Demand for active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) screens has “taken off,” with smartphone penetration rates expected to pass 20 percent by the end of this year, according to a new report from TrendForce.
Thanks in part to development from Samsung and Apple’s likely transition to AMOLED screens as early as 2017, TrendForce said penetration of AMOLED screens in the smartphone market is set to double within three years, reaching 40 percent in 2019.
According to Boyce Fan, senior research manager at TrendForce division WitsView, products with AMOLED screens are already projected to account for 70 percent of Samsung’s smartphone shipments. AMOLED screens are also expected to be present in more than half of the respective smartphone shipments from Chinese brands OPPO and Vivo, which took over the number four and number five smartphone vendor positions in the first quarter of this year.
The addition of Apple to the AMOLED market, Fan said, will only fan the flames.
“The market visibility of smartphones with AMOLED panels will rise again in 2017 when Apple is expected to formally deploy this technology for the iPhone,” Fan said. “AMOLED’s arrival will radically change the competitive landscape of the high-end smartphone market by challenging the dominance of LTPS LCD, which has been the main display technology for premium models in recent years. This will further lead to a new round of fierce price competition in the mid- and high-end smartphone panel markets.”
And the supplier competition is already underway.
Though Samsung has a clear leg up thanks to its early transition to AMOLED and – as reported by Bloomberg – is already in talks to become Apple’s screen supplier, LG earlier this month announced plans to ramp up its investments in OLED displays. TrendForce said Japan Display is also planning to accelerate its timetable for the development and production of AMOLED displays.
WitsView said it anticipates LG and Japan Display to become Apple’s AMOLED panel suppliers in 2018 “at the earliest.”