Amoled screens are seeing strong worldwide demand as interest in older LCD technology begins to wane, according to new figures from IHS iSuppli.
Sales of Amoled screens are predicted to rise by over 40 per year to 271.2 million units in 2015, up from 49.4 million units in 2010, by which time the overall Amoled market is expected to be worth $3.6bn.
"Amoled screens are enjoying rising use in smartphones because of their wider viewing angle, higher refresh rates and thinner formats compared to conventional LCDs used in most cell phones," said Vinita Jakhanwal, principal analyst for small and medium displays at IHS iSuppli.
"While the benefits of Amoled are clear, challenges still remain, including high manufacturing cost, resolution issues, limited product lifetime, reduced visibility in sunlight and a complex, time-consuming manufacturing process."
Amoled screens are 30 to 60 per cent more expensive to manufacture, but Jakhanwal noted that Samsung will bring new fabrication facilities online by the second half off the year which should bring costs down.
Amoled screens are also envisaged for tablets, and Samsung has said that it wants to begin production of larger panels for its Galaxy Tab range. But such is the demand for smartphone screens it is likely to be 2013 before volume production starts for larger screens.
Meanwhile, demand for older LCD technology fell in the first quarter of the year by more than nine per cent on the previous quarter and by nearly one per cent on the same period last year.
"The sharp sequential drop in shipments in the first quarter was spurred by slow sales of the three major products that use large LCDs: televisions, monitors and notebook PCs," said Sweta Dash, senior director for displays research at IHS iSuppli.
"Consumer spending on such items has stalled on account of the sluggish pace of economic recovery. And while demand is starting to recover in the second quarter, the rebound will not progress quickly enough to generate the level of annual growth seen in recent years."
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