Digitimes Research: AMOLED to become mainstream smartphone panels

Jen-Chieh Yang, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei 0

AMOLED panels, due to superiority in color saturation, thinness and power consumption over TFT-LCD panels, have seen increasing adopted for smartphones and will eventually become mainstream smartphone, as well as a dominate solution for VR head-mounted devices (HMD), according to Digitimes Resaerch.

Global AMOLED shipments are forecast to increase from 370 million units in 2016 to 452 million in 2017 and 1.127 billion in 2021, with the corresponding penetration of smartphones to rise from 24.3% to 27.6% and 53.0%, Digitimes Research indicated.

It has so far been difficult for AMOLED panels to replace TFT-LCD units for use in smartphones because smartphone vendors except Samsung Electronics are worried about Samsung Display dominating global supply of AMOLED panels. However, China-based makers have begun producing AMOLED panels and poised to break Samsung Display's dominance, making smartphone vendors more willing to adopt AMOLED panels for even mid-range and entry-level models. AMOLED panels based on plastic substrates also enable more flexible design for smartphones.

AMOLED panels also have big potential for use in VR HMDs due to shorter response time and higher contrast than TFT-LCD panels. If resolution is hiked, AMOLED panels will be the dominate solution for such devices.

While PMOLED panels are used in most of smartwatches, AMOLED panels stand a good chance of being used in high-end smartwatches.

But AMOLED panels face difficulties in being widely adopted for tablets and notebooks due to high costs arising from low yield rates. However, AMOLED panels are likely to be adopted for high-end tablets and professional notebooks in niche markets.