Samsung Display and LG Display are looking to drastically change their OLED display business strategies this year in order to make inroads into each other’s home turfs. Specifically, Samsung Display is going to make a substantial investment in OLED TV panels while LG Display is planning to invest more in smaller OLED panels so that its products can be supplied for Apple’s next iPhone.
According to industry sources, Samsung Display is expected to install large OLED panel manufacturing equipment in Tangjeong, South Chungcheong Province in the third quarter of this year. The initial investment is estimated to be limited to two trillion won to three trillion won in view of factors such as yield stability and financial resources availability. It is said that Samsung Display is currently conducting final tests on eighth-generation OLED panel production technology to that end.
In the meantime, LG Display is mulling over an additional investment in the mobile OLED panel market, which has been dominated by Samsung Display. When it comes to small-sized display panels, LG Display used to focus on LCD before setting up flexible OLED panel production lines in Gumi in July last year at an investment of 1.5 trillion won. More recently, it decided late last year to build OLED panel production lines in Paju at an investment of 10 trillion won, which is scheduled to include those for small-sized flexible panels.
At present, Samsung Display is representing approximately 95% of the global mobile OLED panel market, which is estimated to reach US$25 billion in size this year.
LG Display is trying to increase its share in the market as Chinese smartphone manufacturers and Apple are changing their business strategies. Huawei and Xiaomi have already started the development of smartphones equipped with OLED panels. Chinese smartphone manufacturers are using Samsung Display’s OLED panels and Apple is expected to use an OLED panel for its iPhone for the first time ever next year, which means LG Display has no time to waste with regard to investment in OLED panels for mobile use.