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

OLED production will grow 94% in Q2 2021, as demand for OLED panels increases

DSCC says that OLED production will grow 94% in the Q2 2021, fueled by strong demand for OLED in smartphones, TVs and other devices - coupled with a recovery from the pandemic. Growth in OLED input area for small & medium displays is expected to grow 68%, while grow in OLED TV input area will grow by 134% over last year.

OLED and LCD production capacity (2019-2021, DSCC)

The chart above shows the total OLED (and mobile LCD) industry capacity. As you can see, flexible OLED capacity is growing - mainly from expansions by CSoT, Tianma and Visionox. There's also growth in rigid OLED capacity - from Everdisplay and JOLED.

Will Samsung Electronics start using LGD's OLED TV panels?

According to an interesting report from Korea, Samsung Electronics is discussing a potential supply agreement with LG Display for WOLED TV panels. Samsung is aiming, according to the report, to buy 1 million OLED TV panels in 2021, and 4 million (around 50% of LGD's capacity!) in 2022.

This development, if true, may have a major impact on the industry, and may spur LGD (and other OLED makers) to accelerate OLED TV production and capacity expansion plans.

Transparent OLEDs Market Report

Samsung Display to start producing QD OLED module samples by June 2021

In 2019 Samsung Display formally announced its decision to invest $10.85 billion in QD-OLED TV R&D and production lines. It was reported before that SDC is started to produce panel prototypes, and is on track to start mass production in Q3 2021.

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Samsung Display QD Display (QD-OLED) production equipment arrives at Asan line

According to a new report from Korea, SDC is set to begin producing full module prototypes in June this year. In addition SDC had to increase the brightness of its panels as TV makers said it is not enough for premium TV adoption. SDC will produce both TV and monitor prototypes, which it will send to potential customers (such as Samsung Electronics, Sony, and Chinese TV makers). When customers approve the prototypes, SDC will be ready for commercial production.

Here come Samsung polarizer-free POL-LESS OLEDs

Samsung Display has been developing polarizer-free AMOLED displays for many years, and last year UBI detailed how the company plans to use color filters to eliminate the need for polarizers and so increase the efficiency of their OLED panels while also lowering the thickness.

Samsung Display POL-LESS AMOLED structure image

DSCC posted an interested article that details Samsung's upcoming polarizer-free OLEDs, which it brands as POL-LESS OLEDs. The first OLEDs to adopt this new structure are expected to be adopted in Samsung's Galaxy Fold 3 later this year.

Samsung Electronics to adopt flexible OLED panels produced by BOE

In 2020 it was reported that Samsung Electronics is set to use AMOLED displays produced by China's BOE in some of its smartphones. It was later reported that BOE failed to pass Samsung's quality tests.

BOE Flexible AMOLED prototype photo

According to a new report from Korea, BOE finally managed to pass Samsung's tests and is set to start supplying flexible OLEDs that will be used in Samsung's budget Galaxy M series of smartphones.

Samsung wins an USPTO challenge against one of Solas' OLED patents

Earlier this month we reported that the US district court in Texas decreed that Samsung Display and Samsung Electronics are to pay $62.7 million in damages as the companies wilfully infringed upon two of Solas OLED fundamental OLED patents (USPTO #7,446,338 and #9,256,311).

Samsung proceeded to file a patent office challenge against the #311 patent, and apparantly Samsung won the challenge. The patent describes a flexible touch sensor that is wrapped around the edge of the display - and Samsung argued that as a flexible touch sensor is already known, this patent is "obvious". It appears as if Samsung will not have to pay the $35.4 million in damages for this patent.

Reports suggest Apple will have to compensate Samsung again for lower OLED orders

In past years Apple had to pay millions of dollars to Samsung Display as a compensation for lower smartphone OLED orders. Apple is committed to buy a certain amount of displays, and this payment is a fine due to lower orders.

Apple iPhone 12 Mini photo

Due to lower OLED orders in 2021, analysts estimate that Apple, again, will have to compensate Samsung. The main fault is with lower sales of Apple's iPhone 12 mini. In total, according to reports, Apple reduced its OLED Orders for the iPhone 12 series by 20% to 75 million units in the first half of 2021.

Samsung Display to focus on lowering the power consumption of its smartphone AMOLED displays

Samsung Display has recently announced two design wins for its smartphone LTPO AMOLED displays - the Oppo Find X3 series and the OnePlus 9 Pro. Both adopt the same 6.7-inch 1440x3216 120Hz HDR10+ (1,300 nits peak) LTPO AMOLED display.

Oppo Find X3 Pro photo

Samsung also announced that in the past the company's priority was to improve the image quality and the design of its OLED displays. Moving forward, SDC will focus on lowering the power consumption of its OLED displays. SDC will do so by developing low-power materials and "optimizing power-efficient technologies".

Report suggests that a global chip shortage could affect the supply of Samsung's AMOLED displays

According to reports online, there's a global chip shortage, that is already effecting some industries - and is not threatening the supply of Samsung's smartphone AMOLED displays.

Apple iPhone 12 Mini photo

It seems as if high demand for chips due to the covid-19 pandemic, a water shortage in Taiwan and heavy snow in Texas all combined to create a shortage is chip supply. Samsung's Austin plant, which makes Qualcomm chips used in AMOLED drivers, has been halted since February 16th and this creates concern for Samsung's ability to supply enough AMOLED displays to satisfy demand.

SDC aims to lead the gaming display market with its OLED for Gaming displays

Samsung Display announced that the company aims to lead the gaming display market, and it will supply more OLED displays for gaming smartphones, in addition to gaming laptops (as it does already). These displays will be branded as "OLED for gaming" displays.

Asus ROG Phone 5 photo

Samsung Display reveals its AMOLED displays were adopted by Asus for its latest gaming smartphone (the ROG Phone 5) - a 6.78-inch 1080x2448 HDR10+ (1200 nits peak) 144Hz AMOLED display.