Samsung Signs New Contract With Long-Term OLED Tech Supplier

Samsung Display tied its long-term OLED technology supplier Universal Display Corporation to a new contract that will see the two companies extend their collaboration to the end of 2020, the parties announced Wednesday. While the agreement runs through December 31, 2022, the duo already negotiated a provision that can prolong it for two additional years, though it's presently unclear whether either firm can independently decide to activate the clause. Likewise, the companies haven't disclosed any financial details of the deal and aren't expected to do so going forward. While Samsung Electronics reports the general performance of its panel business on a quarterly basis, it doesn't break down its results by individual contracts like the newly announced one.

Going forward, UDC will continue providing the South Korean panel manufacturer with its UniversalPHOLED phosphorescent OLED materials, the same ones Samsung has already been using in its modules for years now. In the same vein, the Trenton, New Jersey-based manufacturer agreed to keep supplying Samsung with its technologies for implementing the materials into commercial products at a large scale. The new agreement will lead the two firms into their third decade of collaboration, with UDC and Samsung signing their first supply agreement more than eighteen years ago. The Seoul-based original equipment manufacturer became the world's largest maker of OLED panels in 2004, according to most industry trackers, and has only strengthened its lead in the following years.

Samsung is still exploring new display technologies such as MicroLED and is expected to begin experimenting with their commercial applications in the near future, though the OLED market is likely to remain the main focus of its panel business for the foreseeable future as the company likely won't be willing to lose its grasp on the industry until the global demand shifts to a new technology. Samsung's Galaxy-branded smartphones have been using OLED panels across all price segments for years now, with the company most recently transitioning to an even more efficient solution in the form of AMOLED panels. Its next devices set to be equipped with such displays are the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, both of which are scheduled for a February 25 announcement.

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