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AMOLED displays now cheaper to produce than LCD, so prepare for the organic light diode onslaught

Posted: , by Luis D.

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AMOLED displays now cheaper to produce than LCD, so prepare for the organic light diode onslaught

AMOLED now has all it takes to become the premier display technology of the future. In addition to being more power-efficient and capable of outputting deeper colors, AMOLED panels are officially cheaper to produce than LCD ones. Market researcher firm IHS Technology claims that production costs of AMOLED and LCD panels in the first quarter have gone down to $14.3 and $14.6, respectively, based on the cost for a 5-inch Full-HD Smartphone. Prices have fallen from $17.1 (AMOLED) and $15.7 (LCD) in the fourth quarter of last year. It seems like a legitimate possibility that AMOLED panels will begin replacing LCD ones, not just on high-end smartphones, but on mid-range and low-end models alike.

Possible explanations for the price shift include high rate of operation, wider range of customers, and end of depreciation of production lines. IHS pointed out that Samsung Display, the biggest player in the field, has quickly expanded production of small and medium-sized AMOLED panels since the second half of last year. It also secured major Chinese smartphone makers (such as Meizu and Oppo) as customers, which let it increase operation rate at up to 95%. As spending on running production facilities is fixed, production costs can be reduced if their output is increased by boosting the rate of operation. Samsung Display also managed to stabilize yields during the early production phase, which has had positive impact.

AMOLED is coming to a cheaper smartphone near you.

With the price of admission falling down, Chinese smartphone makers use AMOLED panels not only for premium products, but also for mid-range models. Industry analysts predict that manufacturers will quickly replace LCD panels with AMOLED ones, now that production costs have become similar. Samsung Display is preparing its facilities to ramp up production, which means AMOLED production costs will keep falling. Additionally, increased demand will drive competition, as fabless semiconductor manufacturing businesses that have secured technologies to design AMOLED screens will become more active.

Recently, Samsung Display made a $325.73 million (400 billion won) investment in its flexible OLED panel manufacturing lines in Tangjeong, South Korea. Its total flexible OLED panel production capabilities will be increased from the current 39,000 sheets/mo. to 90,000 sheets/mo. Industry watchers speculate that Samsung Display is gearing up to meet demand for flexible OLED panels by Apple. Sources such as Japanese newspaper Nikkei claim that Apple is looking to switch to OLED technology for its iPhones and iPads as early as next year, and is close to signing supply contracts with Samsung and LG's display divisions. With prices set to fall even lower, there hasn't been a better moment for the Cupertino gang to jump on the OLED train.

source: ET News

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posted on 25 Mar 2016, 04:31 19

1. htcforlife (Posts: 73; Member since: 15 Apr 2014)

Meanwhile i got rejected from another college.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 05:50 23

25. Frank_Underwood (Posts: 31; Member since: 22 Mar 2016)

May be if you weren't spending much time here on PA ;)

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 06:16 2

33. ThePython (Posts: 901; Member since: 08 May 2013)

And the butchery begins.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 07:53 6

63. Konsento (Posts: 139; Member since: 10 Apr 2015)

How are you in the position to say that? You've made approximately 5 posts a day since you joined versus 0.1 for htcforlife.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 09:19 1

74. justrt (Posts: 411; Member since: 10 Jul 2014)

While htcforlife is trying to get to college, Frank_Underwood isn't.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 10:16

91. zeeBomb (Posts: 2294; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)

What a time to be alive

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 10:49

104. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 3301; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)

I wonder how much LG's quantum LCDs cost per panel.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 12:38

128. Frank_Underwood (Posts: 31; Member since: 22 Mar 2016)

Thank you for clearing that up!

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 13:24 4

135. kumaran55 (Posts: 9; Member since: 21 Mar 2016)

This site and its writers are fools. The Super AMOLED isn't cheaper. Do you not understand? Difference Between Super AMOLED (Galaxy S7) and AMOLED (Nexus 6P)

Galaxy S7 and Samsung Phones - Super AMOLED costs $55 (SOURCE:IHS Mobile Handsets Intelligence Service).

AMOLED $14.30 (Nexus 6P)

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 19:10

148. zeeBomb (Posts: 2294; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)

I just want more companies to use LTPS, Amoled and Super-LCD. We are slowly getting there... What a time to be alive.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 22:13

152. mixedfish (Posts: 1309; Member since: 17 Nov 2013)

AMOLED gen 1 is pretty terrible, that's why Samsung was so quick to go Super AMOLED the Galaxy S2.

posted on 27 Mar 2016, 11:58

162. Adreno (banned) (Posts: 755; Member since: 12 Mar 2016)


No. The original Galaxy S had a Super AMOLED display made by Samsung.

The Galaxy S2 had a Super AMOLED Plus. This version used standard RGB matrix, instead of PenTile.
That Super AMOLED Plus resulted in about 50% more brightness, but the pixels decayed/died much quicker.
That's why Samsung went back to Super AMOLED in Galaxy S3.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 04:33 3

2. NoToFanboys (Posts: 2594; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)

This is good.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 04:35 7

3. alexp999 (Posts: 77; Member since: 16 Mar 2016)

I hope not all manufacturers go down the amoled route and there are still good phones with the choice of amoled. I'm not trying to start a pros and cons or flame war but I personally don't like them and will always choose an IPS display. Hopefully that choice will not be taken away in future...

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 04:36

4. alexp999 (Posts: 77; Member since: 16 Mar 2016)

Choice of screen that should read. No edit button!

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 05:14 4

14. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)

I'm also hoping LCD displays don't disappear. The whites on AMOLED displays have always appeared too yellow for my liking. iOS is a very white-heavy OS so I'm not sure how good that's going to look.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 06:18 7

35. nodes (Posts: 756; Member since: 06 Mar 2014)

Samsung Touchwiz is also full of mosltly white and bright colors too.
i just hope these "cheap" OLED panels could be calibrated as accurate as OLED.
i'm really not into saturated display, i prefer accurate display.
but really love ink-deep black, wide viewing angles, and low reflectivity of OLED display.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 06:35 13

44. Macready (Posts: 1395; Member since: 08 Dec 2014)

People still don't understand that these displays can output any color within te AdobeRGB gamut? If you prefer a rather (too) high Kelvin temperature for your whites, it comes down to software calibration, which has nothing to do with the underlying technology.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 06:38 7

48. Macready (Posts: 1395; Member since: 08 Dec 2014)

Practically the whole lineup from Samsung has already switched to AMOLED and some of those cheap models have nicely calibrated screens already.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 07:12

57. nodes (Posts: 756; Member since: 06 Mar 2014)

so you are saying Super AMOLED on older devices like the first Galaxy S could have colors as accurate as the new one found in recent Samsung devices?

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 07:51

62. joeytaylor (Posts: 863; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)

I'm pretty sure he wasn't referring to 6 yo panels

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 08:00

64. Macready (Posts: 1395; Member since: 08 Dec 2014)

Yes, they could. In fact, I rooted my old S(1) and had a 3rd party app installed to do exactly that: calibrate the screen to accurately fit the sRGB gamut.

Keep in mind that accurate isn't necessarily what the average consumer wants/wanted. Look at most factory defaults on TV's for example. The consumer is more likely to pick the one that jumps out.

Also, it could well be (and is very likely) that variations between individual screens were much larger back then and that they used a general (one size that didn't fit all) calibration, rather than individually calibrated screens, which is much more costly. The cost of those early panels was already high, cutting into their margins. Similar to current AMOLED panels for tablets, not to mention the reason why Samsung is still/again shy from producing large TV AMOLED panels.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 08:31

71. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)

I don't disagree with you, but since I have yet to see an OLED display without the yellow-tinged whites I'm guessing there's some practical reason (maybe battery?) as to why as a standard it's always calibrated as such. Whatever the motivation is, I've never been the biggest fan (though I do love the deep blacks).

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 10:02 1

87. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 13433; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

Please list 5 benefits if IPS LCD over Super AMOLED!

Here I will await your reply, but while I wait, I will help you.
There are none. AMOLED is more efficient because it doesn't nee a bulb to produce the light. For a phone like the iPhone which typically have small batteries and terrible battery-life considering its specs and capabilities, such an improvement of less drain is a huge benefit. Being able to adjust the color palette to your taste is also a huge benefit. Don't like over-saturated color? Tone it down by changing the mode. AMOLED's are now just as bright or brighter vs LCD. Because of the natural black backgrounds, colors look much better, especially the greens, blues and reds.

The only thing LCD's do betetr is produce white. But that si because when a page or view is white, you simply see the full intensity of the bulb behidn the display.

The major downsides to LCD is increasing resolution or size of the display, also means the need for more power draw, while AMOLED displays can increase size and resolution and yet still use roughly the same amount of power.

Example, the present Note 5 display at 5.7" with a resolution of 2560x1440, actually uses less power than the 1920x1080 5.1" display on the Galaxy S5.

Even the S7 with its 5.5" display and QHD resolution, uses less power than the IPS Display at 5'5" in the iPhone 6S Plus.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 10:08

88. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 13433; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

Yellow tinge whites? I have a Note 5 with Super AMOLED. Even though the white isnt as white as a phone using a white bulb behind the display, its not yellow in tint. It is more of a very soft blue which in fact is much easier on the eyes than a pure white background.

This is why Apple put Night Shift on so that the display isn't white intense because actually all that white is very bad on the eyes and the brighter you make the screen and stare at it, the worse it is for you. Even an optometrist will tell you that.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 10:28

98. Macready (Posts: 1395; Member since: 08 Dec 2014)

Those "yellow" whites are actually closer to 6500K. Most people have become too accustomed to too blue screens, for which our brains "recalibrate". So if you go to AMOLED after that, you're likely going to find it too yellow/green. Until you use it for a longer period.

A cool way to test and verify this yourself, is using one eye to look at a relatively white web page on your mobile screen, the other one closed, in a very dark environment. Keep that up for about 10-20 minutes and then look at a white piece of paper. You'll notice a huge difference in how each eye will portray that color white, because your brains have adjusted for the one eye staring at that screen, but not the other.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 10:53

105. marorun (Posts: 5029; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)

MY IPS screen on the moto x play use about 80 mah per hours.
S7 use a bit more than 100 mah per hours.

Both 5.5 inch.

funny eh?
thats because white use way more on amoled vs lcd and new android is very white..

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 11:20

118. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 13433; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

Yea I know that effect. There is a photo in what appears to be black and white, and yet is you stare at it for a few moments and then look away to a dark area, you can see a full composite photo in opposite color.

But that is an optical illusion and it doesn't happen to everyone.

Typically this happens mostly to people that have a astigmatism.

But an off-white display is better on your eyes. After all, if you keep your display set on auto brightness, there whites will usually never be 100% white unless you in the sun..

Its better on your eyes to dim whites. Even today's TV;s come factory set with the intensity toned down, even though you can adjust them up.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 11:34

120. willy.4 (Posts: 55; Member since: 14 Oct 2015)

Now you know the rest of the story..... No wonder Apple is going to amoled more money to be made from all the I sheep wanting the newest and greatest tech..... Don't worry about It though in about four years time when all the tec sites forget that it was Samsung that was the first to mass produce the screens in smartphones, Apple will try and Sue Samsung for infringement and claim the patten...... lol

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 11:41

121. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 13433; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

Yes that is true, if you're trying to achieve pure white then yes as a fact I agree,

But I don't need that. In fact bright white on a display is bad on the eyes. Which is why Apple had Night Shift, though I see it as useless as a screen set to auto, will drop the brightness when needed and you can manually adjust it.

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