Are OLED smartphones better for your eyes? NTHU researchers say yes

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.

Reading a smartphone in bed photo
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.

DSCC: flexible OLEDS carry a 5X premium over LTPS LCDs

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.

Smartphone OLED Vs. LCD pricing (2017-2018, DSCC)

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 launches modular 110-260 inch modular Active LED TVs in India, are these Micro-LED TVs?

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.

Samsung Active LED TV, India

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).

Samsung aiming to launch a 75" consumer Micro-LED TV in 2019

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 US Army wants to replace the LCD microdisplays with OLEDs in the next generation F-35 helmet

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.

F-35 helmet HMD photo

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 unveils its first Micro-LED TV prototype

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 sees stronger demand for flexible OLEDs in H2 2018, but more risks to its rigid OLED sales

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 says it will release a consumer Micro-LED TV in 2019

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'' micro-LED TV, The Wall

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.

n-Tech sees the Micro-LED market growing from $2.7 billion in 2019 to over $70 billion in 2027

n-tech Research released a new Micro-LED market report in which they estimate that the market will grow from $2.7 billion in 2019 to over $70 billion in 2027. The markets for Micro-LED displays, according to n-Tech, will include wearables, near-eye displays, HUDs, projection displays and extra large area displays.

MicroLED display market forecast (2018-2027, n-Tech)

All of these applications will benefit from the small size, low weight, high brightness and high resolution of Micro-LED displays. Extra large-area displays will benefit from the linear scalability of Micro-LED displays.

The Bell: Apple aims to sell 45 million 6.5" OLED iPhones and 25 million 5.84" OLED iPhones in 2018

More and more reports suggest that Apple's 2018 iPhone lineup (to be introduced in September 2018) will include two OLED models and one LCD models. A few days ago it the Nikkei Asian Review said that Apple's 2018 OLED iPhone launch orders will be 20% lower compared to 2017, amounting to 80 million panels.

Apple iPhone X photo

Now the Korean site The Bell says that Apple ordered 45 million 6.5" OLED panels from SDC for the iPhone Xs Plus and only 25 million for the smaller 5.84" iPhone Xs - to a total of 70 million panels. For the lower-end LCD model, Apple ordered only 30 million panels from Japan Display.