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LG Display seeks OLED supremacy

LG Display, the world’s largest display maker by sales, pledged Tuesday to become a game-changer in the nascent organic light emitting diode market by beefing up production from the third quarter this year.

“OLED is the ultimate display technology. Its success is crucial not just for LG but also for the nation’s display industry,” said LG Display’s OLED business unit president Yeo Sang-duk at a news conference in Seoul.

“We will ramp up efforts to boost the market with our full-fledged production starting from the third quarter.”

An OLED display works without a backlight so it offers almost infinite contrast levels, high light output, no motion blur, uniformity or off-angle issues. It is also thinner and lighter than a liquid crystal display or LCD.

LG Display’s OLED business unit president Yeo Sang-duk speaks at a media conference in Seoul on Tuesday. (LG Display)
LG Display’s OLED business unit president Yeo Sang-duk speaks at a media conference in Seoul on Tuesday. (LG Display)

But OLED is a lot tougher to produce than LCD, which affects both the supply and pricing. That’s why most display makers still stick to LCD for better profits.

LG display, which was the first to market big screen OLED TVs with LG Electronics, however, has poured resources into the futuristic technology with aims to nurture its next-growth engine business.

As part of the strategy, the company set up a new OLED business unit in January that oversees the whole process of production, development and marketing activities under the leadership of Yeo, a display veteran with more than 30 years of experience.

Its two OLED production lines in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, have also improved the yield rate to achieve a monthly production capacity of 120,000 to 130,000 panels from the third quarter.

“The yield rate is nearing a golden figure. We expect to sell 1.5 million OLED TVs next year, more than double this year’s 600,000 unit sales,” Yeo said, adding that the company is in talks with Chinese and Japanese TV makers for supply deals.

Asked about growing speculation that its rival Samsung would soon resume OLED TV production, he said: “If Samsung wants, we could supply our panels.”

LG Display plans to expand its big screen lineup ranging from the current 55 inch to 65 and 77 inch panels, targeting the premium market.

It is also developing smaller variants such as bendable and plastic versions for wearable devices and digital signage. Their automotive adoption is also an emerging market.

By Lee Ji-yoon (