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:

Motorola unveils a new bendable phone concept based on an LGD pOLED display

Motorola has demonstrated a new concept phone design, which they refer to as a Adaptive Display Concept. This is a smart bendable phone, that sports a 6.9" FHD+ (2220x1080) flexible AMOLED display produced by LG Display.

The adaptive display concept can be adjusted from a standard Android phone experience in a flat position to being wrapped for a wrist-worn experience or positioned in several stand modes. 

Read the full story Posted: Oct 27,2023

BOE: we shipped over 100 million OLED panels in 2023, will supply next-gen X1 AMOLEDs to OnePlus's upcoming smartphones

BOE hosted an event to mark the launch of its new X1 AMOLED screen, together with OnePlus, who will adopt the new display in its upcoming OnePlus 12 smartphone. BOE also announced, during the event, that it has produced over 100 million AMOLED displays already in 2023.

The OnePlus 12 will features a 2K (3168x1440) display that will offer a peak brightness of 2600 nits. The smartphone will also sport the company's own Oppo P1 display chip that features high-precision pixel calibration algorithms that ensure high brightness, high image quality - reduced power consumption (by 13%, according to OnePlus). The display is based on BOE's new-generation of LTPO backplane, that the company says offer stable high and low frequency switching and increase image performance, while reducing power consumption compared to its previous LTPO platform.

Read the full story Posted: Oct 27,2023

Samsung to bring AMOLED displays to its lowest-cost phone lineup

According to reports from Korea, Samsung Electronics has decided to adopt an AMOLED displays in its upcoming budget phone, the Galaxy A15. This will be the lowest cost Samsung phone to ever sport an OLED display.

Most of Samsung's entry-level phones use an LCD, but it seems that as prices of OLED panels continue to drop, Samsung is introducing its OLED into a wider range of phones. In fact it is said that Samsung's production cost of a rigid OLED is currently lower than the production cost of an equivalent LCD display. The A15 will use a 6.4" rigid (glass-based) panel, and the phone itself will cost around $270 when it launches next year, for the 5G variant. 

Read the full story Posted: Oct 26,2023

DSCC: the OLED industry's capacity still far outstrips demand, recovery will not be easy

DSCC shared their estimation about display fab utilization (LCD and OLEDs), with some interesting comments. The slowdown in the industry, according to DSCC, is effecting all display makers, but the slowdown in demand for OLEDs is more severe and persistent. The industry is starting to recover, but this is a bumpy ride as the total capacity still far outstrips demand, and DSCC sees a slowdown in Q4 2023.

DSCC says that the slowdown for large-screen displays bottomed out towards the end of 2022, the slowdown in mobile devices only hit bottom in early 2023. There is still a weak demand for rigid OLEDs, mostly because of the lower demand for smartphones - but also because China-based flexible OLED makers are lowering prices to make them more competitive with glass-based OLEDs.

Read the full story Posted: Oct 25,2023

DSCC: smartphone OLED revenues to decline 11% in 2023, growth to resume in 2024

DSCC says that OLED smartphone shipments will total 585 million units in 2023, a 0.3% decline from 2023 in terms of shipments. Revenues will total $29 billion, a 11% decline from 2023. The soft demand for smartphones is due to a slow Chinese market, high inventories in the first half of 2023 and the global macroeconomic environment.

For flexible OLEDs, DSCC expects a 14% growth in 2023 (shipments) and a 9% decline in revenues - as average sale price has dropped 20%. The industry saw aggressive price cuts by Chinese phone makers - to the point where a flexible OLED made in China is cheaper than a rigid OLED made in Korea (by SDC). The market share of flexible OLED smartphones will reach 75% in 2023 out of the total OLED smartphone market.

Read the full story Posted: Oct 03,2023

DSCC: the OLED market will decline 13% in 2023, growth to resume in 2024

DSCC estimates that OLED revenues in 2023 will be $36.1 billion - down 13% from last year. Just a few months ago DSCC's forecast for 2023 was $38.9 billion. This is the second year that the OLED market is contracting. In terms of shipments, there will be a 5% decrease in 2023. Looking forward to 2024, DSCC sees the market starting to recover, as demand for IT displays, TVs and smartphones will increase.

Looking at specific markets in 2023, DSCC says that OLED smartphone shipments will remain flat, but will drop 11% in revenues - as the demand for higher-end flexible displays is lower than in 2022. The only positive is the foldable display market, where shipments will increase 33% in 2023 compared to last year. 2023 also experiences a big drop in demand for OLED TVs - DSCC sees shipments declining 31% in 2023. The same goes for laptop OLEDs - a 32% decrease in sales in 2023.

Read the full story Posted: Sep 19,2023

Apple cancels BOE's iPhone 15 panel orders, orders more displays from Samsung

In March 2023 we reported that BOE is developing smartphone OLED displays for Apple's iPhone 15 range, but it is facing technical hurdles, and Apple has yet to approve BOE's displays (the main problem seemed to be around the punch-hole and selfie camera and FaceID sensors).

Apple iPhone 14 photo

Today Korean media says that Apple decided to cancel all of BOE's iPhone 15 display panel orders, and has moved all these orders to Samsung Display. Meanwhile LG Display has been approved as a supplier to only some of the iPhone models (specifically not the iPhone 15 Pro Max phone), and Samsung Display remains the only company that provides the displays for all of the iPhone 15 models.

Read the full story Posted: Sep 12,2023

Apple may use an MLA AMOLED display in future iPhone devices

According to reports from Korea, both Samsung Display and LG Display have approached Apple, offering to produce MLA (Multi-Lens Array) AMOLED displays for a future iPhone device. Applying the MLA panel will increase the light output, but will carry higher costs and may also reduce the viewing angles (or actually reduce the side-view brightness).

Apple iPhone 13 photo

It is not clear what kind of effect will MLA offer in Apple's case. When LG applied MLA to its TV panels, the company says it improved the brightness by 60% (it also stated that viewing angles actually increased by 30%). Apple will not be the first one to apple MLA to smartphone displays - Samsung itself adopted MLA panels in some of its high-end models (Galaxy S Ultra phones) and so did some other vendors.

Read the full story Posted: Sep 03,2023

UBI: shipments of smartphone OLED panels produced in China will surpass Korean-made panels by 2025

UBI Research forecasts that in 2025, shipments of smartphone OLED panels produced in China (regular and foldable) will surpass the shipments of panels made in Korea. UBI says that the growth of Chinese OLED makers will be driven by the large domestic market, government support, lower-cost production and improvement in production quality. 

UBI estimates that Korean OLED makers will retain their quality lead over Chinese companies, and will be able to generate higher revenues, even with lower shipments - but in 2028, the revenues of China-based OLED makers will also surpass Korea's OLED revenues. 

Read the full story Posted: Aug 30,2023

Samsung and LG are developing bezel-less smartphone OLED displays for Apple

According to a report from Korea, Apple approached both LG Display and Samsung Display, asking its suppliers to develop a completely bezel-less AMOLED display for future iPhones.

Apple iPhone 13 photo

Designing an OLED without a bezel is a challenge, mostly because of the encapsulation layer that has to protect the OLEDs. Using an under-the-display camera is also said to be a problem for the OLED makers in such a design.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 27,2023