How Universal Display Plans to Grow Beyond Samsung
That's the gist of a research report from Goldman Sachs analyst Brian Lee. His sources point to Panasonic (NYS: PC) building a state-of-the-art OLED screen factory, geared toward making TV screens.
Moving into larger screens is a big deal for your favorite OLED technologist: Since Universal Display gets paid technology royalties and materials fees based on the amount of OLED materials used, one 32-inch TV set would be worth about as much as 100 3.2-inch smartphone displays.
Lee is particularly interested in Panasonic as a catalyst because the company recently signed a lighting products contract with Universal Display. There's an existing business relationship in place, making it easy to just work even closer together. Plus, OLED TV plans aren't totally new, as both Samsung and LG Display (NYS: LPL) have announced plans to build 55-inch OLED monsters next year -- but Panasonic is a much larger market force than little LG.
As if to underscore this option, Panasonic just laid out plans to enter the global smartphone market -- and the first handset comes with an OLED screen. Poised for a European launch this spring, Panasonic then aims to go worldwide in the next couple of years.
So Panasonic already has an OLED plan in place, folks. Keep your eyes peeled for a formal announcement of a screen-building relationship with Universal Display. There are big things coming, in both large and small packages.
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