Screen market sharpens focus

Posted on 21 Jul 2009 by The Manufacturer

A leading display screen analyst firm has predicted an exponential growth in the active matrix organic light emitting diode (AMOLED) screen market by mid next decade.

DisplaySearch expect the global AMOLED market will be worth $7.1bn (£4.3bn) by 2016, compared with $0.6bn (£0.37bn) last year.

OLED screens are seen as a better alternative to Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) as they are brighter without requiring a backlight, making them thinner. There are still concerns about the life span of OLED screens though, and development is continuing to increase the size of screens that can utilise the technology.

DisplaySearch revealed revenue from AMOLED screens took over that of their passive matrix cousins (PMOLED) for the first time in Q1 of 2009, mostly due to a range of mobile phone releases that use the technology. Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson have all released models this year with AMOLED screens. The advantage of AMOLED over PMOLED is that the picture is sharper with the former not suffering a ‘washed out’ effect that is sometimes associated with the latter.

Though the OLED market in Q1 as a whole was down eight per cent on the previous three months to $143m (£87m), the AMOLED share was up 17 per cent.

“AMOLED displays have become an important differentiating feature for high end electronic products,” said Jennifer Colegrove, director of display technologies at DisplaySearch. “As we forecasted, AMOLED revenue surpassed PMOLED revenue in Q1 2009, and AMOLED is likely to pass PMOLEDs in terms of unit shipments in 2010. There will be about 20 new or upgraded AMOLED production lines installed or upgraded worldwide in the next three years.”

Developers are now working on increasing the size of AMOLED screens for use in television sets. LG Electronics has said it is aiming to have a 15 inch AMOLED TV ready for the run up to Christmas this year.

Other prominent AMOLED developers include market leader Samsung Mobile Display, which began operations in January this year, replacing two other Samsung operations, and RiTDisplay, a subsidiary of the Taiwanese electronics group Ritek Corporation.

Picture: Nokia N85 with AMOLED screen, soured from Nokia