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.
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.
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. In 2022, Samsung returned to OLED TV production, and is now offering QD-OLED panels and its first such TV is the S95B.
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:
The latest Samsung OLED news:
Samsung Display shows its latest flexible OLEDs at Display Week 2023 and unveils the OLED Sensor Display
Samsung Display demonstrated many OLED technologies at Display Week 2023, which we'll detail below. It seems that the main new technology was the Sensor OLED Display, which is an OLED with an embedded sensor that can perform fingerprint sensing in addition to blood pressure, heart rate sensing and stress level sensing (all from reading the finger), which the company says is the first such display in the world.
The Sensor OLED Display embeds light-sensing organic photodiodes (OPDs) inside the display itself, which allows it to perform the sensing functions all over the display. Samsung explains that as OLED light is reflected differently depending on the contraction and relaxation of the blood vessels inside the finger, the OPD senses the light when it returns to the panel, and converts it into health information.
Samsung Display to acquire OLED microdisplay developer eMagin for $218 million
Samsung Display is acquiring US-based OLED microdisplay developer eMagin, for $218 million in cash. The purchase price represents a premium of approximately 10% to eMagin’s closing stock price n May 16, 2023.
In 2022, Samsung Display confirmed it is developing OLED microdisplays, and the company admitted it is still at an early stage of development. Samsung's plan is to start mass production by 2024 or 2025. In October 2022 we reported that SDC is interesting in eMagin's technology and indeed now this news confirms the fact. It seems as if SDC's first generation panels will use a color-filter design, but Samsung's main interest in eMagin is likely its direct-emission technology, or dPd, which will likely be adopted in later generation panels.
Reuters - Samsung and LG finally sign a WOLED TV supply agreement, Samsung to buy 2 million OLED TV panels in 2024
LG Display has been negotiating a WOLED TV panel supply agreement with Samsung Electronics for a long time, and last year the company were close to an agreement, but discussions were halted in July 2022, and Samsung continued to launch its QD-OLED TV range. Last month it was reported that the two Korean companies are in talks again, and now Reuters says that LG and Samsung finally officially signed the supply agreement.
According to Reuters, LGD will start supplying panels to Samsung as early as this quarter (i.e. by the end of June 2023). Samsung agreed to order 2 million WOLED TV panels from LG in 2024, and this will grow to 3 million in 2025 and 5 million in 2026. The first panels will be 77-inch and 83-inch in size, but LG is likely to also supply smaller panels to Samsung.
Samsung Display starts ordering equipment for its 8.6-Gen IT OLED production line
According to report from Korea, Samsung Display has established a dedicated organization to head its new 8.6-Gen IT OLED Production line, and has started to order equipment. Samsung is converting an existing LCD line in Asan to OLED production, with an titak estimated cost of $3.1 billion.
According to the report, SDC's decision to have a dedicated organization was made to give that team independence from the company's current small-area (smartphone/wearable) focused business and TV-focused business.
A slowdown in Apple's laptop sales may delay Samsung's and LG's investment in OLED IT production lines
Samsung Display and LG Display are both gearing up to build 8-Gen AMOLED production lines, aiming to supply Apple (and others) with OLEDs for IT devices - laptops and tablets, mostly. Last month Samsung announced that it will convert an existing LCD line in Asan to OLED production, with an estimated cost of $3.1 billion.
According to a new report from Korea, the slowdown in Apple's laptop sales is a cause of worry for the OLED producers, who have delayed the plans to build the new fabs, and delayed equipment orders. The main problem for the OLED makers is that the slowdown in Apple's sales may drive Apple to want to low the price of the laptop displays, which would put a stress on the profitability of new OLED fabs.
DSCC: BOE's market share in flexible smartphone OLED displays rose to 27%
DSCC says that BOE's market share in the flexible (and foldable) smartphone OLED market has risen to 27% in Q1 2023. BOE flexible and foldable OLED panel sales grew 81% in Q1 2023 compared to last year, as the company enjoys growing sales to Apple, Huawei, Oppo, Realme, Vivo and ZTE. BOE is mostly taking market share from Samsung and LG, while Tianma's market share is also on the rise.
DSCC estimates that flagship smartphone shipments grew 17% in the first quarter, with flexible OLED smartphone shipments growing 18% and foldable ones growing 4%.
LG Display and Samsung Display are both working on special glass-TFE OLEDs for Apple's future iPads
Apple's interest in OLED displays for future iPad tablet device is not secret, and many analysts estimate that the first such device will be released in 2024.
One of Apple's requirement is for superior performance for its tablets compared to smartphone AMOLED displays - and so developers are relying on a tandem OLED structure. According to a new report from Korea, LG Display is developing another unique technology for Apple's iPads.
Samsung and LG are again negotiating a WOLED TV panel supply agreement
LG Display has been negotiating a WOLED TV panel supply agreement with Samsung Electronics for a long time, and last year the company were close to an agreement, but finally halted discussions in July 2022, and Samsung continued to launch its QD-OLED TV range.
According to new reports from Korea, the two companies have resumed there negotiations, with Samsung interested in buying around 200,000 to 300,000 panels for next year's TVs.
A new version of OLED-Info's Automotive OLED Market report released
Today we published a new edition of our Automotive OLED Market Report, with all the latest information. The new edition includes three new car models, updates from Samsung, JDI and JOLED, new market forecasts and more. The adoption of OLED technologies by the automotive is accelerating and expected to continue in the future.
Reading this report, you'll learn all about:
- OLED advantages and challenges
- PMOLED and AMOLED displays adopted in cars today
- Why OLED lighting is exciting for car makers
- All about flexible and transparent OLEDs
The report package also provides:
- A directory of all OLED automotive display makers
- OLED lighting roadmaps
- Personal contact details into leading OLED produces
- Car concepts with OLED technologies
- Free updates for a year
This OLED Automotive market report provides a great introduction to OLED display and lighting solutions for the automotive industry. This is a great guide for anyone involved with the automotive market - car makers, suppliers and aftermarket solutions.
Samsung to use its current M12 stack for the iPhone 15 series
According to a new report by The Elec, Samsung displays for Apple's upcoming iPhone 15 phone series will use the same material stack (M12) that were used in the iPhone 14. The M12 was used in the upper-range iPhones 14 series, but this year in the iPhone 15 series, all four models will use the same material stack.
The Elec also says that Samsung's next foldable phones will also use the same M12 stack, used in the previous generation foldables (Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4).