Samsung's rigid OLEDs struggle to compete with LCDs, reports etnews

January 31, 2018 // By Julien Happich
According to a report from Korean IT news media etnews, Samsung Display’s rigid OLED business is struggling within Smartphone markets due to the increased production of price-competitive LTPS (Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Silicon) LCDs favoured by Chinese Smartphone manufacturers.

According to the report, Samsung Display has recently slashed the operation rate of its A1 and A2 lines, both rigid OLED production lines, by half.
The company stopped operating part of A1 line that produces fourth generation rigid OLEDs while the operation rate of the A2 line, which mainly produces 5.5th generation rigid OLEDs and partially produces flexible OLEDs, also dropped as part of its line has come to a halt.

Rigid OLED markets have started to lose grounds when the price of LTPS LCDs dropped as production capabilities of LTPS LCD increased in Taiwan, Japan, and China during 2017.

Output increased as AUO, BOE, Foxconn, and Tianma extended their 6th generation LTPS LCD plants and started to operate them starting from the second half of 2016. Price naturally dropped, and profitability of LTPS LCDs has become worse along with that of rigid OLEDs.

According to industry analysts, LTPS LCDs are currently supplied at a loss (below production costs), making faire competition impossible.
According to etnews' report, even if Samsung Display may be considering to use its A2 line entirely for the production of flexible OLEDs, the company has yet to come up with a clear plan because production capability of flexible OLED will increase as Samsung Display is set to operate its L7-1 line, which was converted to a flexible OLED line from a former LCD line.

In an effort to secure customers for both its flexible OLEDs and its rigid OLEDs, the company may have to bring extra value through novel designs.

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