LG to Spend Billions on OLED Displays

27 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

LG Display plans new OLED factory.

LG will invest billions in OLED display production over the next few years, starting with plans for a large panel plant in Korea, which could produce screens for new iPhones. Apple is set to start using brand new screen technology beginning with its iPhone 8, according to reports, probably bringing huge new improvements in battery life.Seoul: Apple supplier LG Display will spend more than 10 trillion won ($8.7 billion) on building a new plant and expanding production of a newer type of display that can be used to cut power use, make thinner devices and show brighter colours.

The so-called P10 factory—which is being built in Paju, Gyeonggi Province—will take about two years to complete, but will specialize in large-size OLED TV panels and flexible OLED panels for smartwatches and automotive displays. The $8.7 billion investment is expected to be the size of 14 football fields and about 328 feet high. “LG Display’s investment in P10 Plant is a historical investment for the industry since it will not only help expand the OLED market but also accelerate the development of future display technologies. That will probably be the year that Apple launches the iPhone 8, if it sticks with its pattern of launching a full new phone every other year and an “S” model inbetween.

OLED screens are much more efficient if they are being used to show screens that are predominantly black, meaning that the operating system would likely be redesigned to be mostly black rather than the colourful and often white look that it has now. Apple plans to adopt OLED for iPhones from 2018, the Nikkei newspaper reported Thursday without attribution. “Today’s announcement implies that the potential timing of Apple’s adoption of OLED screens is set,” said Claire Kim, an analyst at Daishin Securities in Seoul. Earlier this week, Nikkei reported that Apple would adopt OLED displays for its iPhones in 2018, and that LG was planning “capacity upgrades” in response.

Apple design head Jony Ive has referred to the iOS interface as “old” when compared to the Apple Watch one, and so it is likely that the new iPhones will borrow from the wearable. Apple’s demand for the panels will be strong enough to support more than one big maker, said Kim. “I don’t think the P10 plant alone will entirely cover Apple devices only, so Apple has to turn to Samsung to secure stable production,” she said. He wrote that Apple manufacturers were continuing to invest in LCD screens and that OLED production was still slow, meaning that Apple was unlikely to swap over for the iPhone 7 or 7s. The global OLED market is forecast to climb to $29.1 billion by 2022, from $13 billion this year, the company said in the statement, citing estimates by researcher IHS.

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