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

Clearance sale of Samsung's 4.95" 960x544 AMOLED displays

Sep 19, 2017

Our display supplier in China has just received a large quantity of 4.95" 960x544 (222 PPI) AMOLED displays, produced by 2011 in Samsung. These AMOLEDs are now offered at around half of their regular price.

The supplier has over 100,000 units - and this may be a great opportunity to get these panels at a low cost - contact us for more details. These 4.95" AMOLED displays 3-wire SPI and MIPI DSI interfaces, a size of 116.54 x 73.92 mm (active area 109.44 x 62.02 mm) and a thickness of 1.6 mm. You can find more information over at the OLED Marketplace.

Updates from the TADF symposium: Cynora's latest blue, SDC and LGD hopeful on TADF

Sep 17, 2017

A few days ago, Cynora hosted the 2017 International TADF Symposium in Frankfurt, Germany. Cynora reports that about 150 attendees from all over the world listened to experts from the industry and academia and were updated on the latest news regarding TADF OLED emitters.

TADF Symposium photo 2017

Cynora itself showed an update on its latest blue emitter. The company now has material that features a CIEy of 0.18 (target - 0.1), EQE of 14% (target 15%) and a lifetime of 10 hours LT97 at 700 nits (target is over 100 hours). Cynora says that development is progressing well and it is confident it will reach its target material performance by the end of the year.

OLED Automotive Market Report

Cynora announces its Series-B funding round, raises €25 million from Samsung and LG

Sep 14, 2017

Cynora announced that it finalized its Series-B funding round. Both Samsung (via Samsung Ventures) and LG Display participated in this round which totaled €25 million. Both LGD and samsung will also establish separate joint development efforts to assist in advancing Cynora's R&D.

Cynora did not disclose how much did each company invest, although earlier reports suggested that LG invested €15 million while Samsung invested €10 million.

Samsung Electronics hopes to release a foldable-OLED smartphone in 2018

Sep 13, 2017

Samsung has been developing foldable display technologies for many years, and it seems that a foldable phone/tablet is always just around the corner. At a recent press event, Samsung Electronics' Mobile Business group President Koh Dong-Jin updated on the company's foldable smartphone plans.

A YOUM phone/tablet prototype photo

Foldable OLED concept (2013)

According to Mr. Dong-Jin, Samsung Electronics hopes to release a phone with a bendable display in 2018. However Samsung still faces some technical challenges to overcome so this is still not a hard set target.

Apple announces the iPhone X with a 5.8" flexible Super AMOLED

Sep 13, 2017

Yesterday Apple announced its new iPhone lineup which includes the flagship iPhone X that, as expected, features a 5.8" 1125x2436 (458 PPI) flexible Super AMOLED display that covers almost the entire front of the phone. Apple's first OLED iPhone will ship in November starting at $999.

Apple iPhone X photo

Some reports suggest that SDC is only able to supply a limited number of displays to Apple which will severely limit iPhone X shipments.

KGI Securities estimates that SDC's flexible OLEDs will cost apple $120 per unit

Sep 08, 2017

KGI Securities' analyst Ming-Chi Kuo estimates that SDC charges Apple $120 to $130 for each flexible OLED display to be used in the upcoming iPhone OLED edition. Ming-Chi says that the 5.5" LCD used in the iPhone 7+ costs $45-$55.

SDC is the exclusive supplier of OLEDs to Apple (mostly because no other company can produce such high quality displays and at such high volumes) and so can enjoy a high premium on its flexible OLEDs. Other estimates we hear, though, say that the price premium of SDC's flexible OLEDs is only about $50 over a competing LCD. It is a bit difficult to compare these two kinds of displays, though, as flexible OLEDs offer functionality that LCD cannot compete with.

Android Authority: LG's V30 P-OLED display is very competitive with Samsung's Super AMOLED display

Sep 02, 2017

Android Authority performed some preliminary tests of LG V30's display, which uses LGD's flexible P-OLED panels. AA says that the first impressions are very positive, and LGD's mobile OLEDs are highly competitive with Samsung's latest Super AMOLED displays (AA compared the V30 to the Galaxy S8, although to be fair SDC has since improved its OLEDs).

LG V30 photo

LG's color temperature is quite higher compared to the OLED of the GS8 - 8500K vs the GS8 7500K. On manual brightness both phones are able to reach almost the same brightness (421 nits on the V30, 398 nits on the GS8), while on automotive mode the LG reaches 606 nits and the GS8 only 535 nits (DisplayMate says the GS8 should reach 1,020 nits - but AA could not reach this high brightness in these tests). AA reviewers say that the LG V30 is quite comparable to Samsung's display in terms of black levels and vibrant colors.

DisplayMate: Samsung keeps enhancing OLED display quality, the Note 8 has the best mobile display ever

Aug 29, 2017

DisplayMate posted a review of the new flexible Super AMOLED display used in Samsung's latest phone, the Galaxy Note 8. This is a 6.3" Quad HD+ (2960x1440) flexible edge-type display and DisplayMate says it improves on Samsung's previous OLED display (the one used in the Galaxy S8) and it declares that this is the best mobile display ever tested.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 photo

DisplayMate says that the new OLED display has several improvements compared to the previous generation display, and Samsung also included several new display features and functions in the phone. The major improvement is that the Note 8 is 22% brighter compared to the GS8 - it reaches a peak brightness of 1,200 nits - the brightest mobile phone ever.

IHS and DSCC seem to disagree on the future of QLED-LCD TVs

Aug 26, 2017

According to IHS, sales of quantum-dot enhanced LCD TVs, or QLED TVs, dropped 48% in Q2 2017 compared to Q1 2017. Total sales in Q2 amounted to only 351,000 units - down from 671,000 in Q1 2017. OLED TV sales, meanwhile, increased from 29% from 212,000 units to 282,000 units.

Following this report, Business Korea speculates that Samsung Electronics may have to change its premium TV strategy, as it faces market share lose in this very important segment and may lose its leading position in the total TV market.

Samsung to expand adoption of Y-OCTA flexible OLED displays

Aug 18, 2017

According to ETNews, Samsung aims to expand the adoption of its Y-OCTA touch technology which will be used in both versions of its Galaxy S9 (5.77" and 7.22"). In the Galaxy S8, only the 5.77" version uses Y-OCTA, the larger variant uses Samsung's film-type touch.

Samsung Y-OCTA vs add-on touch (IHS)

Y-OCTA (which apparently stands for Youm On-Cell Touch AMOLED) describes Samsung's On-Cell flexible (hence Youm) AMOLED touch technology. The touch sensor in Y-OCTA displays is deposited directly on the encapsulation (TFE) layer which is better than the add-on (or film-type) touch used in older flexible AMOLEDs generations. The optical features are better as the touch layer is below a polarizer and enables the use of a non-ITO grid, there's no need for a support film (see image above) and the number of layers is lower. Samsung estimates that Y-OCTA also cuts production costs by around 30%.

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters