AMOLED displays now cheaper than LCDs
Back when the first devices to use AMOLED displays became available, their availability and pricing automatically pushed them in the higher end sector of the market. Obviously, it took a while for this new display technology to be easier and cheaper to manufacture and for low-end and mid-range handsets to take advantage of it. Now, it looks like the greatest dilemma that manufacturers had to face when choosing the display of a new handset is gone, as AMOLED displays are finally cheaper than LCDs.
Two years ago, market analysts predicted that AMOLED production costs need 24 months to fall below that of the LCD displays. According to data from IHS Technology quoted by ET News, manufacturing a 5-inch full HD display had a cost of $17.1 USD for AMOLED and $15.7 USD for LTPS LCD in the last quarter of 2015. However, in the first quarter of 2016, these manufacturing costs have both fallen below the $15 USD barrier. Now, producing a 5-inch AMOLED display has a cost of $14.3 USD, while manufacturing a 5-inch LTPS LCD display is slightly more expensive - $14.6 USD.
"Possible reasons why production cost of AMOLED has become similar to production cost of LTPS LCD are high rate of operation, wider range of customers, and end of depreciation of production lines," writes ET News. The next step would be for manufacturers to increase production of QHD AMOLED displays and see their prices drop as well, but that might take some time as well. For now, full HD remains the most popular resolution for smartphones, except the top-of-the-line offerings.