The OLED market has been one that Samsung has traditionally be dominant in, and so much so that it is believed that Apple has had to go to Samsung for the OLED screens rumored to be on the upcoming iPhone 8. LG is hoping this investment to take a piece of the pie itself.
The investment was announced during the South Korean company’s Q2 earnings call. The $13.5 billion is about 25 per cent more than its usual spending on the matter as the company shifts from production of LCDs to OLED screens. The benefit in OLED screens comes from thinner and more flexible panels that offer better picture quality and consume less power.
Part of LG’s plan is to put some of this investment toward the production of 10.5 generation large size OLED displays that will compete against Chinese manufacturers, and further OLED development for auto displays and smartphones. Ultimately, there are plans to build two new OLED production lines in South Korea and Gaungzhou, China.
The first OLED product from LG will arrive later this year is a smartphone with a six inch screen – the largest screen on an LG handheld device in nearly half a decade. LG is calling this screen its ‘plastic OLED FullVision display’. Despite the size, this device will still be smaller than last year’s LG V20 due to the removal of bezels.
The display will have a 1,400 x 2,800 resolution, which LG hopes will enable virtual reality-type content on its devices. It will also be protected by Gorilla Glass 5.