LG made a decision to invest $8.7 billion in a large plant dedicated to manufacture Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) displays, to boost its presence in the ultra-clear display technology. The plant is going to be the South Korean tech giant’s biggest OLED panel facility.
The massive project
The plant will be situated in Paju, South Korea and make across all product segments displays ranging from large screens for TVs, mid-seized for tablets, smartphones, all the way down to small, flexible panels for the likes of smartwatches, auto displays, and wearables.
The company said it will spend an initial 1.84 trillion won to begin building the plant, called P10 and the production is expected to begin in the first half of 2018.
LG Display CEO Han Sang-Beom hailed what he called a “historical investment” that would make the plant the “centre of the global OLED industry.”
Apple to get the “next-generation screens” from LG
Apple’s likely to introduce OLED displays in its iPhones to be manufactured in 2018 and LG Display is keen on supplying OLEDs to Apple. Apple is the biggest customer of LG Display, accounting for about 25 percent of sales. Apple used OLED panels supplied by LG Display for the first generation Apple Watch launched earlier this year. Though assumptions that LG will supply OLEDs to Apple remain strong, a spokeswoman for LG Display declined to comment on this as of now.
Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) Display
OLEDs or AMOLED screen technology use thin-film transistor backplanes for turning on and off every pixel, thus augmenting clarity in pixel resolution and large displays. OLED offers enhanced viewing angles with consistent colour saturation and contrast. Being more advanced than the LCD technology, OLED works without a backlight, thereby bringing enhanced deep black levels onto screens much thinner and lighter than any other form of display technology. The five biggest advantages associated with OLED’s include low cost, flexibility and light weight, wider viewing angles and better power efficiency.
The biggest rival
LG happens to be the world’s leading large OLED TV manufacturer, so it is far from surprising to see such a display make its appearance at South Korea’s Incheon International Airport.
But more than 90 percent of the global market for small and midsize OLED panels is dominated by Samsung Electronics, mainly supplying the ultra-thin screens to parent Samsung Electronics Co. and to Chinese smartphone makers. It’s also being heard that rival Samsung is in negotiations with Apple over supplying OLED panels.
LG Electronics Inc. and its affiliate LG Display’s plans show their continued heavy investment in OLED TVs, and LG Electronics recently reduced the prices of TV sets in the United States using OLED in a push to popularize the technology. Hopefully, the new investment by LG will also facilitate the rising demand for OLED in coming years, promising better design flexibility.