Smartphone AMOLED Revolution Underway As Superior Display Tech Reaches Price Parity With LCDs

It's already impressive that many of today's smartphones have higher display resolutions than the big screen TVs in our living room. That doesn't mean you can expect stagnation when it comes to smartphone displays. Just the opposite, the production cost of superior AMOLED panels for smartphones is now lower than the cost of LCDs.

According to the latest research by IHS Technology, it costs $14.30 to produce a 5-inch AMOLED panel, versus $14.60 for an LCD equivalent. That wasn't the case a year ago when 5-inch AMOLED panels ran $17.10 each, making them more expensive than LCD panels that ran $15.70 at the time.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge uses a Super AMOLED display

What this pricing parity means for consumers is that device makers are more likely to turn to AMOLED panels for their next generation handsets. That should be true not only of high-end models, but also the mid-range and possibly even some lower-end smartphones.

"Even though depreciation of LCD line is over, structure of cost of AMOLED is still more advantageous," said Kim Hyun-jin, a top researchers from IHS Technology. "It has set up bases that will allow AMOLED to be used also for inexpensive products as well as premium products."

AMOLED displays light pixels separately on a thin layer of organic polymers. These types of displays can be very thin and don't require a backlight, resulting in less electricity and longer battery life. They also tend to be produce brighter colors and deeper blacks, traits that are readily apparent when viewing Samsung handsets that use Super AMOLED panels.
Tags:  LCD, display, AMOLED