According to new analysis from the TrendForce subdivision WitsView, the recent lull in OLED production won’t necessarily create a gap for Mini LED technology to fill in the short term. That prediction mostly comes down to the cost-effectiveness of each respective type of technology. WitsView predicts that the latter will best serve in the production of niche devices and units with higher profit margins, such as flagships. While an OLED 5.5-inch display is currently expected to cost around $17 – $18, the company says, a comparable Mini LED screen would run around $35 – $40. Mini LED screens would be one option to consider if the shortage of displays reaches the point where alternatives are needed. However, OLEDs are well-established and offer a number of benefits aside from cost as well.
LCD-based Mini LED is a display method sits just between standard LCD panels and the long-expected micro-LED displays of the future. They even offer many of the same benefits of OLED, such, as HDR compatibility, high contrast ratios, and high color saturation. A shift to micro-LED would offer far more benefits than any current OLED technology. Their journey to market penetration for Mini LED is primarily stymied by how closely related it is to more traditional LCD displays. OLED’s don’t require backlighting and several layers of intermediary components can be removed, allowing for flexibility and a high-level of customization in form factor. Mini LEDs reduce thickness too but still require backlighting and the reductions are limited by cost. In order to use fewer Mini LEDs, a longer optical distance is required. Too many Mini LEDs, on the other hand, results in overheating. OLEDs mostly avoid those problems, by comparison.
Interestingly, the report appears to be in opposition to an earlier analysis from another TrendForce subsidiary – namely, LEDinside. That other firm suggested that there may be a massive surge in the production of Mini LED due to its advantages over both OLED and its cost-benefits over Micro LED. Surge is expected to continue through 2023, according to LEDinside. WitsView says that simply isn’t the case and that Mini LED manufacturers would be best served by filling in gaps where production just doesn’t allow enough screens for high-end devices. Moreover, the company says it can serve the needs of other types of displays, such as in-car entertainment systems much more readily than those of a smartphone.