Rumors suggest Samsung may use an LCD in the GS5 and the Note 4

Reports from Korea say that Samsung is talking about using an LCD display in the upcoming Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 mobile phones - mostly in an attempt to reduce costs. Samsung is facing competition from lower-cost Android phones and need to lower the cost of their phones.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung started adopting AMOLED displays in their high-end mobile phones years ago, but whenever people start discussing the next one, there are always rumors that they will switch back to LCD. It happened with the Note 3 and with the GS4. As we know, both phones use Super AMOLED panels.

Samsung shipped over 10 million Note 3 smartphones in 2 months

Samsung announced today that they shipped over 10 million Note 3 smartphones (or phablets, really). It took them a little over 2 months as the Note 3 was launched on September 25. Before they launched the phone, Samsung said that they shipped over 38 million Galaxy Note and Note 2 smartphones since launching the original Galaxy Note in 2011 and they quickly reached their target of 10 million Note 3 sales.

The Galaxy Note 3 has a 5.7" Full-HD Super AMOLED display (386 PPI). DisplayMate says that this is the best OLED display ever, and in fact it outperforms the best LCDs across the board. The Note 3 also has a 2.3 Quad-Core CPU (or a 1.9Ghz octa-core in some markets), 3 GB of RAM, 32/64GB of storage, a 13 MP camera (will be capable of 4K videos in some markets) and Android 4.3.

Merck and LG Display to co-develop OLED printing materials?

Reports from Korea suggest that LG Display and Merck are in talks to co-develop OLED ink jet printing materials. Merck is already supplying evaporable OLED materials to LG Display for their OLED TVs, and now they want to also supply soluble materials for LGD.

Merck is focused on OLED printing technologies over evaporation technologies as the technological advantages will enable cheaper large area panels. According to a Merck presentation released earlier this year, it seems that Merck wants to become an OLED solution provider, not just a material supplier as this will maximize the value for both Merck and its customers. The company currently has around 80 OLED R&D experts and around 1,400 related patents.

Will Samsung release 8" and 10" AMOLED tablets soon?

According to Korea's Naver portal, Samsung is developing two new tablets that sport AMOLED displays - an 8" one and a 10" one. One of them will be launched together with the Galaxy S5 (which may go into production as early as January 2014).

Samsung's AMOLED tablets will be high-end ones, aimed to grab market share from Apple's new iPad and iPad mini. Samsung will continue to use LCDs is low-cost and mid-range tablets. Until these new tablets are launched (if the story is correct), the only OLED tablet by Samsung was the the 2011 Galaxy Tab 7.7 with its 7.7" Super AMOLED Plus 1280x800 display.

Apple's new patent reveals an OLED display with integrated thermal sensors

Apple continues to file patents for new OLED technologies - a few days ago the USPTO unveiled a new patent that describes OLED displays with integrated thermal sensors. The idea is that OLED change their color and brightness as the temperature changes - they get dimmer when they are hot. This mostly effect red OLEDs. If you measure the heat of different areas in the screen (which may get warmer because they are close to a radio transmitter for example) you can compensate and get more accurate colors.

Apple's patent describes a system that integrates the sensors into the display itself, and these sensors can be used to check the temperature of different zones in the display - or even each individual pixel. A software controller is used to determine how much compensation is required for each OLED pixel.

Dolby Pulsar technology enables much brighter LED LCDs

Dolby is getting ready to launch a new technology that will enable much brighter LED LCDs. The company demonstrated a 4,000 nits LCD - much brighter than normal TVs (which usually offer only 100 nits). A much brighter display will, according to Dolby, enable higher dynamic range and contrast sensitivity.

Dolby didn't reveal many technical details about this new tech, but we do know that Dolby's current prototype, nicknamed Dolby Pulsar, requires more LEDs than a regular TV (four times as much) and also liquid cooling. Dolby hopes that prototypes will be shown at CES 2014 and then it is up to OEMs to actually release commercial TVs using this technology.

LG is "bored of flat" and sees a bright future for flexible smartphones

LG sees a bright future for flexible displays. In fact the company predicts that flexible smartphones will take-up 40% of the smartphone market in 2018. Samsung thinks the same, and they are basing their numbers on DisplaySearch - which means that LG is also probably actually quoting the same source.

LG Electronic's mobile product planning chief, Dr Ramchan Woo, says that "we are bored of flat" and that a flexible device is much more than just a flexible display. For example one of the key technologies in the G Flex is the flexible Stack & Folding battery made by LG Chem (here's a photo of the battery). Another key technology is the thin cover glass - and so we learn that this phone, similarly to Samsung's Galaxy Round also includes a cover glass, which explains why it is not truly "unbreakable".

Samsung and LG to unveil bendable OLED TVs at CES 2014?

Back in May, The US PTO granted a new patent to Samsung that describes a bendable OLED TV. The idea is that you can use a remote control to bend the television so you'll get a better viewing angle. The TV will include special software that adjusts the image so it is not distorted by the bending. Today the Korea Times reports that Samsung will unveil a prototype bendable OLED TV at CES 2014 (January 7). LG will also unveil a similar unit.

The report does not include more technical information, they only say that the the display size will be "huge". The OLED TV will have a plastic substrate and a back panel that can deform the display. It is possible that SDC will only unveil their prototype in closed meetings.

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