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Rumor Samsung Recycle AMOLED Panels Quashed By Samsung

December 5, 2014 - Written By David Steele

I need to admit something: I don’t favor AMOLED screen technology. I wouldn’t go as far to say that I don’t like it, but give me a choice of two devices with similar specification but one has an AMOLED screen and one has a LCD, I’ll take the LCD. Part of the reason for this is because AMOLED screens can have such vivid color saturation that it burns the back of my head (that’s a slight exaggeration – editor) and another part is because then an AMOLED shows white, it’s operating at its least efficient. I do a lot of writing and editing on my Android devices and very few applications allow me to reverse the screen from black on white, to white on black. This is really hard on the battery! And finally, it’s partially because some AMOLED screens show burn in a very short space of time but all degenerate over a period of time. Part of buying a modern electronic device is planned obsolescence. So I have to take it on the chin that after a couple of years that my shiny HTC One M8 will likely be below the entry level specifications, but I don’t like the idea that the screen is going to wear out. And it’s this last factor that makes the rumor that Samsung has been recycling old screens into new handsets that would put me off a business.

However, that’s the essence of the claims that have been circulating through social media. They’ve been accompanied by pictures and videos showing an alleged Samsung smartphone production line showing how recycled screens are put into newly built devices. Samsung have responded to these rumors and said: “There is a rumor that we have used recycled AMOLED display panels in our smartphones, but it is not true at all. Recycled AMOLED display panels have not been used at all in product manufacturing processes, while some of the panels have been employed for paid warranty services.” Samsung’s blog goes on to explain that it uses recycled components to reduce repair costs but obtains customer consent before using these parts. Of the individual responsible for posting the images “This individual is not one of our employees and it is not sure if the place shown in the pictures and videos is our factory.” We could speculate if the person is an ex-employee and disgruntled at his former bosses following the recent shake up, or if there’s an element of truth in the matter.

I’ve often wondered how difficult it would be for a business to work based on reassembling old smartphone components, but mostly that’s because I’ve always wanted to see how well (say) Apple’s custom processor runs a decent different operating system. I’m quite sure that Samsung wouldn’t dare use recycled components in handsets purported as new devices because they have considerable value in the brand and if this rumor is true, it could be devastating for the company. No, I put more money on this being a hoax by a disgruntled employee. It wouldn’t put me off Samsung devices.