OLED Smartphones

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).

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:

Samsung Display established a dedicated research team to develop OLED products for Apple

According to reports from China, Samsung Display established a new R&D team dedicated to develop OLED products for Apple. The so-called "A Team" is part of the Giheung Research Institute in Yongin, Korea.

This is an interesting move by SDC. Apple is an extremely important customer for Samsung Display, of course, and up until recently SDC has been the leading supplier of OLED displays for Apple - winning the majority of orders for iPhone AMOLEDs. But now that Apple is starting to adopt OLEDs in IT products (starting with tablets) things are changing.

Read the full story Posted: May 06,2024

Japan Display to start producing eLeap laptop displays at its 6-Gen Mobara fab, ahead of schedule

In 2022, Japan Display (JDI) announced that it has developed a "historic breakthrough in display technology" - a new OLED deposition process which they refer to as eLEAP, that is said to be cost effective and can be used to create freeform OLEDs that are brighter, more efficient, and longer lasting compared to OLEDs produced using mask evaporation (FMM).

JDI is planning to establish a 8.7-Gen eLEAP fab in China, and it is also building a smaller-scale 6-Gen eLEAP production line in Mobara, Japan. The company announced that the 6-Gen Mobara fab is advancing ahead of schedule, and production of eLEAP panels will begin before the end of 2024. JDI developed 14" laptop panels that are three times brighter than other OLEDs (at 1,600 nits), and is also targeting smartwatches, smartphones and automotive displays. JDI is also looking into adopting a tandem structure, to increase brightness even further to 3,000 nits.

Read the full story Posted: Apr 18,2024

Apple develops a higher-efficiency LTPO backplane by adopting IGZO in the driving TFT

Apple was the first company to develop LTPO backplanes and it adopted this innovative and energy-efficient backplane technology back in 2018 in the Watch Series 4. LTPO combines Oxide-TFT and LTPS, by using the IGZO in some of the switching TFTs and LTPS in the remaining switching TFTs and all the driving TFTs. LTPO can reduce the power consumption by 5-15%, and enables variable refresh rate.

Apple Watch Series 4 photo

According to reports from Korea, Apple developed its 2nd-Gen LTPO backplane technology, that uses the IGZO in all the driving TFTs, and uses LTPS only in the remaining switching TFTs. This leads to higher efficiency compared to the first-generation LTPO backplane.

Read the full story Posted: Apr 10,2024

UBI: the foldable OLED market will grow to 52.7 million units in 2028, Samsung Display to remain the market leader

UBI Research released its latest foldable OLED shipments forecast, saying that it expects the market to grow from 27.4 million units in 2024 to 52.7 million 2028.

The market is dominated by Samsung Display, which shipped 13.4 million foldable OLEDs in 2023, and holds a 61% market. Samsung is followed by BOE (6.2 million, growing 3X from 2022), TCL CSOT (1.1 million) and Visionox (1.1 million). UBI expects Samsung Display to remain the clear leader in this market as it is the sole supplier to Samsung Electronics - and it is also expected that Samsung will be the exclusive supplier to Apple's future foldable iPhones.

Read the full story Posted: Apr 03,2024

Reports suggest BOE and perhaps Tianma to supply all the AMOLEDs for Apple's iPhone SE 4

A report from China suggests that Samsung will not produce any AMOLEDs for the upcoming Apple iPhone SE 4, as the Korean maker asked for around $30 per unit (6.1-inch) which was too high for Apple. Apple apparantly wanted to pay only $25, and it is estimated that BOE will supply most of the units, with some orders perhaps going to Tianma.

According to reports, Samsung estimated that it will not be able to make a profit in this project and decided to stop the negotiations when Apple insisted on a low price.

Read the full story Posted: Mar 28,2024

Rumors say Huawei is readying a tri-folding OLED smartphone, and Samsung may respond with its first rollable phone

Interesting rumors from China suggest that Huawei is planning to release the industry's first smartphone that sports a tri-foldable OLED. When fully open, the device will sport a 10" display, which means it will double as a full tablet and a smartphone. Huawei's plan is to release it in the first half of 2024.

Samsung Display S-Foldalbe AMOLED smartphone prototype (SID DIsplayweek 2021)

Samsung tri-folding AMOLED prototype

The rumors continue to suggest that Samsung Electronics noticed Huawei's plan, and the Korean smartphone maker may decide to be the first on the market with a novel device, launching its own tri-folding phone - or perhaps even the first rollable phone

Read the full story Posted: Feb 15,2024

LG Display returns to profit as OLED smartphone and TV shipments increase

LG Display announced its financial results for Q4 2023, with an operating profit of almost $100 million - after 7 quarters of losses. LGD says that demand for both its smartphone displays and WOLED panels (TVs and monitors) has increased. OLED revenues amounted to 57% of the company's total revenues during the quarter. 

LG Display says that it expects market volatility to continue in 2024, due to prolonged unstable macroeconomic conditions. The company will be "strengthening the competitiveness of its OLED businesses", and it expects OLED panel shipments to grow 20% in 2024 compared to 2023. In the upcoming Q1 2024 quarter analysts expected earnings to weaken due to low seasonal demand.

Read the full story Posted: Jan 25,2024

Demand for Samsung's rigid smartphone AMOLED panel is on the increase in China

According to reports in China, strong demand for flexible AMOLED panels for high-end smartphones, have resulted in an increase of panel price. This has caused smartphone makers to adopt more rigid AMOLED panels in their budget smartphones.

Vivo S18 photo

The report suggests that Samsung Display is especially enjoying an increase in sales of its rigid AMOLED panels to smartphone makers in China - mainly OPPO, vivo, and Xiaomi. These smartphone makers are replacing LCD displays with Samsung's rigid AMOLEDs - as the price difference is currently quite small.

Read the full story Posted: Jan 07,2024

Reports from China suggest that Apple cancelled its BOE iPhone AMOLED orders due to quality issues

Last month we reported that BOE finally got accepted into Apple's latest-generation iPhone supply chain, and the company will supply 2 million AMOLED displays for iPhone 15 devices in 2023 (that's about 3% of Apple's total iPhone orders). This news came after many years when BOE failed to meet Apple's quality tests.

Apple iPhone 15 phones photo

A new report from China now suggest that BOE's AMOLED displays have been found to still suffer from issues - specifically light leakage around the selfie-camera and sensor 'island'. Eventually Apple decided to cancel its orders from BOE this year, at least until the China-based display maker can fix the issue. 

Read the full story Posted: Dec 08,2023