LG Display plans to invest $13.5 billion to boost output of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens over the next three years, in order to, among other things, make inroads against rival Samsung in smartphone displays, reports Reuters. Apple is one of LG Display's main clients and is predicted to adopt OLED displays for the “iPhone 8” (shown in a fanciful mock-up).
The South Korean firm is reportedly shifting its focus to OLED from liquid crystal displays (LCDs) as demand for thinner and more flexible panels surge. LG Display is the world's top LCD maker for televisions and also manufactures nearly all large OLED screens for televisions globally. But it has barely a foothold in the market for OLED smartphone screens where rival Samsung has more than 90% of the market share, notes Reuters.
So far the only product Apple makers with an OLED is the Apple Watch. LG provides the smartwatch displays. iPhones and iPads use LCD technology, which offers lower manufacturing costs than OLED screens.
LCDs use a backlight behind the screen to emit light, and act as a valve allowing different amounts of this light to create the colors and images on the display. OLED is made up of many tiny LEDs, each emitting their own light and colors. They don’t require an “always on” backlight, as each LED can be on or off as needed, and emitting the right kind of light needed to create the images you’re seeing.
OLED technology is used in many high-end smartphones. Supporters of the technology praise its high contrast/deep blacks and potential thickness and power consumption advantages.