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LG Display readies new offensive with innovative OLED solutions

Visitors look at a transparent OLED panel that displays the name of a subway station at Korea Railways & Logistics Fair 2021 being held in Busan on Wednesday. (LG Display)
Visitors look at a transparent OLED panel that displays the name of a subway station at Korea Railways & Logistics Fair 2021 being held in Busan on Wednesday. (LG Display)
Poised for a turnaround after years of restructuring efforts, LG Display is rolling out new innovative OLED products, including transparent panels.

The world’s largest provider of organic light-emitting diode display panels said Wednesday it will be taking part in the Korea Railways & Logistics Fair 2021 that kicked off a three-day run on Wednesday in Busan to showcase its transparent OLED technology.

Transparent OLED panels are what the company believes could be a new cash cow in the near future.

At the latest tradeshow for the railroad industry, LG unveiled a 55-inch OLED panel with a transparency ratio of 40 percent. This panel can replace windows of train cars, which are incorporated into reinforced glass.

Self-emissive OLEDs without the help of backlights boast higher levels of transparency than glass and liquid crystal panels. LG has reached the transparency level by making cathode as thin as possible.

Using transparent OELDs for train windows would be a new way of providing information on the operations of trains, commercial advertisements and entertainment content, the company says.

The LG affiliate supplied transparent OLED panels for underground trains in Beijing, Shenzhen and Fuzhou last year. It now eyes markets in Korea and other Asian countries and further in Europe and North America.

“The company will continue providing solutions that can maximize value of space through innovative platforms that are only possible to be built with OLED,” said Oh Chang-ho, executive vice president at LG Display.

According to market researcher Prescient & Strategic Intelligence, the transparent display market, including OLEDs and LCDs, is forecast to grow from $524 million in 2018 to $4.9 billion by 2024, expanding by 46 percent annually.

LG is also aggressively expanding in the automotive display market.

The company claimed 25.9 percent of the global automotive display market in the first quarter of 2021, maintaining its No.1 position in the market for 11 consecutive quarters, showed data by Omdia.

LG accounted for a whopping 91 percent share in the OLED panel market for automobiles, the data showed.

The OLED panel market for vehicles is forecast to see a rapid growth from $50 million last year to $264 million by 2022.

With the expected growths of new sectors, LG Display aims to swing back into the black this year after restructuring efforts to shift its business focus from LCD to OLED over the last two years.

Market watchers estimate the company would post 28 trillion won ($25 billion) in sales and 2.4 trillion won in operating profit by the end of the year. Some even forecast the panel maker could reach 30 trillion won in annual sales.

By Song Su-hyun (song@herladcorp.com)
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