DSCC says that flexible OLED fab utilization rates continue to increase, while rigid OLED utilization rate are falling. Here are DSCC estimates (which include its forecast for the seasonally weak December 2018).
The Washington Post's Geoffrey A. Fowler posted an interesting article in which he details how new smartphones are under-performing older ones in terms of battery life. Geoffrey puts 12 smartphones to the same test, and checks which ones dies first.
It is interesting that the new 2018 smartphones under performs similar smartphones released in 2017. Geoffrey's conclusion is that new display technology - high resolution OLEDs, are the culprit. The main reasoning behind that is that the iPhone XR (with its LCD display) performs better than the iPhone XS, even though the XR has a smaller display.
Excessive exposure to blue light has been linked to many health issues - including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and insomnia. Children, especially, have delicate retinas that are highly susceptible to the dangers of blue light.
Researchers from Taiwan's National Tsing-Hua University, led by Prof. J.H. Jou, have been advocates of candle-light OLED lighting for a long time, as part of their fight against the hazards of LEDs and white light. In 2015, the researchers published a call out to consumers to be aware of the hazards of LEDs and to governments to enact new rules to enforce light-based products to show the light spectrum.
Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) estimates that a 6" flexible OLED Module (with a touch layer) costs around $78 (and will drop slightly to $76 by the end of the year). Meanwhile the price of a similar rigid OLED is around $26 and an LTPS LCD is around $16.
LCD producers have lowered the prices dramatically in the last two years (from $29 in early 2017 to $16 today), and rigid OLED producers have been forced the lower their prices as well (from $42 in early 2017 to $26 today).
Samsung launched a new home screen TV range in India, called Active LED (also "LED for Home") - modular LED-based TV tiles that are offered in 4 sizes (from 110-inch FHD to 260-inch UHD). These are likely to be Micro-LED emissive displays (or mini-LEDs, most likely), even though Samsung did not actually give any specifications yet.
The Active LEDs are priced from 10 million Rs (around $137,000) for the 110" to 35 million Rs ($480,000) for the 260-inch TV. As these are modular TVs, consumers can choose different shapes (but only one of the four available resolutions/sizes).
According to reports from Taiwan, Samsung Electronics aims to introduce a 75" Micro-LED TV in 2019. Samsung will adopt PlayNitride's LED chips and technologies (and will also take a 30% stake in the Taiwan-based startup to help it increase its production capacity).
In July 2018, Samsung Electronics video and display chief, Han Jong-hee, said that Samsung aims to release a Micro-LED consumer TV next year - The Wall Luxury that will be based on its Wall modular TV. It could be that this will be the 75" TV that will use PlayNitride's chips.
The current F-35 Joint Strike Fighter $400,000 helmet uses an LCD microdisplay (produced by Kopin), which has a "technical bug" - a green glow (from the LED backlighting) that prevents pilots from seeing a carrier's lights at night.
The US Navy is working to replace the LCD microdisplay with an OLED one. The new OLED display will be ready for field testing "sometime early next year".
LG unveiled its first Micro-LED TV prototype at IFA 2018. The large 173" panel uses individual micro-LEDs to create an emissive display, that can rival OLEDs.
It is not clear yet whether LG actually intends to develop this technology commercially for the consumer TV market and compete with its OLED TV business. Samsung's Micro-LED project seems to be more advanced as it started accepting pre-orders in June 2018 and will soon ship its Micro-LED TVs for commercial applications - and is also looking to release its first consumer-premium Micro-LED TV in 2019.
Samsung Electronics reported its results for Q2 2018 - revenues reached $52 billion and operating profit grew to $13.3 billion - the lowest growth since Q1 2017 as the company's smartphone sales is under pressure from Chinese phone makers. SDC reports an improved utilization rates at its rigid OLED fabs, but there was a slow demand for flexible OLEDs.
Looking into the second half of the year, Samsung expects increased shipments of flexible OLEDs, while rigid OLEDs will face stronger competition from LCDs. Samsung reitrates its plans to start producing foldable OLEDs by the end of 2018.
Samsung Electronics says that it plans to release its first consumer Micro-LED TV next year. The Wall Luxury will be a high-end module, but "will not be priced as high as people think".
Samsung 146-inch Wall Professional TV
The Wall Luxury will be a consumer version of The Wall Professional - which was launched last month and is now available for pre-orders. Samsung disclosed that the Wall Luxury will be thinner than the professional version at 30 mm (The Wall Professional is 80 mm thick). This is still very thick compared to current OLEDs which are less than 5 mm thick.