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

More details emerge on Samsung's QD-OLED TV Plans

Samsung Display is developing hybrid QD-OLED TV technology, and according to estimates, the company aims to begin trial production in 2019. It seems that Samsung is managing to overcome the technical challenges and the company is preparing to start production of such QD-OLED TVs in 2019.

QD-OLED stack scheme (DSCC, Oct-2018)

Last month Digitimes updated about Samsung's plans to start installing equipment by the end of 2018 and begin trial production in H2 2019. Digitimes now posted another article, revealing more details on Samsung's plans.

Will Samsung launch a 4K OLED laptop in CES 2019?

According to reports from Korea, Samsung aims to launch its first 4K OLED Laptop at CES 2019 (January 8). Samsung will offer the laptop in three sizes: 13.3", 14" and 15.6". Samsung Display, who makes these OLEDs, is also in talks with HP, Dell and Lenovo with an aim to supply them with these new OLED laptop panels.

Samsung Galaxy Book photoSamsung's 2017 Galaxy Book 12"

According to the Korean reports, these will be rigid (glass-based) OLEDs produced at SDC's A2 fab. According to reports, SDC's rigid OLED fab utilization rates have dropped to about 65% and in February 2018 we estimated that SDC may try to find new applications for its underutilized OLED capacity - maybe in monitors, transparent signage or indeed laptop devices.

OLED Handbook

South Korea company charged with leaking SDC's flexible OLEDs secret to Chinese display makers

South Korean prosecutors indicted a group of 11 executives and employees of Korea-based Toptec, a Samsung Electronics supplier, accusing them with leaking Samsung's flexible OLED technology to Chinese display makers. The group includes Toptec's president and managing director.

According to Nikkei Asian Review, the Toptec's executives supplied the stolen information to four companies in China - including BOE and CSoT. The cost of the information was 15.5 billion Won - or almost $14 million USD. Toptec produces display production automated equipment.

Samsung unveiled its upcoming foldable smartphone, with a 7.3" fold-in AMOLED

As expected, Samsung unveiled its upcoming foldable smartphone yesterday. The rumors were correct, and Samsung's first foldable device will have two screens - a large 7.3" foldable AMOLED that folds inside, and a smaller OLED that is used when the phone is closed. Samsung brands the display as the Samsung Infinity Flex Display.

Samsung Galaxy X prototype photo

The inner foldable display is a 7.3" AMOLED with a resolution of 1532x2152. The outer display is a 4.5" 840x1960 AMOLED. The whole device seems to be quite thick and about double the depth compared to a standard smartphone.

Will Samsung reveal its first foldable device today?

Samsung's annual US developer conference is starting today, and rumors suggest that the company will unveil its first foldable device (the Galaxy F?) during the event. Samsung Mobile's Facebook page profile image was changed today to the one you see below - which surely suggests something foldable:

Samsung Mobile Galaxy F teaser profile image

Hopefully we'll know more soon. For a few months now we hear that Samsung foldable device launch will take place in November, and according to the latest estimates the device will sport a 7.3" OLED display that folds inside. The device will also sport an external, smaller AMOLED.

Digitimes details Samsung's QD-OLED TV production plans and equipment

Samsung Display is developing hybrid QD-OLED TV technology, and according to estimates, the company aims to begin trial production in 2019. It is also estimated that Samsung has several challenges to overcome, but according to new reports from Digitimes, Samsung is aiming to start installing equipment for the new fab as early as December 2018.

QD-OLED stack scheme (DSCC, Oct-2018)

The new fab will begin operation in the second half of 2019 - pilot production at first which will be expanded to full scale mass production. The new fab will be built in Samsung's L8 LCD production line in Asan, and will take over one of the two lines currently in operation at the fab. Samsung's initial production capacity will be around 25,000 monthly G8 substrates.

Samsung reports higher sales of flexible OLEDs in Q3 2018

Samsung Electronics reported its financial results for Q3 2018, with a 5.5% increase in revenues (to KRW 65.46 trillion) and 20.9% increase in quarterly operating profits.

Samsung Display fared "unfavorable supply-demand conditions in the LCD market" - but total revenues improved from last year thanks for higher sales of flexible OLED panels. Earnings significantly grew from Q2 2018 due to increased utilization of flexible OLED panel capacity. Samsung expects OLED demand to remain strong in Q4 2018.

Samsung is developing laptops with foldable displays

Lee Min-Cheol, Samsung Electronic's PC Marketing VP says that Samsung is collaborating with "display makers" (Samsung Display? or an error in the quote?) to develop OLED laptops with foldable displays. Samsung says that it aims to bring "new value and user experience" and not just create a laptop and can simply fold in and out.

Samsung will hopefully release its first foldable smartphone device by the end of 2018 or in early 2019, but apparently the company is already thinking about other form factors. Earlier this month a report from Korea suggested that LG Display is collaborating with Lenovo to develop a 13" foldable tablet, with aims to start panel production in H2 2019.

Samsung Display details its future sensor technologies for under-the-OLED solutions

On October 19 Samsung held its 2018 Samsung OLED Forum, in Shenzhen, China, during which the company highlighted its OLED technology roadmap.

SDC sensor integrated tech slide (Oct 2018)

In an interesting slide, Samsung shows its roadmap for integrating sensors into the OLED display. Samsung's vision includes putting a fingerprint sensor, a camera (Under Panel Sensor, or UPS), speaker (Sound on Display) and also Haptic capabilities.

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.