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

LG Display is also developing large-area Micro-LED TVs

In early 2018 Samsung unveiled its 146" modular Wall Micro-LED TV, and LG Display was quick to announce that it is also developing similar technology. According to reports, LGD aims to unveil its first Micro-LED TV in September 2018 (at IFA perhaps?) - and it will be larger than Samsung's.

Samsung 146'' micro-LED TV, The Wall

Samsung 146-inch Wall Micro-LED TV

Samsung's focus for the premium TV market is on two technologies, Quantum Dots and Micro-LEDs. It is not likely that LG Display is shifting its focus from OLEDs to Micro-LEDs, but it may be that Micro-LEDs will be used for very large area TVs and maybe for modular designs signage displays.

Samsung denies it is developing QD-OLED TVs, will focus on Micro-LEDs and QLEDs

Last week we reported that ETNews claims that Samsung is developing a hybrid Quantum-Dots OLED technology for its future TVs.

Today Yonhap News reports that Samsung Visual Display Business VP, Han Jong-hee, denies this story, saying that Samsung sticks to its two-track strategy for the high-end TV market, developing both QLED (quantum-dots enhanced LED LCDs) and Micro-LED TVs. Han further says that Samsung will start selling its Wall Micro-LED TV in August 2018.

Graphene for Displays and Lighting Market Report

ETNews: Samsung is developing hybrid QD-OLED TVs

ETNews posted an interesting article, claiming that Samsung Display is developing a new TV technology that combines OLED emitters with quantum-dot photo-luminescence materials. The basic idea is to use blue OLED emitters and then convert the blue light to white light using quantum-dots combined with color filters (QDCFs) to add red and green colors.

Samsung OLED TVs (2013)

This seems to be a rather complicated design, but it could be much easier to produce compared to a true RGB OLED TV, as there is no need for precise OLED patterning. This is similar to LG's WRGB OLED TVs which use a white OLED source (made from yellow and blue emitters) and color filters on top.

Will Samsung target new applications now that its smartphone OLED lines are under-utilized?

In the past few weeks we heard many reports that following lower than expected OLED orders from Apple (due to disappointing iPhone X sales) Samsung Display has suddenly found itself with under utilized OLED production lines.

Samsung already said that it aims to find new customers for its OLEDs, mostly in smartphone makers in China. Some analyst say however that this won't be so easy as the higher costs of SDC's AMOLED displays deter some of its potential customers, who prefer to opt for lower-cost high-end 18:9 LCDs.

UDC and Samsung Display sign new long-term PHOLED materials and technology supply agreements

Universal Display announced that it has signed long-term OLED material supply and license agreements with Samsung Display. UDC will continue to supply its PHOLED phosphorescent OLED materials and technology to Samsung Display for use in its OLED displays. The agreements are scheduled to run through December 31, 2022, and may be extended for an additional two-year period.

UDC PHOLED materials photo (2017)

UDC did not disclose the financial terms of these new agreements, but we do know that Samsung will pay a license fee throughout the agreement period. The previous UDC-SDC agreement ended on December 31st 2017, but for the past month and a half the two companies still conducted business of course as SDC's OLED production was not halted.

Cynora presents a new blue TADF emitter, aims to meet LGD's and SDC's specification soon

German TADF developer Cynora recently participated in the international OLED summit in China, and the company presented its latest blue TADF material that features a CIEy of 0.18, EQE of 21% and a lifetime of 10 hours LT97 at 700 nits. This is an improvement of the material shown in September 2017 (which had the same specification but with a lower EQE of 14%).

Cynora: where are we today slide (Feb 2018)

Cynora reports that during the last 24 months, the company achieved its most important goals - high efficiency and a satisfying color point. It has made "tremendous progress" in the last year on the lifetime front and is now close to commercial lifetime specification.

Reports from Korea suggest that Apple decided to discontinue the iPhone X

We already heard several reports that Apple is reducing its OLED display orders from Samsung (from an estimated 40 million in Q1 2018 to 20 million) - following lower than expected iPhone X sales.

Apple iPhone X photo

New reports from Korea now suggest that Samsung display also announced to its own suppliers that it will not order any more parts for the iPhone X in H2 2018. It could mean that Apple is aiming to introduce new OLED phones in 2018, but the Korean reports say that it is also likely that Apple is not looking to introduce a new OLED iPhone in 2018 at all.

Special clearance sale of Samsung's 7.67" 1280x800 AMOLED displays

A display supplier we're in touch with has just received 750 pcs of Samsung's 7.67" 1280x800 Super AMOLED Plus displays (circa 2014). These displays were adopted by Samsung and other device makers mostly in tablets (the first one was in the 2011 Galaxy Tab 7.7).

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

The supplier is offering these displays at a very low price (almost half their regular price), if anyone is interested in these panels, contact us here!

Samsung reports a strong quarter, will not be affected by Apple's lower iPhone X sales much, commits to a foldable phone in 2018

Samsung Electronics reported its results for Q4 2017, with a record quarterly profit of $11.2 billion driven by strong demand for memory chips and high-end displays. Samsung Display reports increased OLED shipments for premium smartphones.

Samsung A8 2018 photo

Looking at Q1 2018, SDC says that its OLED business is likely to be affected be declining demand due to seasonality and increased competition from LTPS LCD. For the the whole of 2018, SDC expects OLED to increase its penetration in the smartphone industry, and the company aims to introduce new premium applications such as foldable displays and OLEDs for the automotive market.

Air Products and Praxair announce gas supply deals with Samsung Display and EverDisplay

Air Products announced that it has been awarded a long-term contract with Samsung Display to supply nitrogen, oxygen and liquid argon to SDC's OLED manufacturing complex in Tangjeong, South Korea. Air Products has been supplying SDC's Tangjeong production line since 2004 and this new contract is a renewal of its current supply agreement.

A few days ago Praxair Inc announced that it has signed a long-term gas supply agreement with Shanghai's EverDisplay. Praxair will supply EDO with nitrogen, oxygen and Helium for its new 6-Gen AMOLED fab which will require 720 tons per day of Nitrogen. The bulk gas supply is scheduled to begin in mid-2018. EDO aims to start trial production at its new 6-Gen fab in January 2019 and mass production is expected in 2021.