Samsung is an enormous business operating in many different industrial sectors. The Samsung empire stretches from shipping, where they are the third largest ship builder in the world, through to white goods, televisions, smartphones, tablets and wearable technology. The company also builds electronic components such as the Exynos System-on-Chips, memory modules and display screens. However, Samsung do not simply sell into their chosen industries but they aim to be a world leader. They have achieved this in a number of areas and one is AMOLED technology.
AMOLED stands for “active matrix organic light emitting diode,” and in loose terms describes a type of screen technology where individual pixels are illuminated when an electrical current is passed through them. A key difference between AMOLED and LCD (liquid crystal display) technology is that under optimum conditions, AMOLED screens draw less power compared with LCDs. LCDs require a backlight shining through the glass in order to be seen whereas an AMOLED need only illuminate the pixels necessary. AMOLED displays have very high refresh rates, great visibility under all lighting conditions and the technology is thinner so easier to incorporate into smartphones. Against this, colors often seen artificially bright, panels visibly wear and can suffer from screen burn. Over the years, AMOLED technology has been refined with a number of improvements aimed to reduce power consumption and improve color accuracy. Some of the benefits of these improvements have been to reduce the costs involved in manufacturing the displays and this means the technology is more popular than ever. Some manufacturers have been or are rumored to be switching from LCD to AMOLED displays and Samsung is using more AMOLED technology into its mid-range devices. One of these companies is Apple, which is believed to be switching to AMOLED for the next iPhone due later in 2017.
Samsung has been and stands to continue to benefit from this increase in AMOLED sales. The source cites that Samsung Display are projecting shipments to increase some 114% to 560 million units in 2019 compared with 2015. Within the Samsung business, Samsung Electronics is expected to grow demand from 239 million units in 2016 to 290 million units in 2019. However, as AMOLED gains popularity, the traditional LCD manufacturers are not sitting idly by: we can expect the world’s leading LCD manufacturers to start their own AMOLED production runs, which will compete with Samsung. However, the industry does not expect any major new competitors in the AMOLED market until at least 2019.