According to a China-based market research firm All View Cloud (AVC) cited by Digitimes, smartphone enthusiasts should expect an increase in the popularity of devices equipped with full-screen displays throughout 2018. The research firm estimates that more than 40-percent of all smartphone panels to be shipped globally throughout the year will have a full-screen design, adding that many OEMs will start implementing this type of technology into mid-range and low-end models. The phenomenon has already been observed during Mobile World Congress 2018 last week, when manufacturers like HMD Global and Alcatel unveiled new mid-range models with full-screen 18:9 screens, including the Nokia 7 Plus and Alcatel 3. Interestingly enough, the Nokia 8 Sirocco flagship which outperforms the 7 Plus mid-range model in terms of internal hardware makes use of an edge-to-edge 16:9 panel, whereas the Nokia 7 Plus features an elongated screen.
In regards to the 2018 smartphone market, the China-based research firm foresees that all flagship models planned to hit the shelves by the end of the year will adopt an all-screen form factor with panel sizes of at least 6 inches in diagonal. The mid-range and low-end segments will also make more use of full-screen panels but given their smaller dimensions, the average display size in 2018 is estimated to reach 5.6 inches. According to AVC, last year the majority of all-screen smartphones were shipped with displays ranging from 5.7- to 6.2-inch panels, with sub-6-inch models accounting for 69.2-percent of the market. Reportedly, Samsung Display was the largest full-screen display vendor in 2017 shipping out 136 million units, which accounted for 64.6-percent of all global full-screen shipments. The second most successful display vendor was Tianma Micro-electronics with 23 million units shipped, and the third place was occupied by AU Optronics (AUO) which managed to ship 13 million full-screen panels.
Also worth noting is that according to AVC, AMOLED full-screen solutions have been more popular than LTPS and a-Si alternatives, and this is to be expected given the apparent success enjoyed by Samsung Display. The firm claims that the number of full-screen smartphones employing AMOLED technologies topped 139 million units throughout last year, while all-screen devices powered by LTPS and a-Si technologies reached 46.1 million and 24.8 million units, respectively.