Article last updated on: Jan 29, 2019

OLED displays use organic materials that emit light when electricity is applied. OLEDs enable emissive, bright, thin, flexible and efficient displays - and so OLEDs are set to replace LCDs in all display applications - from small displays to large TV sets.

Royole FlexPai developer device photo

AMOLEDs today

AMOLED displays today are used in many applications - and are most common in smartphones. Samsung for example uses AMOLED displays in most of its high-end phones, including the latest Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus and the Note 9. Apple's new iPhones, SmarthWatches, and the MacBook Pro's Touch Bar are all using AMOLEDs. Other AMOLED devices include smartphones from Huawie, Sony, Xiaomi and others.

Samsung GS6 and GS6 Edge photo

AMOLED displays are also used in OLED TVs - which are mostly available from LG. OLED TV screens range from 55" to 77" (88" 8K ones are coming in 2019), and are considered to be the best TV panels ever produced. In 2019 we will have the first rollable OLED TV - LG's 65" Signature OLED R.

AMOLED: Active Matrix OLED

The term AMOLED means Active-Matrix OLED. The 'active-matrix' part refers to the driving electronics, or the TFT layer. When you display an image, you actually display it line by line (sequentially) as you can only change one line at a time. An AMOLED uses a TFT which contains a storage capacitor which maintains the line pixel states, and so enables large size (and large resolution) displays.

AMOLED vs PMOLED

A PMOLED uses a simpler kind of driver electronics - without a storage capacitor. This means that each line is turned off when you move to the next line. So let's say you have 10 rows in your display - each row will only be on 1/10 of the time. The brightness of each row has to be 10 times the brightness you'd get in an AMOLED. So you use more voltage which shortens the lifetime of the OLED materials and also results in a less efficient display. So while PMOLEDs are cheaper to make than AMOLEDs they are limited in size and resolution (the largest PMOLED is only 5", and most of them are around 1" to 3"). Most PMOLEDs are used for character display, and not to show photos or videos.



2 color 0.96-inch PMOLED

Flexible, foldable and rollable AMOLEDs

One of the main advantages of AMOLED displays is that they can be made flexible. Flexible AMOLEDs are already popular for many years in smartphones and wearables, and in 2019 we will experience the first foldable devices and rollable screens.

Transparent AMOLEDs

Several companies are developing large transparent AMOLED displays - and in past years we've seen many prototypes - including a large 55" Full-HD transparent TV. But this technology is not commercial yet, mostly it seems because there are no useful applications that will convince the display makers to mass produce such panels.

Looking to buy an AMOLED display?

Are you looking to adopt an AMOLED display for your device? Several producers are already making panels - including Samsung Display, LG Display, EverDisplay, Truly, Visionox and more. AMOLEDs on the market range from small 1-inch ones for smartwatches through large OLEDs used in tablets and laptops - to large TV panels.

OLED-Info offers the OLED Marketplace, the world's most comprehensive OLED catalog. Just browse the available panels, and let us help you secure the best supplier for your needs.

The latest AMOLED news:

Visionox confirms it supplies the prototype foldable and embedded-camera OLED displays to Xiaomi

In January 2019 Xiaomi unveiled a new prototype smartphone that uses a tri-foldable OLED display. The company did not disclose much information, but a report from Taiwan suggested that the OLED supplier for this prototype was Visionox.

In an interview with China Daily a Visionox VP confirms that Visionox supplied the foldable OLED prototypes to Visionox. He also says that Visionox supplied Xiaomi with the innovative OLED displays with under-the-screen camera (seen in the video below).

Visionox shows new foldable, flexible and automotive OLED Displays at SID 2019

China-based OLED producer Visionox has demonstrated several new OLED technologies at SID DisplayWeek 2019 last month, and the following great video shows the company's impressive booth and displays.

First up is a foldable OLED display that can be folded inwards and outwards. The panel's folding radius is 5 mm, and Visionox says that it can be folded over 200,000 times. The company did not disclose the exact size and resolution, though.

The Verge: SDC's 15.6" laptop AMOLED display is tremendous, absolutely worth the extra cost

The Verge posted a review of one of the world's first 2019 OLED laptops, the HP 2019 Spectre x360 15. The reviewer loves the OLED display: "The Spectre x360 15’s display is tremendous, and I see no reason why someone would pick an LCD over this OLED, given the option. It’s absolutely worth the higher cost (Ed: around $400)."

HP Spectre x360 15 photo

HP's Spectre x360 15 features an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD storage. The OLED display is a 15.6" 3840x2160 panel produced by SDC. HP's Spectre x360 15 laptops are now shipping, the OLED models start at $2,299.

DSCC: Samsung, Apple and Huawei are the world's top flexible AMOLED smartphone customers

DSCC published an interesting note, detailing the world's top 10 devices by flexible AMOLED sales in the first half of 2019. The list contains only three vendors: Samsung, Apple and Huawei.

Huawei Mate P30 Pro photo

Total flexible AMOLED revenues for these ten devices are almost $4.7 billion, and Samsung phones account for 53% ($2.5 billion). Apple has only 2 leading models, but accounts for 30% of the revenues ($1.4 billion) and Huawei phones generated $723 million in flexible AMOLED revenues.

Huawei says it shipped over 2 million Watch GT smartwatches

Huawei launched its Watch GT smartwatch in October 2018, and the company announced it shipped over 2 million units so far. This is great news for Huawei - although its not clear how the recent US ban on Huawei will effect future sales.

Huawei Watch GT photo

The Watch GT has a 1.39" 454x454 round AMOLED display (likely made by AU Optronics) and features an optical 6-LED heart rate sensor, a GPS and a power-saving algorithm that allows the Watch GT to have a claimed 2-week battery life for frequent use mode. The Watch GT is now shipping starting at $199.99 (note: affiliate link to Amazon).

Samsung is asking Apple to compensate it for not reaching its iPhone OLED agreed order quantities

According to a report from Korea, when Apple secured its flexible AMOLED supply from Samsung for the iPhone X (and later XS and XS Plus) it committed to a minimum order quantity. As sales of the iPhones were slower than expected, the company did not reach its MOQ, and is now facing penalties of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Apple iPhone X photo

It seems as if Apple is reluctant to pay the penalty (which isn't a big surprise) and is offering some alternative routes for Samsung - including the option of ordering OLED displays for future iPads or laptops (this coincides with a report from Korea last month).

CSoT demonstrates its first foldable AMOLED prototype

China-based CSoT demonstrated a foldable OLED prototype at SID DisplayWeek 2019, I believe this is the first time the company has shown a foldable display.

CSoT recently started pilot production at its 6-Gen LTPS flexible AMOLED production line in Wuhan and the company already achieved some design wins with "top-class" phone makers and is expected to start shipping OLED displays to its customers in Q4 2019. The Wuhan fab will have a monthly production capacity of 45,000 6-Gen substrates.

China-based JD.com: sales of the OnePlus 7 Pro in China are far surpassing Samsung's GS10+ sales

JD.com, a popular online retailer in China, says that sales of the OnePlus 7 Pro are more than ten times higher than the sales of Samsung's flagship Galaxy S10 Plus (which has a comparable display size). JD says that there were 250,372 OnePlus units sold - compared to only 23,266 GS10+ units.

OnePlus 7 Pro photoThe OnePlus 7 Pro is the company's flagship smartphone that features a large 6.67" 90Hz 1440x3120 Fluid AMOLED (which is apparently a 90Hz Super AMOLED) full-screen display with an under-the-display fingerprint sensor. The GS10+ sports a 6.4" 60Hz 3040x1440 (522 PPI) Super AMOLED display.

Huawei delays the launch of its foldable OLED Mate X smartphone

In February 2019 Huawei launched its first foldable smartphone, the Mate X with a 8" 2200x2480 foldable AMOLED display that folds outwards. Huawei said it will launch the Mate X by the end of June, but now the company says it is now planning to release it in September.

Huawei says that it needs more time to test the device and make sure it is durable. It is also possible that the US ban on Huawei is behind this decision.

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