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LG Display invests $1.7 billion on flexible OLED phone screens

LG Display will spend around $1.7 billion to build a new production line for making flexible OLED smartphone screens. Flexible smartphone screens, which go into phones like the curved Galaxy S7 Edge, are becoming increasingly popular, and they seem likely to become a dominant style in a few years. The investment is meant to let LG become a leader in this display tech — it may have buyers lined up already, or LG could be planning to use the displays itself.

Dr. Sang-Beom Han, CEO and Vice Chairman of LG Display, said “A paradigm shift to OLED represents both a challenge and an opportunity for the display industry.” He added, “LG Display is determined to become the leader in the fast-growing OLED market through timely investments to maximize efficiency.”

The production line will be installed at the same OLED display factory that LG announced plans to build, for around $8.9 billion, last November. It's been speculated that the plant will be used to make screens for future iPhones, as Apple is expected to switch from LCD displays to OLED displays starting in 2018.

There have been rumors that an iPhone with curved sides could come along as well, so LG may be gearing up for that, too. LG says its flexible OLED line should start production in the second half of 2018, so we may see the first fruits of this investment come then or early the following year.

LG Display was the first to introduce the era of large-size OLED TVs with its world’s first 55-inch OLED TV display in January 2013. It also introduced the era of flexible OLED displays with the world’s first plastic substrate-based 6-inch flexible OLED display for smartphones in October 2013 and the world’s first 1.3-inch circular flexible OLED display in September 2014. LG Display has established an industry reputation for its recognized expertise and knowledge of flexible OLED displays.

According to IHS DisplaySearch, a global market research firm, the flexible OLED market is expected to grow rapidly with shipments increasing from 59 million in 2016 to 416 million in 2020.

source: LG,

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