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

DSCC: OLED revenues to reach $21 billion in 2017, will rise to $46 billion in 2021

Jul 26, 2017

DSCC expects the OLED market to rapidly grow in the near future, as AMOLED production capacity will increase at a CAGR of 41% from 2016 (5.3 million square meters) to 2021 (29.4 million square meters). OLED revenues will reach $21 billion in 2017 (a rise of 46% compared to 2016) and will reach $46 billion in 2021.

ZTE Nubia M2 photo

Smartphones are still the largest OLED application by far - with a 86% market share (revenues) in 2017 and 81% in 2021. The second largest application by revenues are OLED TVs, and other applications follow with a small market share - but one that will increase as supply looses in the future. If we look at shipments, then smartphones acount for 94% of OLED shipments, and the 2nd and 3rd applications are VR headsets and smart watches. OLED TV shipments will reach 6.5 million in 2021 (rising at a CAGR of 49% from 2016 to 2021).

Reports suggest LGD and SDC to participate in Cynora's latest financing round

Jul 26, 2017

ETNews reports that Cynora is finalizing its latest financing round, with aims to raise €15 million. LG Display will participate in the round, investing $9 million, and Samsung Display is also considering a similar sized investment.

Cynora Blue TADF OLED material photo

Cynora, based in Germany, is developing OLED emitters, and has recently announced its blue TADF OLED performance. Cynora's new blue achieves a 15% EQE at 1000 cd/m² with an emission peak at < 470 nm and a LT97 of > 90 hours (at 700 cd/m²) on a device level. Cynora says that it is very confident that it can commercialize its first highly efficient blue emitter by the end of this year, as planned.

OLED for VR and AR Market Report

Samsung's 2018 Galaxy S9 will use the same display size as the S8

Jul 23, 2017

According to the Korea Herald, Samsung decided to "play it safe" with its next year's flagship phone and it will adopt the same basic design as in its current Galaxy S8. The 2018 Galaxy S9 will use a 5.8" Infinity curved Super AMOLED display (and the S9+ will use a 6.2" display as used in the S8+).

Samsung Galaxy S8 photo

It is likely that even if this report is true, Samsung Display will use an enhanced display. Even though the display used in the GS8 was "the best mobile display ever" according to DisplayMate - there is still room for improvement, for example higher resolution (good for VR), better efficiency or a larger color gamut.

Is LG facing delays with flexible OLED production at its E5 plant? Reports suggest LGD lost Xiaomi's supply deal to SDC

Jul 22, 2017

According to Taiwan's Digitimes, LG Display is facing delays in flexible OLED production at its $900 million E5 line in Gumi that should have started producing panels last month, but now it is expected to start mass production in August.

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 photo

In April 2017 it was reported that LG Display has secured a 5.5" flexible OLED supply deal to China-based Xiaomi, for the company's next-gen flagship phone. According to Digitimes, however, LGD now lost this supply deal and Xiaomi has ordered over 3 million flexible OLEDs (6" QHD ones) from Samsung, who will supply the displays in December 2017 and January 2018. Xiaomi will have to delay the launch of its flagship phone to early 2018.

Digital Trends: LG's OLED TV outperforms Samsung's QLED

Jul 01, 2017

Digital Trends posted that interesting flagship TV shootout, pitching LG's E7 OLED TV against Samsung's Q9 QLED TV. Both TVs offer great image quality, and both has their strengths and weaknesses - but Digital Trends says at the end of the day they prefer LG's OLED.

According to Digital Trends, pretty much everybody who looked at these two TVs stacked up against each other chose the LG as the best TV - if by a razor-thin margin. Credit is due to Samsung, who did manage to produce a very bright, sharp and great looking TV though.

Samsung Display is mulling its largest OLED factory ever, the Gen-6 A5 that will have a monthly capacity of 180,000-270,000 substrates

Jun 30, 2017

According to reports from Korea, Samsung Display is considering a new OLED plant, that will include two different building in Choenan and Asan. This fab will be Samsung's largest OLED fab yet (and the world's largest, really) - with a monthly capacity of 180,000 to 270,000 6-Gen substrates. Samsung's current largest fab, the A3, will have a monthly capacity of 135,000 substrates when the current expansion phase ends later this year.

This plan has not been approved yet, but it seems like Samsung has already informed of the plans to its key equipment suppliers. The investment in this fab will be large, the buildings alone will cost $1.75 billion. Samsung plans to start operating the fab in 2019.

Digitimes: SDC will only be able to supply 3-4 million flexible OLEDs to Apple upon the iPhone 8 launch

Jun 28, 2017

Digitimes reports that Apple will only be able to ship a very limited number of OLED iPhones following the expected launch in September, as SDC's capacity will be limited to about 3-4 million flexible OLED displays.

iPhone 7 photo

Apple goal is to ship 50-60 million OLED iPhones in 2017, and have signed a supply agreement with SDC to supply these displays (some estimate that SDC promised to ship 80 million OLEDs in 2017 alone). But SDC still struggles with low yields for these specific OLED displays and will not be able to produce so many displays in time.

Will Samsung's next-gen Gear VR headset include its own 2000 PPI OLED display?

Jun 22, 2017

According to a report from Korea, Samsung is developing its next-generation Gear VR headset, which will include a built-in display (unlike current models which require you to insert your Galaxy smartphone into the device).

Samsung Gear VR (consumer version) photo

The report claims that Samsung will adopt a new OLED display in this device - which will achieve a pixel density of 2,000 PPI. Such a high pixel density will be great for VR as it will improve the realism and reduce sickness.

Dai Nippon Printing to supply FMM masks to BOE Display

Jun 20, 2017

According to ET News, Japan's Dai Nippon Printing (DNP) has terminated Samsung's exclusivity for the company's fine metal masks (FMM) products. DNP is now offering its masks to other OLED makers, and have already signed up BOE Display as a customer.

DNP has advanced its FMM technology, and is now able to produce masks with high resolution - enough to create QHD (2560x1440) smartphone displays. BOE's current masks only enable it to produce FHD OLEDs, and it will now upgrade its production to higher-end displays using DNP's masks.

Samsung Display to start construction of its $7 billion A4 flexible OLED line

Jun 16, 2017

In April Korean press ran stories that Samsung has started construction of its A4 flexible OLED fab, which was later denied by Samsung. The Korea Economic Daily now states that Samsung is now ready to start construction, which was confirmed apparently by the Asan city government which is expected to approve the plans by July.

Samsung's A4 line will be, according to the report, another 6-Gen fab, similar to its A3 fab which is already in mass production. The A4 will have a monthly capacity of 60,000 substrates (other reports suggest that full capacity will be 135,000 substrates - similar to the A3 line). The A4 is expected to start mass producing panels in 2019. Total cost for this fab is estimated at $7 billion to $11.5 billion.