AMOLED Narrows Gap with LTPS TFT-LCD

In a new research note, IHS has described the fast rise of AMOLED displays in smartphones, taking share from LTPS.

LTPS TFT-LCD has dominated smartphone display shipments since Apple’s adoption for the iPhone in 2007. AMOLED has been used in Samsung phones for some time, but is only now beginning to see wider adoption, with Samsung Display’s willingness to sell panels to other phone vendors.

The gap between AMOLED and LTPS TFT-LCD is narrowing, due to falling costs and rising interest in the thinner, lighter AMOLED form factor. LTPS TFT-LCD smartphone panel shipments were almost 2.5 times higher than AMOLED units at the start of 2015. By March this year, however, that gap had narrowed to just 1.3 times.

Growing demand from Chinese brands, and Samsung’s use of the technology in its low-end and mid-range phones, is driving the current round of adoption. Oppo, Vivo, Gionee and other Chinese firms have already launched AMOLED smartphones, while Huawei and Xiaomi are considering adoption. Apple has also been repeatedly linked to a rumour suggesting that it will launch an AMOLED iPhone next year.

According to IHS, AMOLED displays climbed from a 12% share of the smartphone market in March 2015 to 21% in March 2016. Unit shipments of AMOLED smartphone panels rose 23% from February to March, to reach 31.7 million units.