An OLED display uses a new technology called OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes). OLED screens are brighter, more efficient, thinner and feature better refresh rates and contrast than LCD or Plasma.
OLEDs are made by placing thin films of organic (carbon based) materials between two conductors. When an electrical current is applied, a bright light is emitted. Since the OLED materials emit light, a backlight is not required (unlike LCDs).
OLEDs in mobile phones
Mobile phones that boast OLED screens are rapidly becoming more prevalent, with over 500 million AMOLED screens annually - mostly to satisfy demand from mobile phones. Samsung has been using AMOLEDs in its high-end phones for many years, and most phone makers are also adopting OLED displays (including Apple, LG, Xiaomi, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Lenovo, Motorola, and others).
OLED displays are advancing quickly, and today smartphone AMOLED displays outperform LCDs in all parameters - except the price which is still at a premium.
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).
DSCC says that smartphone OLED shipments have increased around 50% in Q1 2021 compared to last year, and the growth will continue - around 30% in Q2 2021 and over 40% in Q3.
The market share of flexible AMOLEDs out of all OLEDs (rigid + flexible) continues to rise, and in Q1 2021 77% of all smartphone OLED displays were flexible ones. Samsung is still the largest producer by far, holding a 75% market share in Q1 2021. LG Display holds a 8% share and BOE 6%.
DSCC sees Apple starting to adopt foldable OLEDs in 2023, which will boost the total market and will lead to other companies adopting foldable displays. DSCC expects foldable and rollable panels to grow at an 87.5% CAGR from 2020 to 2025. Smartphones will dominate with a market share of over 92% during the entire forecast period.
DSCC posted an interesting blog post in which the company shares its information on Samsung's upcoming foldable smartphones.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
First up is the Galaxy Z Flip 3 (which is a bit strange as there's no Galaxy Z Flip 2). This new phone will feature an Ultra Thin Glass cover - which for the first time will not be exclusively produced by SCHOTT. This time Corning will supply some of the UTG for Samsung. According to DSCC, Corning’s UTG will be processed by Korean supplier eCONY. This is interesting - a while back it was reported that Samsung Electronics halted its UTG project with Corning.
Chinese OLED producer Visionox demonstrates several new OLED technologies at SID Displayweek 2021. We'll list some of these new achievements in this post, and you can see these in the video below.
Visionox shows a 'dynamic' 12.3-inch rollable display which feature a 5 mm rolling radius. A 7.92" foldable (2 mm radius) wrap-around display solution. Visionox also demonstrates a 12.3" three-folded OLED that can fold inwards (2.5 mm radius) or outwards (6.5 mm) - to become a 5.4-inch display.
Kolon says it is the only company that produces such CPI films, and the company says it also supplied films for Huawei's Mate X, Motorola's Razr and Lenovo's Thinkpad X1 foldable laptop - and will also supply to Oppo and Vivo for their own foldable devices.
Trusted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple is developing its first foldable smartphone, planning to release it in 2023. The company plans to sell up to 20 million units in the first year of production.
The Apple foldable smartphone's current design uses a 8-inch 3200x1800 display. Samsung Display is expected to be the exclusive supplier of this high-end display.