LG Display CEO Jung Ho-young said at a press conference just ahead of the opening of the Consumer Electronics Show 2020 in Las Vegas on Jan. 6 that the company will shutter its domestic operations for producing LCD panels for TVs by the end of this year.
“The costs are too high to stay ahead of our Chinese competitors,” Jung said. He added that the firm’s primary focus will be on LCD production from its plant in Guangzhou, China.
The CEO also reiterated the company’s three key tasks for this year, which are accelerating innovation in the LCD department, turning around the plastic-OLED business and promoting large-scale OLED panels.
Regarding small and mid-sized OLED panels, Jung said internal decision-making had been too delayed to make an immediate impact. About 90% of the flexible OLED panels for smartphones manufactured by LG Display are fitted into handsets from Samsung, Apple and Huawei.
The display maker first began to supply the panels to Apple’s iPhones last year. It failed to supply the Huawei p30 model in the first half of last year, but managed to bag a deal for the P40 that is to be launched in March this year.
LG Display has also begun producing OLEDs for autos. “We expect to see cars fitted with LG Display OLED panels beginning in the second quarter of this year,” said Jung. This car will most likely be the 2021 Escalade from Cadillac.
The carmaker had said it would be showcasing a curved, 38 inch-plus OLED panel in its SUVs for the first time in the industry. Panel resolution will be double that of the 4K TV, it added.
Jung said the company is ready to launch small and mid-sized panels for smartphones, laptops, tablets and others. “We will be supplying them on schedule,” he said. Among them are to be Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Fold, which is to be the world’s first laptop with a 13.3-inch foldable OLED screen. The laptop is scheduled to be released in the middle of this year.
Lenovo’s foldable Motorola RAZR foldable smartphone, however, won’t be supplied by LG Display. China’s BOE and CSOT are to supply the 6.2-inch foldable OLED panels.
On large-scale OLEDs, Jung said the company is ready to launch white OLED panels for monitors. He added that LGD is developing a huge OLED panel for Boeing’s next generation airplane cabin.
“Within the first quarter, we plan on establishing a mass production system at Guangzhou for plus-sized OLEDs,” said Jung. “We are planning to ship up to 60 million OLED screens for TVs this year.” This would be double that of last year’s shipment volume. This year, LG Display has added the 48-inch panel to its lineup of OLED panel for TVs.
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