Japan Display: Chinese phone makers are switching back to LCD displays

Japan Display (JDI) announced it is cutting 4,700 jobs (about 30% of its workforce) to improve profitability, but also said that it is seeing strong demand for its LCD screens from Chinese phone makers.

JDI says that these phone makers are switching from OLED displays back to LCD ones. JDI explains that its LCD panels have "caught up with OLED rivals in thinness and power efficiency" and so phone makers are now beginning to have "doubts about the future of OLEDs".

While JDI's LCDs may be great in quality indeed, the main reason that Chinese phone makers are going back to LCDs is because Samsung Display (and other OLED makers) cannot keep up with AMOLED demand. It was reported a few months ago that Oppo, for example, will switch back to LCDs for its popular R9 phone, because SDC cannot supply the Chinese phone maker with enough OLEDs.

As a proof of that, JDI announced it still requires an injection of funds as it aims to start producing OLED Panels in 2018, in a bid to become an Apple OLED supplier. JDI says that its main focus will remain on LCDs and not OLEDs, but it is clear that the mobile industry is moving from LCDs to OLEDs - because OLEDs provide an enhanced image quality, are thinner, lighter and more efficient than LCDs, and they design flexibility.

In May 2016 JDI demonstrated 5.2" FHD flexible OLEDs - those WRGB panels were 5.2" in size with a Full-HD resolution (1920x1080, 423 PPI). The luminance was 300 nits, the color gamut 108% sRGB and the bending radius was 53 mm.

JDI is also diversifying into e-paper displays, and the company announced a strategic partnership with E Ink Holdings.

Posted: Nov 11,2016 by Ron Mertens