Samsung Mobile Display (SMD) is a joint venture between Samsung Electronics and Samsung SDI. It was the main reason why Samsung's LCD business was able to remain profitable in the fourth quarter of 2010.
AMOLED technology is superior to TFT LCD in picture quality and flexibility to design thinner and lighter products, which will be critical in future developments of 3D applications and flexible displays. AMOLED is widely considered to be the most promising technology in the post-TFT LCD era. South Korea-based companies will invest heavily in AMOLED production lines in 2011-2014. The two main manufacturers will combine for US$17 billion in related investments, and Taiwanese makers should dedicate more resources on this area.
In addition to the first phase of its 5.5G capacity going on line in 2011, Samsung is expected to complete phase 2 and 3 of expansion in 2012 and 2013, bringing new capacity to about 8.3 times larger than that of its 4.5G lines. It is clear that Samsung's AMOLED plan has extended from handset applications to tablet PC, and likely provide new opportunities and challenge for Taiwan's panel industry.