Article last updated on: Jan 23, 2019

What is an OLED display?

OLED is short for Organic Light Emitting Diode, a device composed of thin carbon-based films placed between two electrodes that creates light with the application of electricity. Unlike other screen technologies, (like LCDs), which require backlighting, OLED displays are emissive devices - they emit light rather than manipulate transmitted external light.

ALLDOCUBE X photo

OLEDs provide brighter, crisper colors and contrast on electronic devices and use less power than conventional light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or liquid crystal displays (LCDs) used today. This revolutionary technology is fit for various types of screens, like computer screens, mobile phones, tablets, TVs and more. OLED screens are light, thin, high-resolution and contain individually-lit pixels that make for true blacks and superior color contrast.

The current OLED tablet market

OLED displays are already very common on mobile phones (in fact about a quarter of all mobile phones now ship with an OLED - and that percentage is climbing as Apple, Samsung, LG, Huawei and others adopt OLED displays in their best smartphones).

OLEDs are just now starting to make inroads into the tablet market, though - as these larger displays carry a high premium over competing LCDs. The leading company that produces and adopts OLEDs is Samsung, and indeed the company's latest high-end tablets all use OLED displays.

Samsung's flagship tablet, the Galaxy Tab S4, for example, introduced in August 2018, sports a 10.5" 2560x1600 Super AMOLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Octa-core chipset, 4GB of RAM, 64/256 GB of storage and a microSD slot. The Tab S4 includes Samsung's S Pen and supports DeX. The Galaxy Tab S4 is now shipping for $649.99 for the Wi-Fi, 64GB model (note: affiliate link to Amazon) and $750 for the LTE, 256 GB model.



Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 photo

Another example is Lenovo's X1 Yoga 2017 edition - which is a hybrid tablet / laptop that has a 14" 2560 x 1440 display - either an LCD or an OLED. The OLED model (256GB SSD, 8GB of RAM and an intel Core i7 CPU) costs $2349.

Lenovo X1 Yoga 2017 photo

Click here for a full list of the latest OLED tablets on the market.

Latest OLED Tablet news

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).

Korean site suggests that Apple is considering adopting AMOLED displays in future iPads and Laptops

In February 2019 Samsung Display started to mass produce its new 15.6" 3840x2160 OLED display panels, and some of the first 2019 OLED laptops are already shipping.

HP Spectre x360 15 photo

Korea-site The Elec says that according to its sources, Apple is "considering adoption" of OLED displays in its Pro laptop and tablets lines. The iPad Pro will adopt an 11" OLED while the MacBook Pro will adopt a 15.6" one.

OLED Handbook

Samsung starts shipping the Super AMOLED Galaxy Tab S5e

Samsung started shipping its flagship tablet the device, the Galaxy Tab S5e - Samsung's thinnest tablet yet at 5.5 mm. The S5e features a 10.5" WQXGA (2560x1600) Super AMOLED display with a 81.8% screen-to-body ratio.

Samsung Galaxy Tab s5e photoSamsung's Tab S5e offers mid-range performance with a snapdragon 670 octa-core chipset, 4/6 GB of RA and 64/128 GB of storage (with a microSD slot). The 7,040 mAh battery provides up to 14.5 hours. The Galaxy Tab S5e is now shipping starting at $399.

DSCC: AMOLED revenues to reach over $52 billion in 2023

DSCC says that OLED market revenues will grow from $26.5 billion in 2018 to $28.7 billion in 2019 and over $52 billion by 2023. The largest application will remain smartphone displays, but several other applications will generate over $1 billion in 2023 - TVs, tablets, notebooks and monitors. By area of production, TV displays will surpass smartphone displays in 2021.

AMOLED shipments by application (2017-2023, DSCC)

Samsung is still (and will remain so) the dominant AMOLED display producer, even though its market share will drop from 97% in Q1 2018 to 81% in Q4 2019. In Q1 2019 Visionox surpassed LGD to become the 2nd largest AMOLED producer (but most of Visionox's panels are low-end 5.5-inch panels). DSCC expects LGD to regain its number 2 position in the second half of 2019. BOE is the third player and will remain so following its supply agreement with Huawei.

Huawei launches its foldable Mate X 5G smartphone

Huawei launched its first foldable smartphone, the Mate X with a glorious 8" 2200x2480 foldable AMOLED display that folds outwards. When closed, the phone operates as it has two displays - a 6.6" 1148x2480 on the front and a smaller 6.38" 2480x892 display on the back (which makes room for the cameras).

The Mate X specifications include 5G connectivity, a Kirin 980 octa-core chipset, 8 GB of RAM, 512 GB of storage, a NM memory slot and a quad camera setup with Leica optics.

Samsung launches the Galaxy Fold foldable smartphone

Samsung finally officially launched its Galaxy Fold foldable smartphone device. The Galaxy Fold features a 7.3" 1536 x 2152 foldable Infinity Flex AMOLED display that folds inside, in addition to a secondary cover display - a 4.6" 840×1960 Super AMOLED.

Besides the exciting foldable display, the phone/tablet device features an octa-core chipset, 12 GB of RAM, 512 GB of storage, a large battery, triple camera setup on the back and dual front cameras.

New 960fps videos show the fast refresh cycle of high-end AMOLED displays

BlurBusters posted an interesting article that uses high-speed video (960fps) capture to show the advantages of OLED displays over LCDs in terms of response time.

In the video above, you can see the almost instantaneous response times of the 10.5" 2560x1600 Super AMOLED display of Samsung's Galaxy Tab S4. In the video below, you can see the response time at 960fps of Apple's MacBook Pro 2015 (IPS LCD). Blurbusters explains that the Gray-to-Gray (GtG) response time of the OLED is around 0.1 ms - far better than the 5 ms one of the LCD.

DSCC: the OLED market will grow 19% in 2019 to reach $31 billion in revenues

DSCC estimates that the AMOLED market will grow 19% in 2019 to reach $31 billion, up from $26.5 billion in 2018. OLED revenues will continue to grow and reach $48.8 billion in 2022 (a CAGR of 16%).

OLED panel revenue by type, (2016-2022, DSCC)

Looking at OLED unit shipments and area production, 2019 will see a 22% growth in unit shipments to 610 million panels and a 35% growth in area to 9 million square meters. Area shipments will grow faster than revenues as OLED selling prices will continue to decline - and as OLED TVs take up a larger share of the OLED market.

Samsung progresses with its inkjet printing OLED technology, to apply it to next-generation monitors and laptops

According to ETNews, Samsung Display has made significant progress with its OLED ink-jet printing process technology, and the company now aims to apply this technology to produce medium-sized panels for OLED laptops and OLED monitors. Samsung may also use this process to produce smaller tablet displays.

Kateeva YIELDJet TFE system photo

It seems that Samsung is aiming to settle on three main next-generation OLED technologies - evaporation (FMM) OLEDs for small-sized display, ink-jet OLED deposition for medium-sized panels and hybrid QD-OLEDs for large-area OLED TV panels. It's other display technologies are QD-LEDs for TVs and Micro-LEDs for next-generation small and large area displays.

Royole launches a foldable smartphone/tablet developer device

US and China based Royole launched the world's first foldable OLED device - the FlexPai phone/tablet. The FlexPai has a 7.8" 1920x1440 (308 PPI) AMOLED display, when unfolded, The display folds outwards, and when folded the device has three different displays (front, back and spine).

Royole FlexPai developer device photo

Royole is now accepting pre-orders for the "Developer Mode" device, starting at $1318 for the 128GB model. The first devices will ship in late December 2018. The company said the device has passed bending, twisting and tension tests over 200,000 times, and the display is much more durable compared to current displays (as it is not covered by glass).

Cambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDsCambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDs