Article last updated on: May 14, 2021

What is an OLED display?

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).

Apple iPhone X photo

OLED displays are advancing quickly, and today smartphone AMOLED displays outperform LCDs in all parameters - except the price which is still at a premium.



For a complete list of smartphones and mobile phones with OLED displays, click here.

Further reading

The latest smartphone OLED news:

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.

AMOLED revenue forecast (2021-2025, DSCC)

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: Smartphone OLED shipments to rise sharply in 2021

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.

Smartphone OLED shipments by producer (2019Q3 - 2021Q3F, DSCC)

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%.

Graphene for Displays and Lighting Market Report

DSCC lowers its foldable OLED shipment forecast to 75.6 million units in 2025

Last year DSCC estimated that the foldable OLED market will grow to 94 million panels by 2025. DSCC now updated its forecasts, and lowered its estimates to 75.6 million units in 2025.

Foldable OLED shipments forecast (2020-2025 ,DSCC)

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 details Samsung's upcoming foldable OLED phones

DSCC posted an interesting blog post in which the company shares its information on Samsung's upcoming foldable smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip photoSamsung 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.

Sharp introduces a new smartphone with an IGZO AMOLED, is it producing AMOLEDs again?

Sharp introduced a new phone in Japan, called the AQUOS R6, which features a 6.67-inch 2730x1260 1Hz-240Hz dynamic refresh rate IGZO AMOLED display.

Sharp Aquos R6 photo

This is an interesting development. Sharp started producing flexible OLEDs for its own devices in low volume in August 2018, but has since ceased production later in 2019. This is the first time we hear of an IGZO mobile AMOLED display, and it is likely that Sharp produces these in-house.

Visionox shows new OLED technologies at SID Displayweek 2021

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 supplies polyimide films to Xiaomi's Mi Mix Fold cover window

Kolon Industries says that the company is supplying colorless polyimide (CPI) films to Xiaomi - used as cover windows for Xiaomi's latest Mi Mix Fold smartphone. Xiaomi sold over 40,000 such smartphones within one minute, and the company hopes to ship around 500,000 units in total.

Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold photo

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.

Recent poll shows most Xiaomi/Redmi customers prefer AMOLED over LCDs, a change from 2020

Xiaomi's VP (and Redmi manager) Lu Weibing posted an interesting poll at its Weibo account. Weibing asked Xiaomi users whether they prefer an AMOLED or LCD display.

Xiaomi Mi 11X Photo

Out of around 20,000 respondents, over 14,000 chose AMOLED as the preferred display type. Last year he posted a similar poll - but then most users preferred an LCD display. LCD advocates say that they prefer LCD if drove by DC dimming, rather than the PWM used in most AMOLEDs. It is actually also possible to use DC Dimming with OLED displays.

Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple develops a 8-inch foldable smartphone for a 2023 release

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.