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AMOLED displays fast approaching price parity with LCD panels

AMOLED displays like those found in the Samsung Galaxy S8 are becoming cheaper and more popular. (Image source: Notebookcheck.net)
AMOLED displays like those found in the Samsung Galaxy S8 are becoming cheaper and more popular. (Image source: Notebookcheck.net)
The price of manufacturing a 5.5-inch FHD AMOLED display is now a mere 10 cents more than a 5.5-inch LCD panel. Market researchers are expecting the market for AMOLED to grow by 63% this year, and that by 2020, 50% of smartphones will have an AMOLED screen.

AMOLED displays have been the main competitor more common LCD panels for years, and many would consider AMOLED the superior technology. Thanks to the actual pixels producing light and color, AMOLED screens can display true blacks for a near-infinite contrast ratio and are generally more power efficient due to their ability to turn individual pixels on or off at will.

However, LCDs have remained much more popular display options in devices such as notebooks and smartphones for one main reason: price. An LCD display is almost always cheaper than an AMOLED one, and manufacturers typically save on manufacturing costs by using an LCD. However, that pricing edge may be coming to an end. Digitimes reported last week that AMOLED displays are now almost as cheap as LCDs and are continuing to fall.

So when will we be getting notebooks with AMOLED screens at the same price as our old LCD ones? Well, not so soon. However, smartphone manufacturers may start making more and more devices with AMOLED panels. According to IHS Markit, a source that spoke with Digitimes, the “production cost for a 5.5-inch HD AMOLED panel has drifted to US$12.10 recently compared to US$12.20 for a 5.5-inch HP LTPS LCD panel.” This same estimates that in about 3 years 50% of smartphones will have an AMOLED panel due mainly to the increased output of AMOLED displays and the falling cost of producing the panels. TVs are another market ripe for a surge in the use of AMOLED; IHS Markit expects the shipment of AMOLED TVs to hit 1.5 million this year (about a 45% increase) and the market for AMOLED as a whole to grow 63% to $25.2 billion in revenue.

AMOLED’s here to stay, and it looks like it’ll be finding its way into more and more devices. Who knows? Maybe the Moto E 2019 will have an AMOLED display.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 07 > AMOLED displays fast approaching price parity with LCD panels
Sam Medley, 2017-07-10 (Update: 2017-07-10)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.