OLED Smartphone Display Panels To Outpace LCD Shipments In 2020

Display technology has continued to improve over the past several years, and not just with higher-resolution panels. The next big shift is a transition from liquid crystal display (LCD) panels to organic light emitting diode (OLED) screens. As it pertains to smartphones, an increasing number of companies are making the switch. As such, OLED smartphone panel shipments could top LCD smartphone panel shipments very soon.

Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) believes this will happen within the next few years. The organization expects OLED smartphone panels to reach 1.37 billion units in 2019, and top LCD panel shipments in 2020. That is not so hard to believe when you see companies such as Samsung and LG pushing OLED displays on their smartphones devices. Apple is joining the fray as well, with its iPhone X using an OLED display.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Beyond smartphones, we are seeing OLED panels make a move in the big screen TV sector as well, though early solutions are comparatively expensive—65-inch TVs that use OLED panels typically cost around $4,000 or more, versus some 65-inch LCD TVs selling for $1,000 or less. Nevertheless, OLED TV shipments will tally 1.5 million units this year, and 2.4 million units in 2018, DSCC says.

The shift to OLED displays is only the beginning. Companies are working flexible OLED panels. Just last week, it was reported that Apple contracted LG to produce folding OLED display panels for its 2020 iPhone model. Meanwhile, Samsung is reportedly working on a Galaxy X concept that will a flexible OLED screen.

Development in this area seems to be a little bit slower, though DSCC predicts the production capacity of flexible OLED panels will surpass that of rigid OLED screens in the fourth quarter of this year. The actual output of flexible OLED displays is expected to top rigid OLED panels by the third quarter of 2018.