LG aims for OLED display bull's eye

The company hopes focusing on the next-generation display technology will ensure the firm's survival in the marketplace.


LG plans to focus on investment in the OLED display technology space to stay ahead of the competition.

On Monday, South Korean display maker LG said at least 10 trillion won ($8.47bn) will be invested into organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays through 2018. As reported by Reuters, the funding will primarily be used to develop OLED displays suitable for products including television sets and mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and wearables.

LG also plans to explore how OLED technology can be used in singage and automanufacturing.

The South Korean firm will also allocate some investment towards liquid crystal display (LCD) products destined for the premium and luxury market.

In July, the display maker announced plans to invest 1.05 trillion won ($908m) in 6th-generation flexible OLED display production through the new E5 line, manufactured in the Gyeongbuk Province, South Korea. The new line, which can cater for television sets, mobile devices, wearable technology and the automotive industry, is scheduled to start mass production in the first half of 2017.

OLED displays, while considered by some companies -- including Samsung -- as too expensive for mass-market products, uses UV light to set phosphors to glow while color filters block out unnecessary pixels, resulting in true blacks and better picture quality and colors than current options on the market. There is no need for a backlight which can reduce image quality, and products using OLED displays tend to be thinner and lighter than LCD or older display technologies.

If LG manages to bring manufacturing costs down and generate a profit, this could bode well for the firm's future success in the display market. As OLED and flexible displays can be used in various applications, LG could earn a dominant position in the industry by investing early -- and potentially become the top OLED display maker when the technology becomes mainstream.

Global research firm IHS DisplaySearch estimates the flexible OLED market will enjoy a spike in sales from $3.5 billion in 2015 to $4.8 billion by 2021.

In June, LG and Nokia brought a long-running patent dispute to a close through the signing of a new licensing deal. Under the terms of the agreement, LG agreed to a "royalty-bearing smartphone patent license" for the smartphone maker's 2G, 3G and 4G patents.

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