KGI: Apple won’t be switching to AMOLED screens for iPhones anytime soon

By , Nov 10, 2015

iPhone 6 inside view retina hd display

Talk of an iPhone equipped with a power-efficient AMOLED screen technology has persisted for years. Yet, Apple continues to build iPhones with LCD screens that use a premium display technology, called IPS (In-Plane Switching), for wide viewing angles and improved image quality.

According to a note KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo sent to clients this morning, a copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider, an ‘iPhone 7’ won’t be adopting AMOLED screens for iPhones for the next three years.

No AMOLED iPhone 7 for you

According to Kuo, Apple will continue to use the existing LTPS TFT-LCD display technology for at least the next three years, meaning an AMOLED iPhone might eventually come in 2019.

In his note, the analyst argues that Foxconn, a major Apple supplier, has just struck a deal with the government of Henan Province in China to build a sixth-generation LTPS TFT-LCD production lines in Zhengzhou.

“The plant will enter mass production in 2018, and Kuo is ‘confident’ that the huge investment is for earning TFT-LCD orders for future iPhones,” writes AppleInsider.

AMOLED vs. LCD

Some of the typical benefits of AMOLED technology include lower power consumption because only the pixels in use are being lit up and no power-hungry backlight is needed.

Others include deeper blacks and more vivid colors.

The major downside to using AMOLED or OLED technology over the traditional LCD panels: somewhat oversaturated colors.

The only Apple mobile product that currently employs OLED screens: the Apple Watch.

Source: AppleInsider

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  • JayDee917

    I hope this isn’t true. The AMOLED screens on the newest Galaxy’s are amazing. It would look even better running iOS.

    • Anonymous

      Wouldnt a lcd screen actaully look better, because you dont have over saturated colored pixels.

      • Dan

        From what I read, saturation is not a problem.

        According to DisplayMate the Galaxy Note 5 is the Best performing Smartphone display that they have ever tested. Highest Absolute Color Accuracy, Highest Screen Resolution, Infinite Contrast Ratio, Highest Peak Brightness, Highest Contrast Rating in Ambient Light, and the smallest Brightness Variation with Viewing Angle.

      • That_Fruitarian

        Since we’re mentioning DisplayMate, they note that Apple makes the best LCDs and Samsung makes the best OLEDs. “Both are impressive and excellent displays with great state-of-the-art display technology”. However, they give OLED the edge overall.

        Also from DisplayMate:

        Current LCD Strengths: higher Peak Brightness with high Average Picture Levels, no Peak Brightness variation with Average Picture Level, wide Color Gamuts with Quantum Dots, smaller Color Shifts with Viewing Angle, higher power efficiency with high Average Picture Levels, and much higher worldwide market share.

        Current OLED Strengths: higher Peak Brightness with lower Average Picture Levels, easier to increase screen resolution and ppi, perfect Blacks and infinite Contrast Ratios, wide Color Gamuts, smaller Brightness shifts with Viewing Angle, better Screen Uniformity, faster Response Times and no display motion blur, higher power efficiency with lower Average Picture Levels.

        It’s like arguing which car is better when one clocks a 0-60 time of 3.4 secs and the other clocks 3.5 secs. In real word cases, both are great cars and perform just fine.

      • Dan

        I agree. Although I wasn’t really commenting about the iPhone’s display, it was simply to address the over saturation issue. Personally, having compared both, I do tend to prefer OLED.

      • That_Fruitarian

        I couldn’t find where they reviewed the 6s… Are there improvements?

      • Brandon

        if they can figure it out for watchOS, why not iOS

      • Tamahome5555

        You’re all forgetting that. OLD Samsung S6 has SRGB mode which is accurate mode and not oversaturated. That’s how displaymate tested S6. Also OLED Has deep blacks. The problem why some reason they didn’t use PLED is because unlike apple watch. Which the interface is mostly black. To save power. But if example you put it on iphone it has light background. Like settings. OLED are very inefficient producing white.

      • Tamahome5555

        If you look at display mate. S5 uses 1080p 5.1 inch amoled. Iphone 6s plus has 1080p 5.5 inch ltps display. S5 uses 1.5 watts to produce 366cd/m. While 6s plus uses 1.52 for 566cd/m. That’s like same wattage and 6s plus is 30% more brighter while being more efficient full brightness full white. And also OLED suffers from screen burn in. I have S6 and I saw it after using it a lot. I have iP6s too

    • ericesque

      Agreed. Samsung’s SAMOLED displays have been found to be objectively better than the iPhone’s display since the Galaxy Note 4. They seem to have resolved the saturation issues.
      Apple has shown they understand the importance of using the highest quality displays in their devices. I would be pretty surprised if they sat on their thumbs while AMOLED displays continue to outpace their screens for another 3 years.

    • ravinigga

      I know but always on Samsung is there à blue glowing background. LG display dont have this

    • I agree they do look good but the downside is how easily the display itself breaks. When it does you can’t see anything and thats not good. If they uses the flexible screens instead then that’ll be good maybe.

  • Bugs Bunnay

    Somewhat over saturated colors? Try very over saturated colors.

    • Dan

      Not according to reputable sources (ie: DisplayMate).

  • Newgunnerr

    Sooo, more vivid colors or more saturated colors? Which one is it iDB?

  • rockdude094

    If we look at the current version of iOS, we can see that blasting full white all the time won’t actually be efficient on an amoled. Its safe to say they really aren’t prep-ing their software for a display change for now