samsung Display has signed an agreement with Apple to supply flexible OLEDs for Apple's iPhone 9, due out in late 2018. The Korea Herald says that Apple will launch two iPhone 9 OLED models - with display sizes of 5.28" and 6.46". Of course the final display size is subject to change as the design of the iPhone 9 is not final yet.

iPhone 7 photo

SDC's total OLED shipments to Apple in 2018 will reach 180 million units, and Samsung will dedicate one of its upcoming flexible OLED fabs exclusively for Apple's displays.

The OLED Marketplace, find your OLED here

Samsung demonstrates a 9.1" stretchable AMOLED prototype

May 22, 2017

Samsung Display is set to demonstrate 9.1-inch stretchable AMOLED prototype during SID 2017. This display can stretch up to 12 mm when pressed, and still maintain its high resolution (which SDC did not specify).

SDC Stretchable AMOLED prototype (SID 2017)

This is an exciting development - but we're all waiting for Samsung to first commercialize its foldable OLEDs, and only then can we expect to see commercial rollable and stretchable displays.

Corning announces that Samsung uses its Lotus NXT as a carrier glass in flexible OLED production

May 19, 2017

Corning announced that Samsung Display is using the company's Lotus NXT glass as the carrier glass in its latest flexible OLED panels, including those that are used in the Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones. Both these new flagship phones also adopt Corning's Gorilla Glass 5 cover glass.

Corning Louts NXT Glass photo

Samsung Display is producing its flexible OLEDs on a flexible polyimide substrate, and the Lotus NXT glass is used as a carrier glass during production (it is removed at the end of the process).

Samsung demonstrates a quad-edge OLED display

May 18, 2017

Samsung Display is demonstrating a new quad-edge flexible OLED display - that can be bent on all sides (unlike the edge-type displays currently in production that is only bent on two sides).

Samsung quad-edge flexible AMOLED (SID 2017)

SDC's quad-edge flexible OLED display won the Display Industry Awards from the Society for Information Display (at SID Display Week 2017).

Samsung denies it started constructing its A4 flexible OLED fab

May 12, 2017

Last month we reported that Korean press ran stories that Samsung has started construction of its A4 flexible OLED fab. The A4 was said to be Samsung's first 7-Gen fab (although some other reports claimed it will be a 6-Gen fab) and to have a huge capacity of 135,000 monthly substrate.

The Korea Herald today reports that Samsung Display denies that it has started construction of a new OLED fab. Samsung says that the company did level the ground in an area adjacent to its existing manufacturing site in Asan, but it has not yet decided on what to do with the land.

Samsung rumored to acquire Micro-LED developer PlayNitride

Apr 30, 2017

According to an industry insider in Taiwan, Samsung is set to acquire Taiwan's PlayNitride for the company's micro-LED technology for around $150 million. Our inside says that Samsung aims to develop micro-LED based displays for VR applications, but may also look into micro-LED based TVs using PlayNitride's technology.

PlayNitride MicroLED array

Micro-LED is a promising display technology as it has the potential to enable brighter and more efficient displays compared to OLEDs. It also may be cheaper, but there are still technical challenges to overcome and analysts estimate that micro-LEDs will not be commercialized before 2020.

The soft home button of the Galaxy S8 moves around to avoid burn-in

Apr 27, 2017

Image retention ("Burn in") is one of the major drawbacks of OLED displays, and a static icon or very consistent displays are always a problem with such displays. When Samsung introduced the Galaxy S8 it implemented a soft home button, which caused some concerns.

Samsung Galaxy S8 photo

PhoneArena confirm that Samsung's home button actually moves around by a few pixels from time to time - obviously to prevent serious image retention. Samsung employed the same trick with its "always on" clock display in previous OLED phones. This is a good way to improve image retention - although it won't solve the problem completely as the icon only moves around by a few pixels each time.

Samsung posts $8.75 billion in revenues for Q1 2017, good OLED performance led by flexible OLED sales

Apr 27, 2017

Samsung Electronics announced its financial results for Q1 2017, with the highest quarterly operating profit ($8.75 billion) since 2013 - as Samsung's component business boomed while its mobile phone sales were down.

Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro photo

Samsung Display reports that OLED performance improved compared to both last year and last quarter due to strong demand an increased sales of its new flexible AMOLED displays. Revenue is expected to continue growing in the coming years, mostly due to an increase in flexible OLED supply in the second half ot the year. Samsung is worried however from growing competitiveness for its mid to low-end rigid OLED sales from high-end LTPS LCD panels.

Samsung's Gen-7 A4 flexible OLED line to be ready by Q2 2018

Apr 20, 2017

According to reports from Korea, Samsung has started construction of a new flexible OLED fab, which will be called the A4 line. This will be Samsung's first Gen-7 line as the company is aiming to expand its technology gap over its upcoming OLED competitors who are all building Gen-6 line.

A Gen-7 line substrate is 1870x2200 mm in size - as opposed to 1500x1800 mm for Gen-6. This means that you can produce more displays per substrate and price per screen is lower. Scaling up evaporation OLED production is not so easy, but it seems that Samsung managed to solve its technologies hurdles - mainly the FMM metal masks and the LTPS annealing process.

The 2nd International TADF workshop, July 2017, Kyushu, JapanThe 2nd International TADF workshop, July 2017, Kyushu, Japan