Samsung and LG are two of the largest conglomerates in South Korea alongside Hyundai, which is best known internationally for its automotive business. However, even as Samsung and LG have established themselves as two of the most reputable consumer electronics brands in the world, both actually have a wide array of businesses that extend far and beyond the consumer electronics sector they are best known for. Both companies have strong components businesses that mostly compete against each other in their home market, and with the display panel technology slowly but surely seeing a shift away from LCD to OLED, both of them are investing heavily in manufacturing facilities for such panels in their home nation and beyond.
With Samsung Display and LG Display both ramping up production of AMOLED panels, a research report from Taiwanese publication DigiTimes is projecting an exponential increase in AMOLED panel production by the two companies over the next few years. According to the report, the combined AMOLED production capacity at the two firms is likely to rise at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 33.1% between 2015 and 2019. While the two companies had a combined annual AMOLED production capacity of 6.093 million square meters last year, that figure is likely to multiply over three-fold to 19.1 million square meters by the end of 2019. While production at 8th-generation (8G) and above facilities are expected to go from 1.815 million square meters last year to 7.079 million square meters in 2019, 4.5 – 6G factories will also reportedly see a massive jump in production from 4.278 million square meters to 12.021 million square meters over the same period.
With prices of AMOLED panels falling steadily in recent times, demand for the technology has also been increasing. Apple is expected to make the transition from LCD to AMOLED with its iPhone 7s and 7s Plus next year. Interestingly, Samsung has even started to use such panels in its entry-level models like the Galaxy J3. While some have criticize AMOLED panels for displaying oversaturated and unnatural colors, the most commonly cited problem with OLED technologies is ‘burn-in’, whereby prolonged display of static images can potentially create permanent ghost-like images on screen, which result in degradation of image quality over time. Thankfully, though, newer panels have largely been able to tackle the issue, leading to increased acceptance of the technology from smartphone and tablet OEMs from around the world.