Consumers are ready for an OLED laptop, at least according to our poll

In the last couple of years, we have seen OLED displays starting to be adopted in high-end laptop devices, and recently prices of OLED laptop panels have dropped and more mid-range laptops have opted for OLED displays (usually as an optional upgrade over an IPS LCD).

Will you next laptop featurean OLED display? (poll, 2021-08)

I recently bought a new laptop, the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro OLED, with a 14-inch 2880x1800 (2.8K) 90Hz AMOLED display. The screen, as expected from an OLED, looks brilliant. Some people are still concerned about OLED in laptops, though. Some worry that the display might suffer from burn-in.

OLED vs MicroLED - a technology comparison

MicroLED displays are exciting to many, as the technology seems to be the front runner for the next-generation display of choice in many market segments - from AR/VR glasses through wearables to TVs and IT displays.

MicroLED vs OLED vs LCD vs MicroLED tablet
The MicroLED industry though, even after billions of dollars spent on R&D, is still at a very early stage. Production costs are high, processes are not reliable enough, and there are several technical challenges to overcome before production can begin (except for some niche areas such as ultra large-size premium TVs).

OLED lighting may benefit your sleep, and even help reduce weight

Researchers from the University of Tsukuba in Japan have compared the effects of LED and OLED lighting on physical processes that occur during sleep. The researchers show that OLED exposure has a reduced effect on sleep architecture and energy metabolism.

LED and OLED sleep lab (University of Tsukuba)

OLED devices emits white light which contains less blue light compared to LED devices, and this does not lead to any effect on sleep architecture, but it does reduce energy expenditure and core body temperature. In addition, fat oxidation during sleep was significantly lower after exposure to LED compared with OLED. Thus OLED lighting has a similar effect to that of dim light.

Some Apple iPad Pro users complain of 'blooming' in the mini LED display

Apple's latest iPad Pro tablets use a mini-LED backlit LCD (which Apple refers to as Liquid Retina XDR). This relatively new display technology is seen as a way to achieve almost OLED-quality contrast ratio and an improved power consumption as the thousands of small LEDs enable very small dimming zones.

While most reviews of the new display are quite positive, some users are complaining of "blooming" - the edges of bright objects on dark backgrounds tend to 'bleed' as the dimming zone is not small enough.

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.

DSCC sees OLED microdisplays shipments rising from <1 million in 2020 to over 19 million in 2026

DSCC says that the AR and VR markets are set for quick growth, and display sales for AR and VR devices will grow at a CAGR of 52% between 2020 and 2026, to reach $4.2 billion in sales (up from $347 million in 2020). This forecast does not include military applications.

AR and VR display revenue forecast (2020-2026, DSCC)

DSCC says that new technologies, specifically designed components and strong push by consumer electronic giants like Sony and Apple will drive this fast growth in VR and AR adoption. As you can see in the chart above actual see-through AR will remain a relatively small market even in 2026. The main problem with AR will remain display brightness, and DSCC see microLED technologies providing a breakthrough in this market.

OLED production will grow 94% in Q2 2021, as demand for OLED panels increases

DSCC says that OLED production will grow 94% in the Q2 2021, fueled by strong demand for OLED in smartphones, TVs and other devices - coupled with a recovery from the pandemic. Growth in OLED input area for small & medium displays is expected to grow 68%, while grow in OLED TV input area will grow by 134% over last year.

OLED and LCD production capacity (2019-2021, DSCC)

The chart above shows the total OLED (and mobile LCD) industry capacity. As you can see, flexible OLED capacity is growing - mainly from expansions by CSoT, Tianma and Visionox. There's also growth in rigid OLED capacity - from Everdisplay and JOLED.

DSCC sees a low utilization rate at flexible OLED lines in H1 2020, high utilization at rigid OLED lines

DSCC says that flexible OLED fab utilization has been low since the beginning of 2021, and this will remain so for the next quarter as well. Utilization at rigid OLED lines is higher. This has been the pattern in previous years - lower production in the first half of the year and higher volumes at the second half of the year.

OLED and LCD fab utilization rates (2019-2021 H1, DSCC)

LG's OLED TV fab utilization has been historically very high (and close to 100%) - until 2020 which have seen lower utilization due the ramp-up at the Guangzhou fab. But in 2021 LG has managed to increase its yields again.

Ming Chi Kuo: Apple to adopt OLED displays in the 2022 iPad Air

In late 2020 several reports from Korea suggested that Apple is looking to adopt OLEDs in future iPad devices, as early as in 2022.

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, a usually reliable Apple analyst, Apple is looking to adopt an OLED display in the 2022 iPad Air (while the MacBook Air will start using miniLED LCDs). MiniLEDs are actually more expensive than OLEDs today (these iPad OLEDs will be the cheaper rigid variant) and so cheaper iPads or laptops will use OLEDs from 2022 and onwards, while more expensive models will opt for miniLEDs which do not suffer from burn-in.

Trendforce: AMOLED displays will grab 39% of the smartphone display market in 2021

According to Trendforce, smartphone brands will increase adoption of AMOLED displays in 2021, which will lead to a 39% market share for AMOLED displays in the total smartphone display market - up from 31% in 2019.

Smartphone display market share by technology, 2019-2021, Trendforce

AMOLED displays are increasingly replacing high-end LTPS LCD displays in the high-end part of the smartphone market. The market share of lower-end a:Si LCD is quite stable.

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