[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Display is extending its marquee full-screen display design to mid-range smartphones as part of efforts to further improve profitability, according to industry sources on Feb. 20.
The display-making unit of Samsung Electronics has adopted the full-screen display design for high-end flexible OLED smartphones like the current Galaxy S8 but it plans to adopt the technology to other mid-tier models with rigid OLED screens.
Flexible OLED allows device makers more leeway in design but has been used mostly for premium models as it is more expensive than the rigid counterpart.
With the wider adoption of the full-screen design, Samsung Display, which dominates more than 95 percent of the mobile OLED market, plans to further improve profitability overall and widen the gap with fast-growing Chinese runner-ups.
According to market research firm IHS, Samsung Display made up 97.8 percent of the smartphone OLED market globally in the third quarter last year.
Global smartphone makers are increasingly adopting OLED displays -- both flexible and rigid types -- for more models this year, following the suit of Apple that launched its first OLED iPhone last year. For now, Samsung Display is the sole supplier for the current iPhone X. Samsung Electronics uses OLED for almost 70 percent of smartphone models.
In a bid to fend off the challenges by Chinese competitors, the Korean display maker aims to diversify its client base for smartphone OLED displays this year while putting focus on large-sized premium products in the TV segment, according to the official.
In the TV sector, Samsung is expected to maximize profits by pushing for large-sized LCD panels, measuring 55 inches and 65 inches or larger, to cater to the needs of customers during global sports events, such as the World Cup 2018, scheduled to be held in Russia in June.
In order to respond to the exponential growth of curved-screen monitors in the PC gaming industry, the display firm will also beef up its marketing efforts for 32-inch and 49-inch monitors, featuring an 1800R curvature, meaning the radius would be 1,800 millimeters when the edges are extended to form a circle.
Some of other OLED products under the display firm’s portfolio include those for foldable smartphones, vehicles and laptops.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)