Samsung and LG are moving to dominate the mid-size OLED panel market, investing billions in building new production lines for next-generation displays. These displays are rumored to be used in upcoming iPad and Mac models from Apple.
The production of large OLED displays has traditionally been more difficult than smaller screens like those used in iPhones and Apple Watches. However, according to Nikkei Asia, Samsung and LG are investing in new OLED product lines that use next-generation technology to produce larger displays and outcompete Chinese rivals.
Samsung is investing $3.05 billion to install OLED production lines at its main campus in Tanjong, South Korea. Meanwhile, LG Display is spending $2.5 billion on production lines for mid-size OLED panels at its Paju plant.
Samsung’s new production lines will produce panels from 8.6 generation substrates with a size of 2620 by 2200 mm, which will double production efficiency. LG, on the other hand, will switch to sixth-generation substrates.
The move makes Samsung and LG attractive suppliers for companies like Apple and helps counter Chinese companies that dominate the LCD panel market. Competition from Chinese manufacturers forces Japanese, South Korean, and Taiwanese firms to reduce LCD production.
Chinese competitors such as BOE, Visionox, and Everdisplay Optronics want to expand OLED production capacity. While Samsung and LG own approximately 80% of the global OLED market, Chinese suppliers are steadily gaining a share.
However, Chinese competitors have yet to make significant progress in producing mid-size OLED panels, as they lack experience in this field. This makes mid-size OLED displays the latest growing market in the display industry, where Samsung and LG focus their efforts.
Samsung’s mid-size OLED panel mass production is expected to begin in 2026, just in time to release the new MacBook Pro. Despite the timeline for mass production of mid-size panels, the company can still produce OLED panels for the 2024 iPad.