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

OnePlus says its next phone to feature a 120Hz SDC AMOLED display

In May 2019 OnePlus launched the OnePlus 7 Pro - a flagship smartphone that features a large 6.67" 90Hz 1440x3120 Fluid AMOLED - a 90Hz Super AMOLED (produced by Samsung Display).

OnePlus 120Hz Fluid AMOLED display promo

OnePlus now officially announced that its next phone (the OnePlus 8) will feature a high-end AMOLED, developed in collaboration with Samsung, that will feature a refresh rate of 120Hz, a peak brightness of 1,000 nits, 10-bit color support and a 2K+ resolution. OnePlus again brands its Super AMOLED displays as Fluid Display. The touch sample rate will be 240Hz and the phone will include a hardware MEMC smooth-video accelerator.

Huawei's next flagship phone, the Mate 30 Pro, to sport flexible OLEDs made by Samsung and LG

Huawei's Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro smartphones, released in September 2019, sported AMOLED displays made by Samsung Display (rigid 6.62" 1080x2340) and BOE (flexible 6.53" 1176x2400, the Mate 30 Pro).

Huawei Mate 30 photo

According to a report from Korea, Huawei will soon launch its next flagship phones, the Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro - and the flexible OLEDs used in the Mate 40 Pro will be supplied by Samsung and LG Display (50% split). This is an interesting achievement by the Korean OLED makers and likely quite a blow for BOE. Apparently BOE could not match Huawei's requirement for this curved OLED display.

The OLED Marketplace, find your OLED here

DSCC updates its 2019-2025 OLED market forecasts

DSCC updated their display industry forecasts, saying that as LCD prices continue to fall it revises the capacity forecast downward by 6% as Display makers are delaying and cancelling LCD investments. DSCC's OLED capacity forecast is also reduced by 4% - and is now growing at a CAGR of 19% from 2016 to 2025 (the main reason is the cancellation of Visionox V2 phase 2 and LGD's E6 Phase 3)..

OLED capacity by country (2016-2025, DSCC)

DSCC says that OLED TV roadmap is still not clear as Chinese makers are not ready to commit to OLED TV production. DSCC does see next-generation TV capacity coming online in the future - which could be inkjet-printed OLEDs, OVJP, MicroLEDs and other potential technologies. But the next-generation display market is certainly not clear yet and DSCC sees an extended forecast during which demand will outpace supply (especially as average TV size continues to grow).

Counterpoint: 600 million OLED smartphone displays to ship in 2020

Counterpoint Research estimates that OLED smartphone sales will reach 600 million units next year, as phone makers adopt OLED displays in more mid-range and low-end devices.

OLED smartphone penetration by company (2020, Counterpoint)

Counterpoint says that OLED penetration in Samsung devices will surge from 45% in 2019 to 71% in 2020. Both Apple and Oppo will use OLED displays in 50% of their phones next year.

Is Samsung delaying its $10.8 billion QD-OLED investment plans?

In October 2019 Samsung Display formally announced its decision to invest $10.85 billion in QD-OLED TV R&D and production lines. SDC was supposed to start the plan in 2019, but according to a report from China the Company is delaying its initial investment. Originally mass production was supposed to begin in Q1 2021, but this may happen later if the investment is delayed.
Samsung Display production hub, Tangjeong, South Chungcheong Province

It seems as if equipment makers expected to receive orders for production equipment, but that did not happen. The report says that Samsung decided to make personnel changes and transfer in January 2020 and only after these changes will the company finalize its investment plan in the new OLED TV fab.

IHS: smartphone AMOLED shipments reached a record high of 146 million units in Q3 2019

IHS Markit says that smartphone AMOLED shipments reached 146 million in Q3 2019 - a record high, and up from 93 million in the second quarter. LTPS LCD shipments reached 144 million - and this is the first quarter in which AMOLED shipments surpassed LTPS LCD shipments. a-SI LCD is still the leading technology with shipments of 177 million.

Smartphone display market share (2016-2019, IHS)

Following the increased demand for AMOLED displays, Samsung Display regained its leading position in the market (with a 29% market share), replacing BOE. The third largest suppler is Tianma.

Is this Samsung's second foldable smartphone?

New images were leaked on Chinese media, showing a new foldable phone design - that is reportedly made by Samsung. This could be the company's upcoming second foldable phone (the Galaxy Fold 2 perhaps?).

Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 - leaked photo December 2019

The design looks somewhat similar to the clamshell Motorola Razr 2019 - but in Samsung's design (if this is indeed a Samsung phone) there is only a very small external display for notifications - which looks to be a white PMOLED.

Samsung Display expects 5G networks to drive up OLED smartphone sales

Samsung Display says that the surge of 5G-enabled smartphones will greatly benefit its OLED display business.

Samsung Galaxy S10e photo

Samsung says that 5G networks are expected to increase demand for smartphones in general. In addition, the thin form factor of OLED displays (compared to LCDs) enable smartphone makers to use more space for more sensors and larger batteries - which may be needed to support 5G networks.

Samsung researchers improve the efficiency and lifetime of self-emissive cadmium-free quantum dots

Researchers from Samsung's Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) developed a new method to increase the efficiency and lifetime of self-emissive Cadmium-free quantum dots. The researchers used Indium Phosphide QDs in a new structure that prevents oxidation and energy leaks and also absorbs current faster.

The researchers say that the new structure enhancements increases the internal quantum efficiency to almost 100 (the EQE reached 21.4%) while increasing the lifetime to a million hours (at a high brightness of 100 cd/m2). The maximum brightness is 100,000 nits. This performance is comparable to Cadmium-based QDs.

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters