OLED displays will prevail over LCDs, study says

November 01, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
OLEDs will gradually take the lead position over competing lighting and display technologies, a new study from Frost & Sullivan finds. According to the study, the global OLED market has reached a volume of $1.69 in 2011. At a projected CAGR of 34%, this market will grow to $7.39 billion in 2016. The upcoming OLED market dominance is fostering innovative technologies such as active-matrix OLED (AMOLED).

Since they are thin, light and printable, OLED displays have a clear advantage over conventional LCDs, the study titled "Analyzing Global Opportunities in the OLED Market" finds. OLEDs are five times thinner than LCDs since they are luminescent and do not require an additional background illumination. As a consequence, they are consuming less power, they are more cost-effective and require less memory to store or buffer image data. In addition, emissive displays offer higher contrast and a wider viewing angle of almost 180 degrees, enabling high resolution and better readability at varying lighting situations. New applications in fields such as mobile handsets, car audio systems, digital cameras and watches will drive the market growth, believes Frost & Sullivan researcher Nupur Sinha. "Lower manufacturing costs along with better performance will trigger additional applications in pagers, games, toys, points of sales, large-screen TV sets and notebook computers," he added.

Despite the technological progress, OLED companies still are facing user concerns regarding short operating life, high costs, complex production process, performance and luminance. The organic materials used for the displays is sensitive to oxygen and humidity which can destroy OLED displays if the screen is not equipped with specific protection. In addition, a lot of development work and future innovation will be needed before full color OLED displays can be manufactured cost effectively. Though OLEDs today offer performance advantages, their price is higher than competing established technologies such as LCD or plasma displays. The OLED market currently is in its early growth phase, and price levels are likely to stabilize only after the have commercialized. "In order to gain better market presence, OLED manufacturers should focus on energy efficiency and higher resolution as well as on longevity," Sinha said. "On the long run we expect OLED displays to have significant impact to the entire electronics market.

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