OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) is a display technology that is brighter, more efficient, thinner and feature better refresh rates and contrast than an LCD display. OLEDs deliver the best picture quality ever and OLED displays have been used in smartphones, wearables and TVs.
Why are OLED displays better than LCDs?
- In OLED displays, each pixel emits light independently (in LCDs, there is a white backlight).
- The contrast ratio of OLEDs is much better than in LCD, so are the refresh rates and the viewing angles.
- OLEDs are thinner and lighter than LCDs, and can be made flexible, foldable, rollable and transparent.
- OLEDs are more efficient, as only lit pixels draw energy. A smart user interface can result in very power efficient OLED displays!
2019 - OLED laptops finally arrive
OLEDs are already very successful in smartphone displays (over 500 million panels produced annually, adopted in smartphones from Apple, Samsung, Sony and others), OLED TVs and wearables. While in early 2016 several laptop makers announced the first OLED laptops (such as the Lenovo X1 Yoga with its 14" 2550x1440 AMOLED and the HP Spectre X360 with its 13.3" 2560x1600 AMOLED display), these laptops were produced in small quantities and quickly discontinued.
In early 2019, Samsung finally announced it start mass producing OLED displays for laptops. Since then we have seen many laptops from HP, Dell, Asus, Gigabyte, Lenovo and others adopt OLED displays, first at premium models and slowly in medium-range laptops as well. Click here for our complete list of laptops with OLED displays. Samsung, and other display makers, are expanding OLED laptop production capacity as demand for IT in general is rising and consumers prefer OLED displays.
Image retention (burn-in)?
One of the major drawbacks of an OLED display is that because each pixel is driven independently and because the lifetime of an OLED emitter is limited, OLED panels suffer from image retention (known as burn-in). A much-used pixel is less bright than a pixel that hasn't been driven a lot (for a more technical explanation, click here).
In computer user interface this is a problem - as some UI elements are quite fixed (toolbars, icons, etc). There are some technologies to handle this problem - for example by measurement and compensation, by using a tandem architecture to extend lifetime, and more. The situation has improved much in recent years, to the point where OLEDs are very much suitable as laptops displays.
The latest OLED Laptop news:
DSCC sees the OLED market reaching $60 billion in 2026, fueled by increased laptop, monitor and tablet display shipments
DSCC released its later OLED market forecasts, which now includes 2026. DSCC sees the rate of OLED market growth decelerating, with revenues reaching just over $60 billion in 2026.
Most of the growth in the next 5 yeas, according to DSCC, will come from new IT applications: OLED displays for monitors, laptops and tablets.
UBI Research estimates that sales of 10" and larger OLEDs (used in tablets, laptops, monitors - and also TVs) reached $2.95 billion in the first half of 2021, up from $1.22 billion a year before. Shipments reached 10.29 million units.
In the first half of 2021, 3.4 million OLED TV panels were shipped. The rest of the units (6.89 million) were of displays used in laptops and tablets, mostly.
In early 2021 Samsung Display announced it will start to produce 90Hz OLED laptop displays. Today the company said it started shipping 14" 90Hz AMOLED displays for its first customer, Asustek, which will use the panel in its upcoming 14-inch laptop - which will ship soon, starting at $1,199.
In the last couple of years, we have seen increased adoption of AMOLED displays in laptops. Earlier this year Samsung stated that it will release 10 new OLED displays for laptops in 2021, and reports suggested that the company is looking into building a dedicated 6-Gen production line for laptop AMOLEDs - or even a 8.5-Gen one.
Korea-based OLUM Material announced that it is starting to develop fine metal masks (FMM) for 8.5-Gen (2200x2500 mm) OLED production. Current FMM technologies are limited to 6-Gen substrates (1500x1850 mm).
As demand for larger mobile OLED displays, for laptops, tablets and monitors is on the rise, OLED makers aim to start making these panels on larger substrates. Samsung Display is considering, according to reports, a 8.5-Gen AMOLED fab dedicated for laptop and IT displays.
In the last couple of years, we have seen OLED displays starting to be adopted in high-end laptop devices, and recently prices of OLED laptop panels have dropped and more mid-range laptops have opted for OLED displays (usually as an optional upgrade over an IPS LCD).
I recently bought a new laptop, the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro OLED, with a 14-inch 2880x1800 (2.8K) 90Hz AMOLED display. The screen, as expected from an OLED, looks brilliant. Some people are still concerned about OLED in laptops, though. Some worry that the display might suffer from burn-in.
In the last couple of years, we have seen increased adoption of AMOLED displays in laptops. Earlier this year Samsung stated that it will release 10 new OLED displays for laptops in 2021, and reports suggested that the company is looking into building a dedicated 6-Gen production line for laptop AMOLEDs.
According to a new report from Korea, Samsung is considering building a 8.5-Gen (2200x2500 mm) production line for IT AMOLED displays. This will be the first time such a fab is used to create OLED displays. LG Display has 8.5-Gen lines, but these are used to deposit WOLED panels, and not side-by-side RGB OLEDs.
Samsung Electronics posted its financial results for Q2 2021, with record sales of $55.2 billion and a net profit of $10.9 billion. Samsung saw higher earnings at its memory and display businesses, offset by a decline in smartphone sales.
Samsung Display says that OLED sales and profits increased because of wider adoption of OLED displays. SDC is worried that supply issues of display drivers may disrupt shipments in Q3, but demand for OLEDs in IT devices and gaming products are expected to see significant growth.
DSCC increases its OLED market forecasts as it sees increased adoption in phones, tablets, monitors and laptops
DSCC has published its latest OLED market forecast. The company raised its 2021 revenue expectations by 9% (to $42.5 billion) as it sees increased smartphone display shipments and higher OLED laptop shipments.
DSCC also increased its long term OLED revenue forecast by 11% to $60.6 billion by 2025. This is driven, again, by higher smartphone AMOLED shipments and increased adoption in IT markets (tablets, laptops and monitors).
Market research firm Omdia experts OLED for laptop shipments to grow rapidly - from 150,000 units in 2019 to 1.48 million units in 2021 and 2.57 million in 2022. The new Windows 11 which was just announced by Microsoft is expected to accelerate adoption of OLED panels in laptop devices.
Omdia estimates that the entire global OLED market will grow to 258.4 million units in 2021 - a 51% increase over 2019. The pandemic has increased demand for IT devices.
UBI Research says that the market for medium to large OLED displays (10-inch and up, used in IT and TV applications) has risen 156% in Q1 2021 compared the Q1 2020. Total sales reached $1.45 billion in the quarter.
Most of the growth comes from TV and laptop displays. LG Display produced 1.6 million OLED TV panels in the quarter, while sales for laptops reached 1.1 million panels. TV panels accounted for the majority of sales (as average panel price is much higher) - 81.6% of the market.