Posted : 2017-10-29 14:23
Updated : 2017-10-29 17:59

Samsung Display tightens OLED leadership

Seen above is a flexible organic light-emitting-diode (OLED) display manufactured by Samsung Display. / Courtesy of Samsung Display

By Lee Min-hyung

This year marks the tenth anniversary since Samsung Display commercialized the organic light-emitting-diode (OLED) display.

Succeeding in mass-producing the world's first OLED displays in 2007, the Samsung affiliate has continued investing in the displays for smartphones.

"The OLED drive was initiated back in the early 2000s when Samsung was making group-wide efforts to find the post liquid crystal display (LCD)," a company official said.

"We identified ‘flexible technology' as the new norm of the display industry. This was in line with the rise of the mobile market.

"To survive in the emerging industry, the flexible display was the next big thing, because it can offer more design options than LCDs."

Even if the OLED was not considered a mainstream display for smartphones in the early- to mid-2010s, the latest handset trend shows Samsung's bet on the OLED display was in the right direction.

Samsung Electronics has been one of the few smartphone manufacturers, equipping its flagship Galaxy handsets with the OLED displays. But because the OLED comes with a more competitive edge than LCDs in terms of flexibility, color accuracy and power consumption, other smartphone vendors - such as Apple or LG Electronics - have recently followed in Samsung's footsteps.

This is shown in Apple's iPhone X that comes with what it calls Super Retina OLED display. The high-end iOS device, launched this year, is the iPhone maker's first OLED smartphone.

Samsung Display is the undisputed leader in the global OLED display market for smartphones, with more than 95 percent market share. The company has made more than 1.6 billion OLED display panels over the past 10 years.

Driven by the ongoing shift to OLED, the company posted a record operating profit of 1.7 trillion won ($1.5 billion) in the second quarter.

According to market researcher IHS, OLED displays will account for 59 percent in the handset display market share next year, surpassing LCDs for the first time. In 2007, OLEDs occupied only 0.5 percent of the mobile phone display share across the globe.

In particular, the market tracker estimated the flexible OLED market will be worth $20.98 billion in 2010, twice as much as this year.

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