End of an era: Samsung Display will stop making LCD panels this year

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iPhone XR
Apple and others are getting out of the LCD game.
Photo: Apple

Samsung Display, which supplies screens for iPhones, has said that it will end all production of LCD panels in South Korea and China by the end of 2020. A spokesperson for the company made the announcement Tuesday.

“We will supply LCD orders to our customers by end of this year without any issues”, the company said in a statement. However, from the end of 2020 it will make no more LCD screens as suppliers, Apple included, move to embrace OLED and other next-gen display types.

According to the Reuters report, Samsung suspended two of its LCD production lines in October. This was the result of falling demand and an excess of supply.

Beyond beyond LCD displays

At one time, Samsung provided a high proportion of LCD screens for iPhones. In recent years, those LCD screens have instead come from Japan Display, LG Display, and Sharp. Samsung, meanwhile, has focused on manufacturing OLED screens for Apple.

However, the news that it is moving away from LCD production does tell a larger story — whereby Apple continues to reduce its usage of LCD screens in place of OLED and other screen types. According to reports, Apple is planning to embrace an all-OLED lineup of iPhones in the near future.

Apple is also reportedly exploring MicroLED displays. MicroLED offers big potential advantages over OLED screens, such as Apple’s Super Retina displays. These advantages include higher levels of brightness and more stability. They can also offer the same high contrast, extreme blacks, and fast response time as OLED.