Article last updated on: Oct 09, 2018

OLED is an emerging display technology that uses thin films of organic materials to make efficient, thin and high quality displays. OLED panels can made flexible, rollable and transparent. Korea's LG is at the forefront of OLED development and production - as the world's only OLED TV producer and a leading developer of flexible OLED and OLED lighting panels. LG's subsidiary LG Display is responsible for OLED R&D and panel production, while LG Electronics produces and markets OLED TVs.

LG OLED TVs

LG's 2018 OLED TV lineup include the flagship Wallpaper OLEDW8 (which attaches to the wall using magnets), the OLED-on-glass OLEDE8, the basic OLEDC8 and the entry level OLEDB8. The only TV that is shipping now is the 55" OLEDC8 which is priced at $2,500 (note: this is an affiliated link to Amazon).

As of 2018, the only company that produces produces commercial OLED TV panels is LG Display, and LG Electronics is the leading OLED TV producer - although LGD also supplies OLED panels to other companies including including Panasonic, Sony, Grundig, Philips, Metz, Loewe, Skyworth, Changhong, Haier, Konka and others.

LG OLEDW8 photoLG 2018 OLEDW8

Reviews of OLED TVs are terrific, and most experts and consumers agree that these OLED TVs are the best TVs ever produced - with virtually perfect image quality and beautiful form factors. LG is also developing next-generation OLED TV technologies, and has recently demonstrated a 65" rollable TV.

While the basic OLED TV design uses RGB OLED sub-pixels to create each 'pixel' (what is referred to as direct emission OLED, the design used in mobile OLED displays used in Samsung's and Apple's smartphoens, for example), LG Display opted for a different OLED TV design. The so-called WRGB (or WOLED-CF) architecture uses four white OLED subpixels with color filters on top (hence W+RBG). The WRGB technology (developed by Kodak and now owned by LG Display) is much easier to produce and scale-up, even though it has some technical disadvantages - and it is the technology that enabled LG to be the first company to actually produce commercial OLED TV panels.



LG Flexible OLEDs for mobile devices

LG currently produces flexible OLEDs (branded as pOLEDs), for both wearable devices and smartphones. LG is the exclusive supplier of AMOLED displays for Apple's Watch smartwatch and it also supplies OLED displays for smartphones - such as the 6.4" 1440x3120 notch-type pOLED used in LG Electronics's V40 ThinQ, introduced in October 2018 and the 6" QHD+ display used by Sony in its Xperia XZ3 flagship. Click here for more information on LG's pOLED displays and its production capabilities.

LG V40 ThinQ photo

LG Transparent OLEDs

LG are also working on transparent OLEDs. In 2014 LGD unveiled a 18" transparent OLED prototype, and later in 2016 LGD demonstrated transparent 55" FHD AMOLED display prototypes. These panels are not yet in production, but hopefully LG will start producing these eventually.

LG OLED Light

LG Display is developing and producing OLED lighting panels, and the company is one of the leaders in OLED lighting. The company produces several panels, including flexible OLED panels and high efficiency panels. In December 2017 LG started mass production at its new 5-Gen OLED lighting fab in Gumi, Korea.

LG Chem truly flexible OLED lighting panel photo

The 5-Gen line has an initial capacity of 15,000 substrates per month - about 30 times the capacity of LG's previous 2-Gen line that had a monthly capacity of 4,000 substrates. LG hopes that the new line will enable it to produces OLED lighting panels at a much lower cost (initial estimates suggested a 95% cost reduction!) which it hopes will trigger the widespread adoption of OLED lighting globally.

Further reading

Latest LG OLED news

Users complain about the quality of LGD's pOLED used in the Google's Pixel 3

Google's 2017 Pixel 2 XL was one of the first phones to adopt LG Display's pOLEDs (6" 1440x2880) - and initial reviews of the display were rather dismal - as both reviewers and customers complained about bad color reproduction, graininess and problematic viewing angles. Many users also reported serious image retention issues.

Google Pixel 3 vs. Pixel 1 - pink hue problem

In 2017, Google used Samsung's Super AMOLED displays in the smaller in 2017. This year, for the 2018 Google Pixel 3, Google chose SDC's 6.3" 1440x2960 Super AMOLED for the larger Pixel 3 XL - with proved to be a top-notch display. For the smaller Pixel 3, Google picked LG Display's 5.5" 1080x2160 - probably hoping that LGD managed to improve its displays - and most importantly its quality controls.

ETNews: LGD to start shipping OLED panels to Apple in December 2018

According to ETNews, Apple has contracted LG Display to start producing OLED panels for its smartphones. LG Display will produce the new OLEDs at its E6 production line in Paju, and will start shipping panels to Apple in December 2018.

Apple iPhone XS photo

The report says that LGD will ship around 400,000 panels to Apple by the end of 2018. The cost of each panel is around $90. This deal is important for LGD, and also for Apple as it wants to diversify its OLED supplier base. According to other reports, these LGD panels will only be used as repair panels by Apple, and will not be integrated into new iPhones.

OLED Handbook

The problematic AMOLEDs in Huawei's Mate 20 Pro are actually made by LGD, not BOE

Last week we reported that some Huawei Mate 20 Pro complain about a green tint in the smartphone's 6.39" 1440x3120 AMOLED display.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Green Tint photo

In our original post we reported that these displays are produced by BOE. However, according to Hernán Castañón (@hema), Huawei actually uses OLEDs produced by both LG Display and BOE - and all the faulty phones are one that use LGD made panels.

LG to bring a rollable OLED TV and a foldable OLED phone to CES 2019

LG Electronics demonstrated its 65" rollable OLED TV prototype in 2018, showing how such a display can be used to create a TV that rolls into its base.

LGD 65'' rollable OLED TV, CES 2018

Engadget says that LG has plans to showcase a rollable TV again in CES 2019 (January 9-11). Engadget says that according to its information the rollable TV will take "center stage" in next year's event - which may point to the fact that LG is close to commercializing such a TV. In 2017 LGD did say it plans to bring rollable OLED TVs to market by 2020.

LG - we sold over 3 million OLED TVs since launching the first one in 2013

LG Electronics said that it has sold over 3 million OLED TVs, since launching its first one in 2013 - in September 2018 it has shipped over 3.2 millionth units, in fact.

LG OLED65C6P photo

LG Display is increasing its production capacity quickly, and so LG Electronics can increase its TV shipments (although today there are over a dozen other companies that use LGD's OLED TV panels, including Sony, Philips, Panasonic and Toshiba). In 2018 alone LGD expects to sell a total of 2.9 million OLED TV panels (up from 1.7 million in 2017).

Lufthansa Technik join forces with LG to develop OLED displays for commercial aircraft cabins

Lufthansa Technik announced a joint venture with LG Electronics to develop, produce and market OLED displays for commercial aircraft cabins. The venture will be based in Hamburg, Germany and will commence operations in the first half of 2019.

Lufthansa Technik and LG, OLED cabin display concept

Lufthansa says that LG's lightweight and flexible OLED display technologies could be used to create new markets for on-board aircraft applications such as welcome screens in entrance areas, and interior linings. The image above shows a proposed application, promoting upgrade options during the boarding phase.

LG Display: our OLED TV business has finally turned profitable

LG Display announced its financial results for Q3 2018 - with revenues of $5.3 billion (up 9% from Q2 2018). Net income in the quarter was $15.8 million (up from a loss of $264 million in Q2 2018).

LG 65OLEDC8 photo

LG Display announced that its OLED TV business has finally turned profitable. LGD started producing OLED TVs in 2013 and it has been incurring losses for a long time. In 2018 LGD expects to sell a total of 2.9 million OLED TV panels (up from 1.7 million in 2017).

ETNews: LGD and Lenovo are developing a foldable 13" tablet, will ship by the end of 2019

According to a report from ETNews, LG Display is collaborating with Lenovo to develop a foldable tablet. The tablet will use a 13" foldable OLED - which LGD aims to start producing in the second half of 2019.

The 13" display will be around 9" when folded. So this device will stay in the tablet size category when folded, this will not compete in the smartphone market. This is the first time we hear of such a device under development - which could make sense as a tablet is not used as much as a smartphone is - and so the number of supported folding cycles can be lower.

DisplayMate: the Google Pixel 3 XL AMOLED is made by SDC, is a top-notch smartphone display

Display measurement experts Display Mate posted an in-depth review of the Google Pixel 3 XL 6.3" 1440x2960 AMOLED display. The display wins DisplayMate's highest ever Overall Display Assessment Grade of A+ together with a DisplayMate Best Smartphone Display Award.

Google Pixel 3 photo

DisplayMate says that Google now joins Apple and Samsung as the top tier of smartphone displays. The Google 3 XL display is on par with the AMOLED display used in Samsung's Galaxy S9. Interestingly, it turns out that Samsung Display provides this 6.3" AMOLED display to the Pixel 3 XL, while LG Display is likely to be the supplier for the smaller 5.5" 1080x2160 display used in the Pixel 3.

Where are the transparent OLEDs?

Transparent displays are of great interest, and many envision a plethora of possible applications that use transparent screens in the retail, commercial and consumer markets. There are many exciting applications - but none with real and immediate demand.

Many OLED makers are developing transparent OLEDs, and in the past we've seen several producers that introduced such displays to the market - only to halt production a few months later. Device makers are on the lookout for such displays, and are still disappointed even though the technology is ready.

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters