Jul 08 AT 7:59 AM Nick Gray 8 Comments

New report from iSuppli indicates AMOLED shortage could last years

As we all know, low supplies of AMOLED screens has been hindering sales for HTC for nearly two months.  Verizon burned through their initial shipment of the DROID Incredible within a few days and has struggled to get more in stock.  Though a handful of customers have been receiving the DROID Incredible in the mail, recent reports indicate that many customers will need to wait until early August before they can get their hands on the phone.  That’s the good news.

The bad news? A recent report from iSuppli suggests that shortages in AMOLED screens could persist for quite some time.  Currently, Samsung Mobile Displays and LG displays are the only manufacturers of AMOLED panels.  While Samsung is already working on a new $2.2 billion production facility which is schedules to go online in 2012, LG has not made any announcements in regards to production increases.  A few smaller companies in Taiwan are able to produce the same technology, but their manufacturing facilities aren’t schedules to ramp up production until later this year.

To make matters worse, Samsung Mobile Displays gives preferential treatment to the mother company.  Last we heard, Samsung Mobile would have exclusive access to Samsung Mobile Displays’ new SUPER AMOLED panels until 2012.

For now, HTC and other smartphone manufacturers will have to wait and deal with the AMOLED shortage issue as best they can for their current handset lineup. As much as we all like having the latest technology on our new phones, manufacturers may need to keep away from AMOLED displays for a while or simply limit the use of the technology to only their most prestigious handsets.  We’re pretty sure that Samsung is planning on using this situation to their advantage, helping them overtake a few other manufacturers in the smartphone segment.

Source: iSuppli

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. Nick joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • http://Website David

    This graph lacks context. It does not specify how those ~40,000,000 (yes, that number is right) AMOLED’s produced this year are going to be purposed. What % go to phones? What % go to mini TV’s? What % go to super-cool Korean wristwatches? You get my point. Also, these numbers are estimates, so I’d be taking this graph with a grain of salt.

    • geniusdog254

      A very large portion of those are going to go to Samsung’s own cell phone lines.

      Now that their using them in the worldwide Galaxy S launch, their Bada handsets, and pretty much their whole smartphone line from this point out it seems, they are converting most of their supply lines to S-AMOLED instead of normal OLED or AMOLED.

      Obviously, this limits the supply.

      • http://Website David

        “A very large portion” is not a number, unfortunately. We know the supply is limited, but we don’t have a breakdown of where the units go, how many LG produces vs. Samsung, how many AMOLED handsets Samsung has produced so far this year, etc.

        Also, remember, those big huge LCD numbers include computer monitors, televisions, phones, entertainment systems, car stereos, watches, and a number of other electronic gadgets. The market for AMOLED devices if still infinitesimal compared the market for LCD devices, phone or otherwise.

        The only reason we “know” there is a shortage is because HTC has been feeding that as the explanation for shortages of their devices which use AMOLED screens. HTC’s units come from Samsung. For all we know, the “shortage” is just Samsung jacking up the price and telling HTC to go fly a kite; a business deal gone sour.

        Surely Samsung wants to keep a much higher % of screens for their own devices, but I have yet to see any sales figures for an AMOLED device OTHER than the Samsung Galaxy S that would give me reason to believe AMOLED displays could become scarce. It’s certainly possible, but this graph isn’t even representative of that shortage.

  • http://Website D Griffin

    Second paragraph, you spell “AMOLED” as “ALOMED”. Otherwise, awesome article.

  • http://Website 2C

    I say more companies should pull an Apple move and go else where for their displays. I’m not really sure how the tech breaks down as far as power consumption goes but all everyone keeps talking about is how great the new iPhone’s screen is. Why not look some place else if better tech is out there added with these crazy delays? And this is coming from a proud Nexus One user.

  • http://Website Brantyr

    Well at least this will keep crappy Pentile screens out of the high end HTC devices! I’ll buy a super AMOLED when it doesn’t have 2/3rds the quoted resolution.

  • http://Website Drew

    once again Scamsung… one again.

  • http://Website better than htc

    my galaxy s is better than all your inferior LCD htcs hahahah. Samsung nice move now everyone will want our gorgeous screens and they can’t have any ha