Seoul-based screen display company LG Display has announced plans to spend about $8.7 billion on constructing a new factory and expanding an existing one to manufacture a new type of screen display that will use lesser power and be suitable for much thinner mobile device screens, while presenting the brightest of colors possible.
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LG Display’s new plant will equally be fitted to manufacture light-emitting diode displays (OLEDs) for bigger television screens and smartwatches together with displays for vehicles. Production is expected to commence by early 2018.
Market analysts believe the new technology might replace Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) which are mostly used for smartphones. And insider sources disclosed that Apple has decided to start using OLEDs in 2018 for iPhones, but the company is yet to officially confirm this.
According to Claire Kim, an analyst at Daishin Securities Co. in Seoul, “Today’s announcement implies that the potential timing of Apple’s adoption of OLED screens is set.”
LG Display had earlier in August this year revealed it would be spending about $8.7 billion to produce the screens because of their brighter and sharper images which is better than those of LCDs. Meanwhile, the panels of the device would consume less power and space since they do not require any backlight.
Samsung Display Co., a major competitor to LG Display is also intensifying efforts to come out with its own OLED panels for smartphones. Major Chinese phone manufacturers and Apple patronize Samsung for ultra-thin screens, and it is expected that Apple will increase its demand for the panel and screens in time to come.
“I don’t think the P10 plant alone will entirely cover Apple devices only, so Apple has to turn to Samsung to secure stable production,” Kim noted.
Although Bloomberg analysts said Apple buys about 25% of LG Display’s products, the company still witnessed a 30% sales decline in the third-quarter and demand and profit dropped.
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LG Display’s stocks climbed 2.2% in Seoul, and benchmark Kospi index rose 5.9%. Market estimates by IHS stipulates that OLEDs sales might rise to $29.1 billion by 2022 from the $13 billion currently seen this year.