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.

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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155 Comments

1. htcforlife

Posts: 73; Member since: Apr 15, 2014

Meanwhile i got rejected from another college.

25. Frank_Underwood

Posts: 31; Member since: Mar 22, 2016

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

33. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

And the butchery begins.

63. Konsento

Posts: 139; Member since: Apr 10, 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.

74. justrt

Posts: 446; Member since: Jul 10, 2014

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

128. Frank_Underwood

Posts: 31; Member since: Mar 22, 2016

Thank you for clearing that up!

148. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

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

91. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

What a time to be alive

104. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

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

135. kumaran55

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 21, 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)

152. mixedfish

Posts: 1555; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

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

162. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

@mixedfish 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.

2. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

This is good.

3. alexp999

Posts: 77; Member since: Mar 16, 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...

4. alexp999

Posts: 77; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Choice of screen that should read. No edit button!

14. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 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.

35. nodes

Posts: 1159; Member since: Mar 06, 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.

48. Macready

Posts: 1821; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

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

134. kumaran55

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 21, 2016

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)

44. Macready

Posts: 1821; Member since: Dec 08, 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.

57. nodes

Posts: 1159; Member since: Mar 06, 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?

62. joeytaylor

Posts: 957; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

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

64. Macready

Posts: 1821; Member since: Dec 08, 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.

147. Cyberchum

Posts: 1066; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

What app was that, can you remember? I can do with an app with such feature, any alternative app will suffice.

71. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 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).

88. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 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.

161. BradyCrack

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

Um it warms the screen, it doesn't get rid of the whites. Heck that soft blue white would be worse then regular ones.

98. Macready

Posts: 1821; Member since: Dec 08, 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.

118. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 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.

120. willy.4

Posts: 72; Member since: Oct 14, 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

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