Samsung to Invest $3.6 billion in New OLED Fab

OLED info OLED capacity

According to an article published by Reuters, Samsung Display is planning to invest a substantial amount of money into building a new OLED fab for the production of small to medium sized display panels for handheld devices including tablets and smartphones. The company did not release any data on the expected capacity of the new line once completed. Investments will be made in the 2015 to 2017 time frame.

The same article also added that LG is investing around $1 billion in an existing OLED fab for large panel displays. LG and Samsung continue to divide the OLED market by panel size, with Samsung focusing on smaller and LG on larger panels. also speculates about the type of OLED displays being planned for the new Samsung OLED fab.

Source: OLED-Info

The image from shows the growth of OLED capacity by year through to 2013. This continues the growth path of OLED capacity Samsung Display has been following since 2009.

It goes on to speculate that such a capacity increase would bring OLED to the point of cost equality with LCD in the small display panel space. This is pure speculation at this point. Even with doubling the total OLED capacity at Samsung the total amount of display production is heavily skewed towards LCD manufacturing.

OLED-Info further speculates that the investment will focus on flexible OLED panels instead. It believes that the Samsung Galaxy S6 will sport a curved display of some sort. If correct, this could indicate that Samsung is planning on releasing more devices with curved displays in years to come.

One of the Reuters articles adds some interpretation from financial analyst that see the investment as a sign of more focus on the component side of Samsung’s business. Samsung is quite unique in its success as a component supplier as well as a device manufacturer. One could argue that the success in the development and manufacturing of electronic components and displays in particular led to the success Samsung enjoyed in the device side of the industry. With Apple surpassing Samsung sales in the 4th quarter of 2014, these analysts believe that Samsung may be changing the focus in its business activities.

Display Daily Comment

The important fact in the story is that Samsung is investing in electronic components (together with a larger investment in the semiconductor business) to a point where it is affecting the return to its investors. The company is signaling a high degree of confidence in the near time development of the consumer electronic business. – Norbert Hildebrand