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Samsung and LG are vying for dominance in the market for midsize OLED panels, with both companies investing billions of dollars to build new production lines for next-generation displays. According to rumors, these displays will be used in future iPad and Mac models from Apple.
The move to manufacture larger OLED displays has historically been difficult, but Samsung and LG are using new technology to produce midsize OLED panels, allowing them to fend off Chinese rivals. Samsung is investing $3.05 billion to install OLED production lines at its campus in Tangjeong, South Korea, while LG Display is spending $2.5 billion on production lines for midsize OLED panels at its factory in Paju.
Samsung OLED panels are made from sixth-generation glass substrates, but the new production lines will produce panels from 8.6-generation substrates, which measure 2,620 by 2,200mm and more than double production efficiency. Meanwhile, LG isn’t matching Samsung’s push for next-generation technology as quickly and will move up to sixth-generation substrates.
The move is aimed at making Samsung and LG attractive suppliers to companies like Apple and helps fend off Chinese companies that dominate the market for LCD panels. Chinese companies such as BOE, Visionox, and Everdisplay Optronics are also moving to expand OLED production capacity, but they have yet to make significant progress in producing medium-sized OLED panels.
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Midsize OLEDs are viewed as the final growth market in the display industry, and these are the panels that Samsung and LG are targeting. Samsung’s mass production of midsize OLED panels is anticipated to start in 2026, just in time for the new MacBook Pros. But the company may still be able to produce OLED panels for the 2024 iPad.