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Samsung invests $3.6B in OLED panels

Posted: 12 Feb 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:OLED? smartphones? tablets? curved panels? Galaxy Note?

Samsung Display announced its plan to pour in $3.6 billion into developing organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels. The move is in support of its parent company's (Samsung Electronics Co Ltd) goal to increase components sales to offset weaker smartphone earnings.

The new production line is expected to make medium and small-sized OLED displays for consumer electronics devices like smartphones and tablets. The investment will be made from 2015 to 2017.

The new production line will begin by producing curved panels like those on the Galaxy Note Edge but will aim to help win Samsung Electronics external customers to drive future earnings growth as sales of the smartphone business decline.

The investment is a reaction to the fourth quarter data in 2014 showing that rival Apple Inc. is becoming increasingly competitive with Samsung and is now challenging to be recognised as the world's top smartphone maker.

Samsung Electronics invested $21 billion in capital expenditures for the company's components business in 2014. Approximately $12.9 billion was for the semiconductor business while another $3.6 billion was directed to displays.

In addition to the planned OLED investment, Samsung is expected to start building a $14 billion chip plant in South Korea sometime in the first half of 2015. The company said in October 2014 that construction for this plant will be completed in the second half of 2017.

LG Display Co Ltd has also declared plans to invest $0.9 billion between $1 billion in 2015 to add capacity in an existing large-panel OLED production line.

- Paul Buckley
??EE Times Europe

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