Is LG Display leading over Samsung Display with the quality and performance of its latest OLED?

Since Samsung started mass producing AMOLED displays in 2007, most people believe that the company is not only the leader in OLED production capacity, but also in the performance of its displays. In most cases, Samsung has been the first company to develop and manage to mass produce the most advanced OLED displays, and the first to adopt the latest OLED materials, architectures, and processes.

There are some signs that this could be changing, although honestly it's a bit too early to know. In May 2024, Apple launched its first OLED Tablets, and according to reports, Apple chose LG Display as its main supplier, ordering around 60% of its iPad OLEDs from LGD (with all of the 13" model orders going to LG), and the rest from Samsung. Later it was reported that Apple had to delay the introduction of its 2024 iPad Pro devices as Samsung faced low production yields and could not deliver displays in time.


The main reason, it seems, behind LGD's advantage in this case is the tandem architecture that Apple chose. LG Display started producing tandem OLEDs years ago, as it adopted the technology for its automotive OLEDs. LGD has been the leader in automotive OLEDs for many years, and now it is enjoying the advantages of that experience. Last month LGD announced it is the first company to mass produce tandem laptop OLED displays - reportedly its first customer will be Dell. it is likely that Samsung has already (or soon will be) able to also mass produce tandem tablet and laptop OLED displays, but LG will also be likely racing ahead.

A 13-inch tandem laptop OLED panel, LG Display

Another interesting report came from Korea in June, stating that Apple confirmed LG Display as a supplier for the iPhone 16 Pro Max display - the first time that it was approved before Samsung. This is very interesting. It could be that Apple aims to adopt a tandem OLED in the smartphone (not likely though), or some other new technology such as MLA, in which LGD has an advantage. It could be that Apple is only trying to adjust its supply chain better and pressure Samsung. We do not know yet.

In recent years we have seen LG Display adopting several new OLED technologies, such as Micro Lens Arrays (MLA), Deuterated materials, and others. LG Display is enjoying its wide OLED production capabilities in the automotive OLED segments and the large-display segments (WOLED monitors and TVs) to develop and adopt new technologies, and it seems as if the company is now bringing its expertise and technologies also to its smaller AMOLED display panel production. 

Indeed LG Display's WOLED production capabilities has led the company to sign a long-term supply agreement with Samsung Electronics, that cannot rely on Samsung Display's limited QD-OLED production to satisfy its need for OLED TV panels. This has led us to speculate that SDC may indeed abandon its QD-OLED technology. LGD is increasing its investment in novel technologies for its WOLED TV and monitors.

One area that Samsung certainly is leading is with its much higher production capacity. Samsung Display was also the first company to begin construction of a 8.6-Gen IT AMOLED line, while LG Display has yet to commit to its own fab. Samsung has much easier access to the funds needed to invest in higher capacity, and it is the only display maker that has consistently been able to generate meaningful profits in recent years. 

This will be very interesting to watch. If you want to stay updated on the latest OLED trends, gain meaningful insights into the OLED industry, and also have access to structured industry data, our OLED Toolbox can be an extremely useful tool. The OLED Toolbox was updated yesterday.

Posted: Jul 02,2024 by Ron Mertens