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article imageBrighter, clearer AMOLED displays to come to more smartphones

By James Walker     Mar 28, 2016 in Technology
Higher quality displays are likely to be available on more smartphones in the near future, giving you a better experience regardless of your budget. The price of high-quality AMOLED displays has recently dropped significantly to undercut older LCD panels.
LCD displays are used on most current smartphones. The newer AMOLED is generally regarded to be a superior technology, boasting improved viewing angles, sharper details, more vivid colours and crisper blacks. AMOLED panels are still largely reserved for high-end devices though. The increased manufacturing precision required has historically kept their price high, preventing many people from experiencing the increased quality.
However, the breakthrough point for AMOLED has now been reached, according to a report from market research group IHS Technology in the past week. It concluded that AMOLED prices now match and undercut equivalent LCD panels, making them the most cost-effective screens for use on mobile devices. Production costs for AMOLED panels are currently around $14.30, compared with $14.60 for LCDs.
Both panel types have become cheaper to produce since the last quarter of 2015 but it is AMOLED that has fallen the most. The newer technology was priced at $17.10 in the previous quarter while LCD displays cost $15.70.
The price reduction is significant as it means AMOLED is now the more affordable technology for manufacturers to use on new devices. It is also the superior technology, allowing companies to create better phones. You'll be able to upgrade to a smartphone with a clearer and brighter display for less cost at the current rate of progress.
If AMOLED continues to undercut LCD, the older panel type will likely fade away from the scene entirely. Aside from the picture quality improvements, AMOLED displays also use less power. They can turn pixels off entirely when displaying solid black regions, emitting less light at night and saving battery whenever the phone is turned on.
As AMOLED panels become more prevalent, they will spread down the price tiers and become available on even low-end phones. If the wholesale cost continues to fall, this could happen within the next couple of years. The report from IHS Technology said that AMOLED prices have been falling since December 2015 and currently show no signs of increasing again.
The expansion of Samsung's production of AMOLED panels has been a key driving force behind the reductions. It has secured deals with several major Chinese smartphone brands, allowing it to increase output and optimise operating costs. Chinese brands are already using AMOLED panels on mid-range devices, anticipating a spread to the budget tier as the displays become more ubiquitous.
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