January 3, 2012 – Active matrix OLED (AMOLED) displays will continue to encroach upon LCD technology through small and medium-sized (9-in. and smaller) displays used in mobile phones, according to recent analysis by NPD DisplaySearch.
Total OLED display shipments are expected to reach 191 million in 2012, accounting for 8.4% of total small/medium displays. AMOLEDs will make up 6% all by themselves, having driven total OLED penetration into this market segment since 2010 and the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S phone, according to Yoonsung Chung, director, large-area displays & FPD materials for NPD DisplaySearch. Mobile phones continue to drive the OLED adoption, with mobile phone applications expected to make up 69% of the small/medium OLED market in 2012 and growing to 83% in 2015.
OLED penetration in small and medium display shipments by technology. (Source: NPD DisplaySearch)
Mass adoption of AMOLED technology, though, faces hurdles due to the higher cost and technical difficulty of manufacturing — successful entry takes five years on average, according to the firm. "Prior to the start of mass production of AMOLED displays for mobile phones, only passive-matrix OLED (PMOLED) displays were available, mostly used in applications such as mobile phone sub-displays, automobile displays, and some industrial and niche applications," Chung stated.
Samsung produces nearly all AMOLED displays today, but more players will be needed to continue to push the technology’s adoption — and indeed new panel makers will emerge in 2013 from Taiwan and China, Chung forecasts. He also predicts demand for "OLED applications for smartphones, amusement devices, digital still cameras, and home appliances."
Small/medium OLED display shipments by application. (Source: NPD DisplaySearch)