South Korea's LG Display will invest more than 10 trillion won ($8.7 billion) to build an OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panels factory, to boost its presence in the smartphone and tablet segment, which is currently dominated by Samsung Electronics.
Reuters reported that LG Display will initially spend 1.84 trillion won to begin building the plant, called P10, in Paju, South Korea. This factory would make panels for large televisions as well as smartwatches and touch displays increasingly seen in cars, with production expected to begin in the first half of 2018. By the end of 2015, about 13 percent of all smartphones would have OLED screens, according to Counterpoint Technology Market Research.
"LCD remains the dominant display tech though OLED will catch up as Samsung sees its in-house demand dwindle over the next few years and starts opening it up more to competition," senior analyst Tarun Pathak at Counterpoint told International Business Times, in a text message.
On Thursday, the South Korean company's board approved the investment to build a new plant to turn out small and midsize OLED panels, anticipating that Apple will adopt the "next-generation screens" for its iPhone in 2018, Japan's Nikkei Asian Review reported Friday.
"And now with LG joining in, we can see a few more players joining in. This will bring OLED to lower price points," he added.
The total investment, over several years, is estimated at over $8 billion, Asian Review reported.
Samsung Electronics controls more than 90 percent of the global market for small and midsize OLED panels, and the company started production at a new domestic facility in April, and is increasing sales to customers including China's Huawei, the Asian Review report added.