Report: OLED smartphone panels to become more popular than LCD by 2020

The iPhone X is the first (but probably not the last) iPhone model to use an OLED display

The iPhone X is the first (but probably not the last) iPhone model to use an OLED display


2017 has brought a lot of changes to the way smartphones look and feel, but arguably none is bigger than the shift towards near bezel-less displays. And as the bezels shrink and screen real estate increases, the display itself becomes even more important than it was before. Which brings us back to a question that has been dividing smartphone users for years: LCD or OLED?

And while several years ago the answer for most people (and phone manufacturers) would be LCD, Samsung has had a large part in increasing the popularity of OLED, thanks to its inclusion in every flagship model in the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series. Also, the introduction of flexible OLED panels has brought a lot more options in terms of form factor, with a notable example being Samsung's own curved display devices from the past few years.

Or in other words, OLED is becoming ever more popular. And it seems like this trend isn't planning on stopping any time soon — in fact, a new report from research firm Display Supply Chain Consultants claims that OLED usage will surpass that of LCD in smartphones by 2020.

Which isn't at all surprising, really: with the best-selling smartphone series moving towards adopting the technology across all of its devices, and multiple display manufacturers jumping at the opportunity to build their own OLED production lines, the power shift is all but inevitable. But it is surprising that it is projected to happen so soon — three years really isn't this long when looking at things from the scale of an entire industry.

Another notable prediction is that flexible OLED solutions are expected to become more popular than their rigid counterparts by the end of next year. Whether this means that most OLED smartphones will have a curved screen or not remains to be seen, however — a manufacturer could choose to use a flexible panel in a flat display, provided it is the cheaper solution (and in fact, some reports claim flexible OLED panels are actually cheaper).

As for what this could mean for the end user, it's mostly good news. OLED offers considerably better image quality, and the potential for less power consumption (displaying pure black requires no energy). Still, there are bound to be some growing pains for manufacturers other than Samsung, who haven't had a years-long experience in building their own OLED panels.

source: DSCC, Business Korea via Digitimes

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29 Comments

1. Lumberjack

Posts: 306; Member since: May 04, 2017

Then Crystal LED/ Micro LED will be here to eat the OLED

3. sgodsell

Posts: 6737; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Still OLED has been been on not only Samsung flagships, but it mid range smartphones for years now. It's only recently that we have seen it on some lower priced Samsung devices as well. Now that LG has started to ramp up production of their OLED displays, that even more flagship devices as well as more mid range devices will have OLED instead of LCD. A long time coming, but finally every one can see how much better OLED is over LCD.

26. Avieshek unregistered

Crystal LED is Quantum-Dots. Micro LED is without encapsulation.

29. buccob

Posts: 2949; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Honestly I don't care as long as my phone has a good quality display.... Just because a display is OLED doesn't mean it is good... And the same for regular LCD. The place I definitely DO NOT want OLED just yet is my Laptop and my TV... Those are devices that I tend to keep for at least 4 years and OLED still needs to overcome burn-ins and not just by software. I have seen enough "quality" OLED with burned pixels and faded colors

2. Alter

Posts: 218; Member since: Mar 25, 2016

I would have thought OLED would surpass LCD even sooner.

11. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Not when the low-end segment of smartphones is still active, as not many OEMs can afford to put an OLED display in a low-end handset.

27. Avieshek unregistered

Samsung Galaxy J-series is an exception.

28. Subie

Posts: 2273; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

4. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

I'm just waiting for Sony to make the switch, then I'm saying bye bye to Apple

8. korean411

Posts: 92; Member since: May 04, 2009

they might be the last one to switch.

9. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Which is strange as years ago the released on of the first OLED monitor and they OLED tvs with that technology

19. HansP

Posts: 542; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

In one of Sony's countless "brilliant" business decisions they sold off their OLED IP as they thought LCD was the future.

21. Lumberjack

Posts: 306; Member since: May 04, 2017

JDI will deliver OLED only in 2019. Next year the Premium will probably use a screen from LG. Of course the Bravia Team will add their tech like they do to LCD.

5. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Apple did this with iPhone X...!! Ya ya they use Samsung made displays but they paid them in Billions for them, they never got them for free. In fact About half of Samsung's revenue come from selling stuff to Apple. Without Apple, Samsung is nobody but without Samsung Apple will still sell iPhones.

7. korean411

Posts: 92; Member since: May 04, 2009

same can be said for apple. if they didn't have companies to out source for pretty much their entire iphone hardware then the iphone wouldn't have been made. these days Apple is more about software which is the reason why they outsource for their hardware.

10. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Who tf cares, it's not what the article is about Gtfo from this site

14. MasterAlchemist

Posts: 56; Member since: Oct 14, 2017

Waiting for Hallyu, son of Sammy's chief janitor.

15. shm224

Posts: 232; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

oh god, another juvenile Apple fanboi Samsung Electronics made about $200B last year, of which maybe 3% or 4% of their sales come from Apple. Samsung has been doing fine without Apple, especially their display business, and will continue to do so without Apple. It's difficult to say what Apple's next product might look like without Samsung's AMOLED though.

18. DRS1977

Posts: 678; Member since: May 27, 2015

@ piyath, you are a gigantic iTroll loser.

22. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

You must be high as a kite. Samsung was making phones long before Apple. Apple didn't start using Samsung mostly until recently. Samsung has manage years without Apple. Why do you have to spew this non-sense everyday? Are you really that stupid and desperate for attention? Samsung makes its money from selling components. They were selling plenty way before Apple started buying. Gosh dude. You have you head so far up Apple arse, you can't even see your hand before your false./ If you love Apple great. But you don't have to act stupid though.

24. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1504; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

LMAO & without "MICROSOFT" Apple is "NOTHING".

25. iushnt

Posts: 3054; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Without Samsung the whole industry is at loss.

6. kkmkk

Posts: 699; Member since: May 06, 2013

the laughable thing is the Samsung mid-ranger devices had amoled for years now and they are also putting them in low-end ones as well but most AMOLED screen devices from other manufacturers cost more than 700+

12. Carter07

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 11, 2015

Welcome burn-in!

13. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

OLED is the future. It's about time LCD goes to sleep.

16. haruken

Posts: 303; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

Samsung wins in the end

17. worldpeace

Posts: 3092; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

"The iPhone X is the first (but probably not the last) iPhone model to use an OLED display" U should use Samsung's smartphone picture instead of iPhone. Samsung got the credit for developing AMOLED for years, perfected it, and make it affordable for most people. Even your source use Samsung's smartphone picture.. shameless iPhonearena

20. HansP

Posts: 542; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

Yup. Apple, iPhonearena and gadget bloggers in general has actively spread lies about AMOLED for years, almost a full decade, to make Apple seem more technically competitive. Funny how fast that narrative completely disappears when Apple hops on the bandwagon.

23. sissy246

Posts: 6959; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

That is the funny part. Ifans talked bad about AMOLED for years, now its going to be the best thing ever since iphone has it.

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