AMOLED shortage leads Samsung to build $2.1 billion factory, HTC to switch to TFT

Samsung AMOLED shortage leads to a shift to LCD by HTC. Samsung has been pretty successful in driving adoption of its AMOLED technology, which allows for production of phones with thinner and brighter screens that use less power.

Unfortunately they are now a victim of their own success, with demand far outstripping supply, reports the KoreaHerald.

“For Samsung Mobile Display, there may be not enough AM-OLED displays to supply to companies other than its affiliate Samsung Electronics,” Kim Sung-in, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said. Samsung Mobile Display has an annual production capacity of 35 million units.

HTC, who has been using AMOLED extensively in its recent Android handsets, appears to be directly affected, with the shortage affecting its ability to keep up with demand.  Samsung controls 98% of the worlds AMOLED production.

This has led the company to switch to Sony’s S-LCD technology in some of the handsets. S-LCD is supposed to offer similar performance to AMOLED, and to be be virtually indistinguishable.

Samsung has responded to the shortage by increasing production. 

“Our AM-OLED display production lines are running at full capacity,” a Samsung Mobile Display spokesperson said.

Samsung has recently broken ground for a new $2.1 billion production facility inTangjeong, South Chungcheong Province, which should increase its capacity from 3 million to 30 million per month, but it will only go online in July 2011.

The Windows Phone 7 operating system is said to be optimised for OLED technology, and with Samsung being one of the lead Windows Phone 7 OEMs the shortage may affect the launch later this year of new handsets with the technology also.

Read more at KoreaHerald here.


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