LG Shifting To OLED Displays For Future Smartphone Flagships Starting With V30 In Q3

If we had a say in the matter, all smartphone displays would migrate to OLED (organic light emitting diode) panels. In our opinion, Samsung's Super AMOLED displays (as found on the Galaxy S8/S8+) are unrivaled in terms of overall picture quality, though perhaps not for much longer. Rival LG Electronics is said to be making the switch to OLED displays starting with its forthcoming large screen V30 handset.

That one is due out in September. After that, LG will launch its flagship G7 phone sometime next year, and that will also feature an OLED screen. In both cases, LG will pull the majority of OLED panels from its own display division's Gumi E5 plant, though it also plans to outsource part of production to Chinese phone makers who are hoping to keep pace with Samsung and Apple.

LG V20
The LG V20 features a bright display but it can't compete with Samsungs's Super AMOLED panels

This is not LG's first foray into OLED smartphone territory. The company's G Flex handset released in 2013 also featured an OLED panel, one that was curved. However, the 6-inch curved display was hamstrung by its comparatively low 720p resolution. Along with the lack of a microSD card and a fixed battery (at a time when many Android phones featured removable batteries), consumers just didn't take to the G Flex.

Meanwhile, more than two-thirds of Samsung's smartphones wield OLED displays, which Samsung supplies through its own display division. At present, Samsung Display serves 95 percent of the mobile OLED market. As other phone makers look to the make the switch, including Apple, LG reckons now is a good time to ramp up its efforts in the OLED panel production space.

“It may take some time for LG Display to reach the similar yield rate of its rival Samsung Display. There are a range of issues to solve such as patents and supply chains for OLED equipment and materials,” an unnamed display analyst told The Investor.

LG also faces the challenge of securing contracts from phone makers. For the time being, Samsung is the only company providing OLED panels to Apple for its forthcoming iPhone 8 model. Given the contentious history between Apple and Samsung, it might not be all that difficult to pry Apple away as a customer.