“While OLED is currently more difficult to manufacture, uses more complicated materials and chemical processes, and requires a keen focus on yield-rate management, it is an increasingly attractive technology for smartphone brands,” says David Hsieh, senior director, IHS Markit. “OLED displays are not only thinner and lighter than LCD displays, but they also boast better color performance and enable flexible display form factors that can lead to more innovative design.”
Samsung Electronics has already adopted OLED displays in its smartphone models, and there is also increasing demand from Chinese Huawei, OPPO, Vivo, Meizu and other smartphone brands. Apple is also now widely expected to use OLED displays in its upcoming iPhone models.
At one time, OLED displays were entirely glass-based and in terms of performance, there was little difference between LCD and OLED displays. Now, flexible OLED displays made from thinner and lighter plastic are enabled and have drawn Apple’s attention. “Apple’s upcoming adoption of OLED displays will be a milestone for OLED in the display industry,” Hsieh says.
Samsung Display, LG Display, Sharp, JDI, BOE, Tianma, GVO, Truly, and CSOT are also starting to ramp up their AMOLED manufacturing capacities and devote more resources to technology development. Samsung Display’s enormous sixth-generation A3 AMOLED fab, for example, will enable even more AMOLED displays to reach the market. Global AMOLED manufacturing capacity will increase from 5 million square meters in 2014 to 30 million square meters in 2020.