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

SDC to start producing 90Hz OLED laptop displays soon

Samsung Display announced it will start to produce 90Hz OLED laptop displays by the end of the first quarter of 2021. The first display panel to support this new refresh rate will be 14-inch in size

Samsung Display's AMOLED displays for tablets and laptops photo

SDC hopes that its new AMOLED display panels will introduce a 'major shift' in the laptop market. It believes that even though a 90Hz display will require a high-end graphics card, consumers will demand the new display as the experience benefits will be impressive. Samsung says that its 90Hz OLEDs will be on par with 120Hz LCDs in terms of moving images blur.

Samsung introduces an under-the-OLED camera technology for laptop displays

Samsung Display is introducing a new OLED display technology, called "Samsung Blade Bezel" - which includes an under-the-display camera embedded within a laptop display. This enables reducing the bezels:

We have already seen similar technology from Visionox adopted in smartphones - but the performance is disappointing. A few months ago ZTE announced the first smartphone with an under-the-OLED camera - the The Axon 20 5G.

Transparent OLEDs Market Report

Samsung Display sues JOLED and ASUS over an OLED TFT patent

Samsung Display filed a complaint in the US that JOLED and Asustek infringe upon one of the company's patents, filed in 2017. The patent (USPTO # 9,768,240) details a TFT transistor array, and SDC says that both companies make use of the patent in the ProArt PQ22UC monitor.

ASUS ProArt PQ22UC photo

In June 2020 JOLED announced that it has filed lawsuits in the US and Germany against Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display. JOLED says that Samsung infringed on its OLED patents without a license.

The Elec: Samsung will be the exclusive supplier of Apple's LTPO iPhone AMOLED displays in 2021

A report from Korea suggests that Samsung will be the exclusive supplier for Apple' LTPO AMOLED displays used in the next iPhone devices. Apple will adopt LTPO, according to the report, in the two higher-end modules in 2021. These models will also support a 120Hz refresh rate.

Apple LTPO OLED backplane (IHS slide)

It was already reported that Apple aims to adopt LTPO in future iPhone displays. It was assumed that LG Display will also be able to produce such displays, but apparently that will only happen in 2022. Samsung already produces such smartphone displays, adopted in the Note 20 Ultra (Samsung brands this technology as Adaptive Frequency or hybrid oxide and polycrystalline silicon, or HOP).

Samsung Display launches a new OLED brand logo - OLED provided by Samsung

Samsung Display announced that it will start using a new brand image for its OLED products. Simply called Samsung OLED, the company hopes its new brand will help to "imprint the differentiation and excellence of its products in the market".

OLED provided by Samsung brand logo

The new brand will be used for Samsung's wide range of mobile OLED displays, for wearables, phones, foldable phones, tablets and laptop devices.

Samsung Display to introduce more than 10 new AMOLED displays for laptops in 2021

Samsung Display announced that the company plans to introduce more than 10 different AMOLED displays for the laptop market in 2021. The company will launch displays ranging from 13.3-inch to 16-inch to meet customer demand.

Samsung Display's AMOLED displays for tablets and laptops photo

Samsung Display started producing 15.6" 4K AMOLED displays in 2019 for the laptop market, which kickstarted the OLED laptop market as several leading makers (including HP, Lenovo and Dell) started to offer high-end OLED laptops. Since then SDC added more OLED laptop displays to its lineup, and other OLED producers (such as EDO and BOE) started to offer laptop panels as well.

Omdia: 62.8% of all smartphones sold in Q4 2020 use OLED displays

Market research company Omdia says that at the end of 2020, 62.8% of all smartphones use OLED panels, while 31.8%, use LCDs (I'm not sure about the rest of the smartphones, maybe some use E Ink displays but not all the rest of the missing 5.4% in Omdia's summary.

ZTE Nubia Red Magic 5S photo

Omdia further estimates that SDC's smartphone OLED panel sales will exceed $5 billion in Q1 2021, a 30% increase over Q1 2020.

Samsung to unveil new display technologies on January 6th 2021

Samsung announced a 'First Look 2021' event that will take place on January 6th 2021, during which the company will introduce its latest products, technologies and visions for the future of the display.

Samsung First Look 2021 invitation

If we look at the teaser image, it seems as if Samsung is set to unveil all sorts of new displays sizes. It is likely that Samsung will unveil its 110" 4K MicroLED TV which it already announced earlier this month, and analysts expect also some mini-LED monitors. Hopefully the company will also showcase new OLED displays, maybe the QD-OLED monitors that it is reportedly developing.

Samsung Electronics halts its foldable UTG glass project

Samsung Electronics started to adopt ultra-thin glass covers for its foldable AMOLEDs, instead of polyimide, as it says UTG offers higher durability. Samsung currently uses Samsung Display's UTG, and according to reports it aimed to develop its own solution in collaboration with Corning

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip photo

A new report from Korea suggests that Samsung Electronics has halted this project as it realized it should better increase the efficiency of its current supply chain (i.e. Samsung Display's UTG solution) and secure lower prices. It may be that this decision is only temporarily, as it is likely that Samsung Electronics is still aiming to also increase the durability of its UTG covers and not just decrease costs.

ETNEws: Apple aims to start using OLED displays in iPad devices in 2022

Last month we posted that the Korean Elec publication claims that Apple is aiming to adopt OLEDs in its next iPad Pro devices - and as Apple wants extended lifetime from these panels, the Korean panel makers are developing tandem OLED devices (easier for LG as it is already producing such panels for automotive applications).

Today another Korean publication, ETNews, has posted that Apple is aiming to start using OLEDs in its iPads in 2022. According to ETNews, Apple indeed reached out to both LG Display and Samsung Display for these OLEDs.

Cambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDsCambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDs