Since the sales volume of iPhone X was lower than market expectations, Samsung reduced the utilization of OLED production lines. The tension in the supply of OLED panels over the past two years has also eased. According to Trendsce’s WitsView data, Optronics has already begun to drive the development of OLED panels. It is expected that the penetration rate of smartphone OLED panels will reach 46% by 2021.
The advantages of OLED are even more obvious. In addition to high color saturation, high contrast and fast response, the biggest advantage of OLED panels is their self-luminous and bendable characteristics.
The Mini LED can be used as a transitional product before the Micro LED is fully ready for mass production. With the original LCD structure unchanged, the size of the LED chip will be reduced to 100 to 300 microns, and the LEDs can also be placed in the backlight module by the matrix sorting method. For example, in a 5.5-inch FHD display, the number of LEDs used is as high as 2000 to 10,000. A smaller number of LEDs requires a longer optical distance, which will make the device have a greater thickness. Although a large number of LEDs can reduce the required optical distance and improve uniformity, making the entire device thinner, it can lead to heat dissipation problems and make the cost higher. At present, how to achieve this balance is still a major bottleneck for manufacturers.
From a cost perspective, OLEDs are more competitive at this stage. Taking a 5.5-inch hard OLED panel as an example, the cost is about 17 to 18 dollars; but for a Mini LED backlight board with the same size and the same resolution, the cost may double to 35 to 40 US dollars. With the release of OLED supply tight news, WitsView said that in the long run, OLED smart phone panels offer relatively weak, and the drop in LTPS panel prices will also bring more pressure to Mini LED. Therefore, if the Mini LED cannot reduce its cost, it will be difficult to compete with the OLED panel in the high-end smartphone market.