iPhone 8 helps boost demand for OLED displays

iPhone 8 helps boost demand for OLED displays

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iPhone 8 concept
The OLED revolution has begun.
Photo: Concept

Demand for OLED smartphone displays will continue to rise “at a rapid pace” thanks to the upcoming launch of the iPhone 8 and other flagship devices.

It’s thought Apple’s new handset will kickstart an OLED display revolution as rival manufacturers fight to keep up and compete with the iPhone.

According to recent research from TrendForce, OLED penetration in the smartphone market will increase to 50 percent by 2020, largely thanks to Apple’s decision to switch from LCD. OLED is considered superior for mobile devices for a number of reasons.

Not only do OLED displays deliver greater contrast, more vibrant colors, and increased brightness, but they’re also more power-efficient. That means they tend to sap less battery life during everyday use, and you can use your phone for longer during charges.

It’s taken Apple a while to adopt OLED displays because they’re more difficult to manufacture, and it needs a lot to meet demand for its latest devices. But we expect the move to finally happen this year — and when it does, others will follow suit.

LG is expected to unveil the V30, its first smartphone with an OLED display, later this year. Samsung will also retain the technology for its Galaxy Note 8 arriving later this month. Meanwhile, other handset makers throughout China are looking to make the switch.

Unlike Apple and its biggest competitors, however, many of those vendors will be forced to use rigid OLED panels — as opposed to flexible panels — because there simply aren’t enough to go around.

The demand means orders for OLED panels will continue to increase in 2017 and beyond, according to a Digitimes report. Shipments of flexible panels are expected to reach 161 million units this year, while shipments of rigid panels will exceed 286 million units.

It’s thought Samsung has been tasked with manufacturing OLED displays for the iPhone 8, but Apple could be planning a big investment in LG Display that will secure its panels for future devices.