LG puts billions into OLED; rolls out AirPlay 2 and HomeKit
July 24, 2019
By Chris Forrester
South Korea’s LG Display is planning to invest some $2.54 billion (Won 3 trillion) into new OLED production lines.
LG Display, in a statement, said it intended to expand its existing market-leading position in the OLED TV retail sector.
The decision comes following the domination by lower-cost Chinese panels in the LCD market, and the erosion of any meaningful profit margin for higher-end LCD displays.
LG Display announced its latest quarterly results on July 23rd and reported Q2 losses that were wider as panel prices continued to fall. The loss for the quarter was Won550 billion (about $470m) with sales down 5 per cent, and is the second successive quarter of losses.
“We expect a positive outlook for the large-sized OLED business in the third quarter with the Guangzhou OLED [fabrication plant] starting production, which will almost double our OLED production capacity,” said Suh Dong-hee, the company’s CFO.
Much of the new expansion will take place at its giant facility at Paju, South Korea. The investment will also provide further cash for LG’s production of emerging rollable and flexible TV screens.
Data suggests the investment will result in total monthly output of some 45,000 panels sized at more than 65” by 2023, and 30,000 panels a month in 2022.
Meanwhile, LG has announced that Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit are available in 140 countries starting July 25th on its 2019 AI TV lineup, making LG the first global TV manufacturer to support HomeKit. These Apple features will be available through a firmware update for 2019 LG OLED TVs, NanoCell TVs and UHD TVs with ThinQ AI capability.
With AirPlay 2, LG 2019 AI TV owners can effortlessly stream content — including Dolby Vision titles – from iPhone, iPad and Mac straight to their TV sets. Users can stream their content from the Apple TV app and other video apps as well as view photos directly on their LG AI TVs. Users can also play Apple Podcasts, Apple Music and music from their library or other streaming services through their LG AI TV and other AirPlay 2-compatible speakers in their home at the same time – all in sync.
“LG remains at the forefront of TV technological innovation because of our never-ending quest to deliver the best home viewing experience,” said Brian Kwon, president LG Mobile Communications and Home Entertainment companies. “With Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support, we are demonstrating our commitment to offering consumer benefits that go beyond just best-in-class picture quality.”