The plant in Guangzhou, China that’s owned by LG Display had its re-opening delayed by the coronavirus earlier this year. But now, the plant is back online and producing panels for LG Electronics’ latest TVs.
Business Korea reported this week that the plant is back up and running, and also producing panels for the new 48-inch OLED TV that LG is set to release next month. The plant was completed last year.
The plant, the report said, has not yet begun mass production of OLED panels, but “production is already in progress,” and that system will be complete “within June.” The company has also sent a pair of chartered planes with research workers to the plant, in March and May. The return of the plant will eventually resolve global shortages in panels.
LG’s smallest OLED TV ever, the 48-inch CX model, will release in June, and received mostly positive early reviews. LG’s 2020 OLED line, unveiled at CES in January, also included the LG Signature Z9 8K HDTV, priced at around $30,000.
The display market tracker WitsView projected last month that global OLED shipments are expected to rise 7.8 percent year-over-year to 3.375 million units, with QLED shipments rising even more. Overall global shipments of TV panels are expected to decline this year, however, as the majority of TVs use neither technology.
Meanwhile, an analyst report late last month found that LG Display is likely to serve as the source of some OLED panels for the 2020 iPhone editions. According to Ross Young of Display Supply Chain, LG Display, along with BOE, will provide panels for the “iPhone 12 Max,” with Samsung Display serving as supplier for the panels on the other three iPhone editions this year.
Per the Business Korea story, the LG Display factory will eventually provide panels to 19 OLED TV manufacturers, including LG Electronics itself, Sony, Xiaomi and Huawei.
LG Display and LG Electronics are not, technically the same entity. LG Display was formed as a joint venture between LG Electronics and Philips in the late 1990s, although Philips eventually exited the arrangement.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.