LG recently made a contract with Eastman Kodak, US for using OLED technology. Now LG can use OLED-patented technology of Kodak’s to its various applications including TV, cell phone and electronic frame.
Last year, Kodak made a cross-license contract(mutual permission to use the patent) for OLED and related TFT technology with LG Display, one of the LG’s subsidiaries; and in 2006, AMOLED-related mutual technology evaluation agreement with LG Philips LCD, former LG Display.
In addition, 3.0-inch AMOLED panel, co-developed with LG Display, was supplied to Kaga Electronics, Japanese cosigned manufacturer, for mobile TVs under Kodak brand; LG and Kodak are still maintaining close relationship in OLED industry.
This recent contract between LG Electronics and Kodak brings expectations for a release of a new application just like the launch of mobile TV last year. Kodak stated in the process of the contract that the company expected a new product release from an OLED partner company by the end of this year and the product would be in larger size(12~16 in.). Kodak didn’t clarify that the ‘partner company’ was LG. However, considering all circumstances, it is highly likely that it is LG.
LG Group stated recently at a press briefing that it would carry out aggressive investment in R&D in 2009 for the future despite economic depression. Out of 11 trillion 300 billion-won investment, 7 trillion 400 billion, the largest amount, will be invested in electronics industry and AMOLED is one of the core business areas for future growth.
It is still not clarified on the investment scale exclusively for AMOLED. Through recent foreign news(www.smarthouse.com.au), however, the rumor is continued that Apple, US will use AMOLED for its iPhone or laptops; as LG suggested the possibility of a release within this year when the company showcased 15-inch AMOLED TV set at CES 2009, it is very possible that LG commercializes larger size AMOLED within this year.
If this happens, LG will be the second to commercialize larger AMOLED, follow by SONY; and the first in the country to start larger size AMOLED market. This can be a major turning point for LG to step up a notch in AMOLED industry and to push away SMD, the current leader in the AMOLED market. This is why OLED industry is closely watching LG’s move in 2009.