Article last updated on: Jan 15, 2019

What is an OLED display?

An OLED display uses a new technology called OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes). OLED screens are brighter, more efficient, thinner and feature better refresh rates and contrast than LCD or Plasma.

OLEDs are made by placing thin films of organic (carbon based) materials between two conductors. When an electrical current is applied, a bright light is emitted. Since the OLED materials emit light, a backlight is not required (unlike LCDs).

OLEDs in mobile phones

Mobile phones that boast OLED screens are rapidly becoming more prevalent, with over 500 million AMOLED screens produced in 2018 - mostly to satisfy demand from mobile phones. Samsung has been using AMOLEDs in its high-end phones for many years, and most phone makers are also starting to adopt OLED displays (including Apple, LG, Xiaomi, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Lenovo, Motorola, and others.

Apple iPhone X photo

OLED displays are advancing quickly, and today smartphone AMOLED displays outperform LCDs in all parameters - the flexible 5.8" 1125x2436 OLED (made by SDC) used by Apple's iPhone Xs is considered the best mobile display ever produced.



For a complete list of smartphones and mobile phones with OLED displays, click here.

Further reading

The latest smartphone OLED news:

A leaked slide shows TCL is planning a foldable OLED smartphone for 2020

A laked TCL smartphone roadmap shows that the China-based phone maker is planning to release a foldable AMOLED smartphone called FlexTab towards the end of 2020. The company is also aiming to release phones with edge-type flexible OLEDs earlier in the year.

TCL 2020 smartphone roadmap leaked slide
We do not know if this leaked image is authentic, but we do know that TCL demonstrated several foldable OLED prototypes earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress.

A report from Korea suggests that LGD will produce 10% of Apple's next-gen iPhone OLEDs displays

According to a report from Korea's JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, LG Display has passed Apple's quality requirements and has started to produce AMOLED displays for Apple's next generation iPhone, to be announced in September.

Apple iPhone XS photo

According to JoongAng Ilbo, Apple aims to ship around 65 million units of its new smartphones, and has contracted LGD to produce between 6 to 7 million panels, around 10% of Apple's total needs. The rest will be produced by Samsung Display. LGD will produce the displays at its E6 production line in Paju, Korea.

OLED Automotive Market Report

Huawei delays its foldable OLED Mate X smartphone again, will ship by November 2019

In February 2019 Huawei launched its first foldable smartphone, the Mate X with a 8" 2200x2480 foldable AMOLED display that folds outwards. Huawei originally said it will launch the Mate X by the end of June, but Huawei later said it plans to release it in September and now the company again delays the launch saying that the phone will launch by November.

Back in June Huawei said that it needs more time to test the device and make sure it is durable. It is likely that Huawei is still testing the device - or that Huawei did find some problems and now needs to fix these. It is also possible that the US ban on Huawei is behind this decision. In an

Samsung releases a nice infographic describing the advantages of its latest AMOLED display

A couple of weeks ago Samsung announced its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy Note 10, with its 6.3" 2280x1080, 401 PPI, Dynamic Infinity-O AMOLED display (6.8" 3040x1440, 498 PPI, on the Note 10+). The company released this nice infographic that details the new AMOLED display (click on it to see a larger version):

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 display infographic

DisplayMate tested the new display, and says that this is the world's best smartphone display. The Note 10+ OLED sets 13 new display performance records - including the world's highest absolute color accuracy and highest peak brightness (at 1,308 nits).

Samsung says pre-orders for the Galaxy Note 10 already passed 1.3 million in Korea

Samsung's will start shipping the Galaxy Note 10 in a couple of days, but the smartphone is available for pre-orders and Samsung announced that pre-orders already passed 1.3 million. This is double the pre-orders of last year's Galaxy Note 9.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 photo

The most popular model in Korea is currently the 256Gb Galaxy Note 10+. The Note 10 features a 6.3" 2280x1080, 401 PPI, Dynamic Infinity-O AMOLED display (6.8" 3040x1440, 498 PPI, on the Note 10+) with an under-the-display fingerprint sensor. Displaymate says that this is the world's best smartphone display ever.

Apple may adopt BOE's flexible AMOLEDs for future iPhones starting in 2020

Back in early 2017 it was reported that Apple is in discussions with BOE Display to supply OLED displays for future iPhones. Up until now Samsung was the exclusive iPhone AMOLED supplier, but a new report from Japan suggests that BOE and Apple's talks are still ongoing.

In fact the Nikkei Asian Review says that Apple is "aggressively testing" BOE's flexible AMOLED displays. The NAR claims that Apple will decide whether to add BOE as a supplier by the end of 2019. Such a deal will be a great step forward for BOE toward its goal to become a leading AMOLED supplier.

DisplayMate: Samsung's Galaxy Note 10+ AMOLED is the world's best smartphone display

DisplayMate tested Samsung's latest OLED flagship phone, the Galaxy Note 10+, and (as expected) says that this is the world's best smartphone display. DisplayMate says that the Note 10+ sets 13 new display performance records - including the world's highest absolute color accuracy and highest peak brightness (at 1,308 nits).

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 photo

Other records set by the Note 10+ Dynamic AMOLED include the best image contrast accuracy, the smallest shift in color accuracy with image content, the largest native color gamut (113% DCI-P3 and 142% sRGB / Rec.709) and the lowest screen reflectance.

Magnachip reports record OLED driver sales, surpasses the 500 million OLED driver shipment milestone

OLED driver IC developer MagnaChip reported its financial results for Q2 2019, with revenues that exceeded its own guidance. One of the company's main growth drivers is OLED display driver ICs, which were up 7% from Q2 2018 to $73 million, the company's highest quarter ever.

Magnachip drivers and chips photo

Magnachip says that its OLED business benefited from six new OLED smartphone that were launched in Asia during the quarter, and the company also secured four new design wins. Most of its OLED driver revenues are from its 40-nm display driver, but its new 28-nm driver has entered mass production and will be a key revenue driver going forward.

Sharp to stop producing smartphone OLED displays

Business Korea reports that Sharp will withdraw from the smartphone OLED market. Sharp started producing OLEDs in low volume in August 2018, and Business Korea quotes IHS saying that Sharp understands it cannot compete with Korean and Chinese companies with both technology and price.

Business Korea says that Sharp produced a total of 60,000 smartphone OLED panels - 6.2" 1440x2992 flexible notch-type AMOLEDs that were adopted in Sharp's own Aquos Zero phone. Sharp has already stopped production last month. It is not clear if Sharp will still continue to produce OLEDs for other applications (automotive perhaps?) or will it withdraw from all production.

Samsung: we fixed all the Galaxy Fold issues, will start shipping it in September

In April 2019, after early reviewers reported that that the foldable screen in their Galaxy Fold devices broke down after a day or so, Samsung decided to delay the release of its foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold.

Samsung Galaxy Fold photo

Following three months of re-design, Samsung now announced that it fixed all the issues in its foldable smartphone and is ready to start shipping in September 2019. Here are the list of changes that Samsung announced, including both design and construction improvements:

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters