Article last updated on: Sep 18, 2021

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.

Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 Carbon photo

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.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro X 15 photo

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.

Further reading

The latest OLED Laptop news:

BOE to construct a 8.5-Gen AMOLED IT line, aims to start production in 2024

Demand for larger mobile OLED displays, for laptops, tablets and monitors is on the rise, and display makers are looking into 8.5-Gen OLED production lines dedicated to the IT market.

According to a new report from Korea, BOE is moving forward with its plans to establish an IT AMOLED production line. The company is aiming to establish a 8.5-Gen (2250x2600 mm) production line at its B16 fab in Chengdu. BOE's goal is to start production by the end of 2024, with an initial capacity of 15,000 monthly substrates.

DSCC: the foldable OLED market will grow to 86 million units by 2026

DSCC estimates that just over 10 million foldable OLED displays shipped in 2022, and the market is set to grow to 86 million units by 2026 (54% CAGR).

Foldable OLED sales forecast (2020-2026, DSCC)

DSCC says that foldable smartphone revenues rose 342% in 2021, and have reached $5.8 billion. The most popular foldable smartphone was the Galaxy Z Flip 3 (51% market share in 2021), followed by the Galaxy Z Fold 3 (26% market share) and the Huawei Mate X2 (6% market share).

DSCC: there are 11 8.5-Gen IT OLED production lines under development

Demand for larger mobile OLED displays, for laptops, tablets and monitors is on the rise, and OLED makers (Led by Samsung Display) are planning to establish 8.5-Gen OLED production fabs dedicated for IT panels. The leading maker is

Samsung Display's AMOLED displays for tablets and laptops photo

DSCC posted a very interesting article with predictions on this new development in the industry, saying that there are currently 11 different 15K G8.5/G8.6 IT OLED lines under development.

Omdia: the OLED market grew by 52% in 2021 by area, reached 14.2 million square meters

Omdia says that demand for AMOLED displays increased 52% from 2020, to reach 14.2 million square meters. The main drivers of this growth were higher OLED TV and smartphones sales.

Demand for AMOLED displays, 2019-2028 Omdia

Omdia expects the OLED market to continue its strong growth, even though growth will be slower in the future. The demand for AMOLED display area will grow by CAGR of 11.6% from 2021 to 2028, to reach 30.7 million square meters.

DSCC sees a $63 billion OLED market in 2026, driven by high demand for laptop, monitor and tablet displays

DSCC has released its latest OLED market forecast, and the company forecasts a 8% CAGR revenue growth, with the market reaching $64 billion in revenue in 2026. The growth will be fueled by high demand for laptop, monitor and tablet displays. The smartphone and OLED TV market will also continue to grow.

OLED market forecast, early 2022 (2021-2026, DSCC)

DSCC sees a 31% CAGR shipment growth for laptop displays, to reach around $2.4 billion in 2026, and a 95% CAGR unit growth for monitor OLED displays, which will reach $1.3 billion in 2026 (up from $200 million in 2022). This is fast growth for monitor OLED displays, but slower than DSCC previously estimated, due to competition for miniLEDs, rigid OLED capacity that will be used for laptops and tablets and lower demand to mirroring display monitors.

Omdia: in five years OLED penetration into the laptop display market could exceed 10%

Market research firm Omdia estimates that 5.58 million OLED laptop displays shipped in 2021, up 389% from 2020. The leading producer is Samsung Display with a 84% market share, followed by LG Display (10%) and BOE (5%).

Dell XPS 13 Plus photo

Omdia estimates that in five years, OLED penetration into the laptop display market could exceed 10%. The total laptop display market in 2021 amounted to 280.85 million panels.

Sigmaintell: Asus is the leader in OLED laptop shipments, expects the market to continue its fast growth

Sigmaintell says that in 2021, Asus shipped 36% of all OLED laptops, and is the market leader. Asus is followed by Samsung (20%), Lenovo (16%), HP (10%), Xiaomi (8%) and Dell (8%).

Asus VivoBook Pro 14X OLED photo

In 2021, 5.3 million OLED laptops will ship (representing around 2% of the total laptop market). The main producer of these OLED panels is Samsung Display - who produces almost all laptop OLED panels. In 2020 SDC produced 800,000 units, and so shipments grew almost 7X in one year.

DSCC: miniLED IT panels are more expensive to produce than tandem OLED panels

DSCC posted an interesting article, comparing the production costs of OLED vs mini-LED panels for IT. DSCC estimates that for tablets and notebooks, a tandem structure will be used, and the panels will be based on rigid substrates.

Mini-LED vs OLED IT panel production cost comparison (2021-2025, DSCC)

In the chart above you see a production cost comparison, between 2021 and 2025, for 12.9" panels. DSCC looks at two OLED production options: a tandem OLED panel with an LTPO backplane produced in a 6-Gen fab, and a similar panel that uses an Oxide-TFT backplane and produced in a larger 8.5-Gen fab. As you can see, OLED panels are more cost effective, and will remain so throughout the forecast period.

Samsung Electronics reports a record quarter, with strong OLED panel sales

Samsung Electronics reported its financial results for Q3 2021, with record quarterly sales ($63 billion USD) and an increase of 31% in net profits (to $10.5 billion).

The strong performance was mostly thanks to Samsung's chip business and the weak Korean won. Samsung's display business also enjoyed a good quarter, with strong sales of small and medium-sized OLED panels. Samsung's large-area LCD business, though, posted losses as prices of LCD panels declined.

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters