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LG Display Pushes For OLED Global Market

LG Display will begin full-fledged efforts to tackle the small and medium-sized organic light emitting diode (OLED) market this year. It is an attempt to broaden its position gradually against Samsung Display, which dominates more than 97% of the related market.

What is eye-catching is the use of different evaporators depending on the customer. Chinese smartphone makers will supply OLED panels produced by Korean makers, Sunic Systems and Apple with Japanese maker, Canon Tokki Corporation.

The evaporator is the core of OLED production. OLEDs for smart phones are made by adding a thin film transistor (TFT) that supplies electricity to a material, such as a polyimide, which is a type of plastic, and by adding OLED particles expressing color thereto. In this process, the evaporator replaces the OLED particles. Even if the production conditions such as temperature are not suitable, the hardly coated OLED particles can not be used because they are cracked. It is huge equipment of about 100 meter in length and it costs several hundred million dollars per unit.

LG Display installed the 6th generation OLED deposition system of Sunik System in the Gumi E5 line last second half of the year. The Paju E6 plant recently decided to adopt the Canon Tokki evaporator. LG Display’s use of different evaporators is due to Apple’s demanding requirements. A company official said, “Apple has asked us to make OLEDs for Canon Tokki evaporators only because it is a practice that requires global subcontractors to step through the parts process steps in their own way.” Canon Tokki has been supplying evaporators since Samsung Display produced OLEDs for the first time in the world in 2007. For this reason, OLEDs produced by Canon Tokki are rated relatively high quality.

This is also because Chinese companies are not able to pay high prices foar OLEDs. The cost of depositing the Sunic system, which LGD localized through joint technology development, is cheaper than the Canon Tokki evaporator. LG can supply OLED at such a low price. An electronics industry official said, “It will be difficult for Chinese smartphone makers to use the same evaporator as Apple because their premium products cost are 50% to 60% lower than iPhone.”

The superiority of CanonDoki in the evaporator market is attributed to the strength of Samsung Display. To supply high-quality OLEDs to Apple, a Canon Tokki evaporator is essential. Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong flew to Canon Tokki Japan headquarters earlier this year, forming a partnership. Most of the deposits produced by Canon Tokki can be supplied. On the other hand, the number of deposits that LG Display can receive from Canon Tokki is only one per year. Even that must compete with Chinese companies such as BOE.

LG Display, which is not easily able to receive additional quantities from Canon Tokki , needs to raise productivity and reliability of Sunic system evaporators as soon as possible.

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