LG Display to spend $3.5 billion on new OLED plant, plans to reach 50% of Samsung production


Producing OLED panels for smartphones has turned into an extremely profitable business in 2017. Samsung Display is the current undisputed leader in this segment, dominating the mobile OLED market with a gigantic 95 percent share, but its main South Korean rival LG Display also has some serious intentions to get in on the action.

A hot new report from the East Asian country suggests that LG Display is planning to spend big on a new OLED production plant for smartphones. The company's initial plans envisioned that the facility would be employed for the manufacturing of OLED panels for TVs, but soaring demand from smartphone makers caused the tech giant to reconsider. According to ET News, the equivalent of $3.5 billion are prepared for investment, and construction of the factory is scheduled for completion by Q2 2018. 

Ambitions for the new plant involve a production capacity of 60,000 sixth-generation OLED screen units per month by 2019. LG Display is also reportedly increasing production of these screens at its two existing manufacturing lines, with the hopes of achieving a combined total of 120,000 units per month before 2020. For comparison, this almost half of the capacity of current market leader Samsung Display.

Rumors floating around Korean media suggest that one of the main reasons for this rapid expansion is because LG Display wants to attract Apple as a client. As you may know, there are some serious speculations that Cupertino plans to make the switch to OLED screens for future iPhones. As Samsung is currently the only manufacturer that can cope with the huge demand from Apple, the tech behemoths allegedly signed a two-year deal for the production and supply of $9 billion worth of OLED display sheets. Furthermore, LG itself is planning to use these screens for its new phones, with the upcoming V30 likely being the first LG handset to rock a current-gen OLED panel.

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4 Comments

1. haruken

Posts: 306; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

LG trynna be Samsung yet again...

2. Jishnusur

Posts: 173; Member since: Oct 07, 2013

That's called being competitive. Going by that logic, everyone makes phones. So Samsung Trying to copy Motorola maybe?

3. Tipus

Posts: 869; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

Good for consumer

4. Freebird

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 09, 2017

One substrate of 6th Generation oled panel (1500mm x 1850mm) can be cut into about 200 pieces of 5.5" smartphone screen. Production capacity of 120,000 substrates can be translated into 21,600,000 units of 5.5" oled screen per month when 90% yields rate is assumed (120,000 x 200 x 90%). This increased capacity of monthly 120,000 substrate for phone screen will be in addition to LG's current production capa. BOE is also expected to start oled panel production by 2018 (both for tv & phone) but will have to deal with yield issues. OLED production is something completely different from LCD. Their initial yield would be at around 20% at best. LG and Samsung took nearly 10 years to reach commercially meaningful level of yield rate. BOE knows that but would not worry because their communist government will just throw the huge money to them. BOE will open the Champaign with 20% of yield rate anyway. I'll see.

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