OLEDs are hitting their stride this year in all segments

June 19, 2012 // By Nicolas Mokhoff
OLEDs are finally living up to their long-promised potential and the next few years will present plenty of opportunities for organic light emitting diode materials suppliers to break out of their niche, specialty status.

That's according to a new report by market research firm NanoMarkets.

The growth of Samsung's Galaxy smartphone products have exceeded iPhones in the first quarter of 2012. What's more OLED TVs from both LG and Samsung are entering the market this summer and fall, and other manufacturers are likely to follow in the near term.

OLED TV street price for 55 in. sets are expected to be $8,000 when launched in Q3'12, according to Paul Semenza, Senior Vice President at DisplaySearch. At a Society for Information Display presentation Semenza remarked that "by 2014, if the 55 in. OLED TV price can be reduced to $2,500, it will be similar to current high end 55 in. LCD TV.

Overall, Semenza said the flat panel display industry "has never been as unprofitable or so dynamic." The extremely challenging financial environment is forcing companies to sell facilities, form new alliances and push differentiating technologies to market as soon as possible, "as the industry finally begins to right itself by 2013."

At SID, Barry Young, Managing Director, of fhe OLED Association , in his presentation concurred that OLEDs are on a growth curve: "The number of OLEDs has increased from 75 million in 2009 to 100 million in 2011 and is projected to double again in 2012."

Young also gave revenue figures. "The revenue grew from less than $1 billion in 2009 to more than $3.5 billion in 2011 and is projected to reach more than $8 billion in 2012."

At SID, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year , a research paper by NthDegree Technologies previewed how OLEDS might be printed en masse in the future. The authors detailed a new form of inorganic printed electronics that overcomes many of the problems associated with current printing electronics methods.

They illustrated their approach by describing a solid state lighting (SSL) device based upon a standard InGaN heteroepitaxy and fabricated as micro LEDs