Samsung sees OLED as the leading future display technology, promises foldable OLEDs in 2015

A few days ago Samsung held their Analyst Day 2013 with a lot of fascinating information regarding the company's present business and its future plans. It was clear from Samsung Display's presentation that the company sees OLED as the leading future display technology and puts a great emphasis on flexible displays. They see flexible OLED penetration into the mobile display market reaching 40% by 2018 (up from 0.2% in 2013) - this is based on research by DisplaySearch.

In fact Samsung Electronics's CEO announced that the company aims to bring fully-foldable screens sometimes in 2015. In the same statement he mentioned that there is still plenty of room for improvement for the Galaxy Gear and it's likely that the company is already developing a wearable device with a flexible AMOLED display.

Samsung foldable YOUM phone prototype

Samsung sees three kinds of backplanes for future displays. A-Si based LCDs will still be used for low end (under 250 ppi) displays. Mid-range displays will be using Oxide-TFT based LCDs. And high end (over 300 ppi) displays will be LTPS-based AMOLEDs. From this slide it seems that Samsung are currently not developing Oxide-TFT OLEDs

SDC also announced that by the end of 2013, they'll produce their 500-millionth AMOLED panel. That is impressive - in the beginning of 2013 they announced the 300-million panel produced. This means they expect to produce 200 million panels in 2013 alone. This means over 560,000 panels per day - up from 470,000 panels per day in 2012. The growth in production is even greater than that as average panel size keeps growing due to larger smartphones.

In fact, according to Samsung, their AMOLED capacity is now 140,000 5.5-Gen sheets per month. This is up 27% from 2012 (110,000). Going forward, they see AMOLED taking up more and more of the company's CapEX.

SDC capex plans 2013-2017 slide

Regarding patents, Samsung announced they have over 9,000 OLED related patents - up from 7,000 in 2010 and 5,000 in 2008. SDC says they are the leaders in flexible display related patents (33% of patents).

SDC OLED IP portfolio 2013 slide

You can read the entire SDC presentation here (PDF) and more Samsung group presentations can be found here.

Posted: Nov 11,2013 by Ron Mertens