News Nov 28, 2015 04:12 AM EST

LG Display to build new OLED plant with $8.7 billion investment

By Staff Writer

LG Display announced it will build large organic light emitting diode (OLED) panel production lines to raise the wager on OLED display technology. The South Korean company plans to invest more than 10 trillion won ($8.71 billion) in OLED plants by 2018.

According to Reuters, LG Display will spend an initial investment of 1.84 trillion won to build its tenth OLED panel production line called P10 in Paju, South Korea. The plant will produce OLED displays for all product segments including large OLED displays for TVs and flexible screen for devices like smartwatches and auto displays.

The company plans to start the OLED production in Paju plant in the end on 2017 in anticipation of Apple adopting OLED displays for the next generation of iPhones  in 2018, according to Nikkei.

OLED technology will offer sharper images and colors than liquid crystal display (LCD) that is being used by the current iPhone models. The OLED screen can also be bent and rounded at certain degree which allows the device manufacturers to have the greater flexibility in designing the device.

LG Display has been supplying Apple with its LCDs for current iPhones. With its main customer will likely adopt OLED displays for the next iPhones, LG Display begins shifting from investment in LCD to OLED. In order to secure enough panels for Apple's high demand, LG Display needs to upgrade it's OLED production capacity.

According to Business Korea, industry watchers also believe that LG Display's investment in OLEDs is an anticipating move. The company makes the move considering OLED panels growth in the future. LG Display believes that OLED will replace LCD markets in the next three of four years. Some Chinese manufacturers are already using OLED displays in their TVs and smartphones products.

LG Display will also invest in other display technologies including low temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) and the next generation of LCDs called oxide based LCD at the same time. Thus the company will have more flexibility to overcome any possibilities in display markets.

Earlier this year the company stated that it would invest more than 1 trillion won to build new plant in Gumi, South Korea, to produce 1,500 mm by 1,850 mm OLED substrate sheets.

LG Display has been in a fierce competition with Samsung Display on OLED markets and manufacturing. Samsung is currently the only company that can perform mass production of OLED smartphones display, while LG Display is currently focusing on OLED productions for televisions. The two South Korean companies will likely compete to supply Apple with OLED displays for the next generation of iPhones.

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