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AMOLED production scaling pushes pricing to TFT LCD levels

by Mark Tyson on 7 July 2017, 13:01

Tags: LG Display

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AMOLED displays are popular for the pure blacks and energy efficient 'glance' displays they enable. Thus they are seen as a premium option for smartphone and laptop users, and AMOLED panels are only seen in really high-end TVs. However, thanks to competition and demand spurring greater production, prices are starting to become more competitive with TFT LCD panels, reports IT industry journal DigiTimes.

According to the source report "The production cost for a 5.5-inch HD AMOLED panel has drifted to US$12.10 recently, compared to US$12.20 for a 5.5-inch HP LTPS LCD panel". This is a big change to the previous state of affairs where AMOLED panels had "much higher," prices due to the increased production costs. Thanks to the levelling off of prices and demand it's expected that AMOLED panels will be equipped on up to 50 per cent of smartphones by 2020.

In other recent AMOLED smartphone news, the Nikkei Asian Review asserts that Apple will "use OLED screens in all new iPhones launching in 2018". Industry sources say Apple is considering launching three smartphones in 2018 and all will come equipped with this type of display.

Later this year Apple will launch its first OLED iPhone - but only the premium version will get this type of display, in a design that eschews its iconic Home button. Two other iPhone models released this year will use TFT LCDs.

Back to the AMOLED panel pricing news, and there is hope that larger displays, not just those aimed at smartphones and tablets, will come down in price. LG Display's E4-2 fab, its second production line for AMOLED displays for TVs, will enter volume production in H2 2017, says DigiTimes. Thanks to the new production line AMOLED TV display production is set to more than double to 1.5 million units, say sources. Furthermore, several Chinese panel makers have been investing in AMOLED production facilities with output set to increase fivefold (comparing 2016 output to that estimated to come on line in 2018).

HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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No Home button on an iphone? How Samsung of them ;)
Yes, still no OLED monitors. What gives?
Yes, still no OLED monitors. What gives?
There is the Dell UltraSharp UP3017Q 30" OLED Monitor at a high price, $1550 in the US and apparently not available in the UK yet. As OLED production gets cheaper perhaps we will see more soon.
Well that's the thing, OLED panels are affordable. It used to be they could only be produced for small sizes such as mobiles, but now we've seen them in large TVs for several years, and now at not unreasonable price points.

Yet, only Dell has dipped their toe, and only at the high-end of the market.

I've been holding off upgrading my monitor for OLED since the end of CRTs, I've gone through several stop-gap cheapo TFT screens as OLED is just a year away for the last decade. Maybe next year eh?
There were a couple of problems with OLED devices in general, one was the relatively short lifespan, compared with other technologies, and also the uneven reduction in light output over time - particularly blue emitters. They are also very susceptible to water damage!

I dont know how far technology has progressed to overcome these, but that could be why large screen devices are not readily available.