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

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.

Transparent OLEDs Market Report

ETNews: Samsung and LGD to supply Apple with its iPhone OLEDs in 2020

Korean site ETNews says that Apple will release three new iPhone models in 2020 - all with OLED displays. There will be a 5.4", 6.1" and 6.7" models.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro photo

For the 5.4" and 6.7" models, Apple will rely exclusively on Samsung Display for its AMOLED displays - and will adopt Samsung's Y-OCTA technology (on-cell touch) which enables thinner panels. ETNews says that SDC offered great terms for Apple to secure the 2020 exclusivity.

Samsung starts constructing its A5 flexible OLED fab

In 2017 Samsung Display started to build its largest OLED production fab, the A5 fab in Asan. The fab was supposed to have a monthly capacity of 180,000 to 270,000 monthly substrates (Samsung's A3 line has a monthly capacity of 135,000 substrates).

Following lower demand for OLED panels and increased competition from China, Samsung stopped constructing the A5 fab, but a new report from Korea now suggests that Samsung is now starting to construct the A5 fab as demand for OLED displays is picking up.

Will Samsung switch to flexible glass in future foldable OLEDs? Signs exclusive deal with Dowoo Insys

Samsung has reportedly signed an exclusive deal with Korea's Dowoo Insis to supply ultra-thin glass (UTG) to be adopted in future foldable OLED devices. As part of the deal, Samsung Ventures invested 12 billion Won ($10 million USD) in Dowoo, who will only be able to sell its glass to Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy Fold photo



According to reports from Korea, Dowoo can currently produce around 500,000 UTG units per month - which should be enough to support Samsung's foldable OLED needs in 2020. With the new investment, Dowoo plans to increase its production capacity in the future. Dowoo's display glass is less than 100um thick - and can be made thinner up to 30 um.

Motorola announces the Razr 2019 clamshell foldable LGD AMOLED phone

Motorola announced the Razr 2019, a clamshell-style smartphone that features a 6.2" 2142x876 (21:9) foldable AMOLED display that folds inside. There's also a regular external 2.7" 600x800 AMOLED used when the phone is closed.

Motorola Razr 2019 photo

This seems, at least to me, to be a beautiful design which may appeal to more consumers compared to the larger foldable phones we have seen until today that open up to a tablet-style device. The Razr is also the cheapest foldable OLED phone yet announced at $1,500 (it will ship in January 2020).

Samsung to expand its laptop AMOLED product lineup

In February 2019 Samsung started to produce 15.6" 4K AMOLEDs for laptops - and recently the company also started to produce 13.3" 4K AMOLEDs, already adopted by HP for a new laptop.

Samsung Display OLED Forum (Taipei 2019)

Last week SDC hosted an OLED for IT companies, and over 300 employees from laptop producers in Taiwan (including HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Asus) attended the event. During the event, Samsung says that it will add a new OLED panel to its lineup, a 13.3" FHD model - which will be cheaper than the 4K model which will help expand OLED adoption in more laptop models in 2020.

Samsung reports stronger OLED sales in Q3 2019

Samsung Electronics reported its financial results for Q3 2019 - with sales of 62 trillion Won ($53 billion USD) and an operating profit of 7.78 trillion Won ($6.6 billion USD). Samsung reported lower memory earnings - but stronger smartphone and OLED panel sales.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro photo

Samsung Display saw increased profit from smartphone displays as demand for flexible OLED panels increased. SDC also reported improved OLED utilization rates.

Has Samsung developed its own LTPO OLED technology?

Apple developed its LTPO backplane technology for OLED displays to enable power saving of around 5-15% compared to LTPS AMOLEDs. LTPO was adopted in Apple's Watch Series 4 and Watch Series 5 smart watches - with the panels produced by LG Display using Apple's technology and IP.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 photo

According to a new report from Korea, Samsung has recently developed its own brand of LTPO backplane technology and has started to produce such panels - which are adopted by the company's latest smart watch, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 (which recently started shipping). The watch has a 1.2" 360x360 or 1.4" 360x360 round AMOLED displays.

Samsung to supply Apple with 40-50 million iPhone OLED displays in H2 2019

According to a new report from Korea, Samsung Display will supply around 40-50 million flexible AMOLED displays to Apple in the second half of 2019. Apple's latest iPhone lineup was met with positive market response (this was already reported earlier this month by Bloomberg).

Apple iPhone 11 Pro photo

According to the report, Samsung supplied Apple with 3.9 million OLEDs in July, 8.4 million in August and 9.9 million in September. Apple's original plan was to order 6.9 million panels in September but demand was stronger than expected.