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LG Display to boost OLED panel output 60% next year

Dominant player bets it is sitting on the TV tech of the future

SEOUL -- LG Display, the South Korean company that dominates the market for thin and bendable next-generation panels, is set to boost production by 60% in 2018.

LG Display controls a 90%-plus market share in organic light-emitting diode panels, and aims to make enough for 2.8 million TV screens next year. OLED technology has been garnering more attention as an alternative to ubiquitous liquid crystal displays, and the company's plan reflects its high expectations for global market growth.

To expand production lines, LG Display is to invest around $4 billion.

This year, the core unit of electronics maker LG group expects to turn out enough panels for 1.7 million TVs. The company is targeting a range of 2.5 million to 2.8 million next year.

LG is betting that OLED will be the TV technology of the future. If it is right, more electronics makers will jump into the fray, stoking competition and lowering prices.

LG Display currently supplies OLED panels to 13 global companies, including Sony and Panasonic. An LG Display insider said that, all things considered, the South Korean company has a "nearly 100% share" of the retail market -- excluding panels for scientific use.

LG Display said TV makers are increasing their OLED panel orders for next year and for the rest of this year. The panel maker said it will cope with the rising demand by operating new production lines in Paju, northwest of Seoul, at full bore. LG brought the new lines onstream in the second half of this year.

"OLED is quickly expanding its presence as the dominant [technology] in the premium TV market," LG Display CEO Han Sang-beom said in a statement. "It is growing continuously as our company's production capacity is increasing."

Nikkei staff writer Kim Jaewon in Seoul contributed to this story.  

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