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.
Kyulux gave a very upbeat presentation at SID Displayweek, during which it updated on its latest material specification and its commercialization plans.
Kyulux managed to increase the lifetime of its Hyperfluorescence emitter systems (which features an IQE of 100% and a narrow emission spectrum) quite dramatically in the past year – its green material now offers a lifetime of 59,000 hours (LT95@1000 nits, top emission), while the red material is at 20,000 hours. The blue material has also increase from280 hours to 450 hours in the past year.
DSCC says that global OLED revenues in Q1 2022 were around $9.5 billion, the same as in Q1 2021, even though unit shipments declined 4%.
Smartphone remained the leading OLED application, with a 79% revenue share, even though shipments decreased 8% (and revenues decreased 3%). The second largest application by shipments is wearables (16% in Q1 2022 by shipments and in 6% market share by revenues).
An interesting report from Korea suggests that Apple's CEO met with Samsung Display's CEO recently, as Apple is looking to reduce its OLED iPhone orders from Samsung by around 15% in 2022.
Apple, like the rest of the technology industry, is facing supply constraints and has already said that it won't be able to meet the demand for its products in 2022. Apple's original plan was to produce 220 million iPhones in 2022, and it expected to order 160 million iPhone AMOLED panels from SDC. Apple's now expects to ship only 185 million iPhones.
Samsung Electronics reported its financial results for Q1 2022. Revenues hit a new record of 77.78 trillion Won ($61.2 billion USD) and the operating profit was 14.12 trillion Won ($11 billion USD).
Samsung Display's revenues were 7.97 trillion Won ($6.3 billion USD) with an operating profit of 1.09 trillion Won ($900 million USD). Samsung says its mobile display earnings improved from 2021, led by strong demand for OLED smartphone displays and growing adoption of OLED displays in laptops and gaming devices.
According to CINNO Research, BOE recently signed a contract with Apple to supply OLED panels for the iPhone 14, which will be launch in October 2022. This will be the first time BOE is supplying OLEDs to a new Apple device. CINNO says that the contact amounts to 50 million panels, about 25% of Apple's total OLED supply. These will be 6.1" LTPS AMOLED displays.
Last year Samsung Electronics started to adopt AMOLED displays produced by BOE and TCL, as the Korean smartphone makers aims to lower costs and reduce its reliance on Samsung Display.
According to a report from Korea, the company plans to increase these China-produced OLED orders from around 800,000 in 2021 to around 6.5 million in 2022. It seems the main device to adopt these panels will be the Samsung Galaxy A73.
Samsung announced three new Samsung Galaxy phones, in its popular mid-range A-series. First up is the Galaxy A33 which features a 6.4" 90Hz 1080x2400 Super AMOLED display, and the second is the Galaxy A53 which features a larger 6.5" 120Hz 1080x2400 Super AMOLED display.
Most interesting is the Galaxy A73,which sports a 6.7" 120Hz 1080x2400 Super AMOLED+. It is not clear what Samsung refers to as a Super AMOLED+, it could be a non-pentile display like the old Super AMOLED Plus displays.
According to a report from Korea, BOE is in talks with China-based smartphone producer Honor regarding the supply of tandem (dual-stack) OLED displays to be used in Honor's smartphones.
BOE hopes that its tandem OLED panels will reduce power consumption by around 30% compared to a single-stack OLED display, which will enable Honor to adopt a smaller battery and a thinner design. Both companies hopes to be able to introduce the panels and the smartphones that use it by the end of 2022.