AMOLED Displays in Smartphones
November 29, 2012

In the second half of 2012, phone manufacturers added 11 new smartphones with AMOLED displays ranging in size from 4.0” to 5.5” and resolution from WVGA to HD.  Motorola added smartphones with 4.3” and 4.7” Super AMOLED displays.  The low-end smartphone producer Micromax also added a smartphone with an AMOLED.  The leading AMOLED producer, Samsung Electronics Company (SEC) released most of the AMOLED smartphones in 2H12.  SEC’s smartphone display sizes ranged from as small as 4.0” to as large as 5.5”.  In addition, SEC’s smartphones feature the Android OS and the Windows phone 8 OS.  Toshiba and ZTE also added a smartphone with a 4.3” qHD resolution.  Table 1 lists the specs of the phones introduced by Motorola and Micromax.   


Table 1 Motorola and Micromax Smartphone

Source: Companies, OLED-A


Motorola also released two new smartphones in Q4; the RAZR series phones M and MAXX HD featuring 4.3” and 4.7” Super AMOLED displays.  The MAXX HD 4.7” Super AMOLED display has HD resolution, 8-mega pixel resolution camera, 1GB RAM, and Android V4.0 OS.  Motorola reduced the bezel thickness, versus its conventional models and offers a 2,530mAh battery.  The M series model contains a 4.3” AMOLED display with 540 x 960 (qHD) resolution at 256 ppi and is sold in the U.S. market, by Verizon, which offers LTE 700 MHz. 

Micromax’s A90 is a low-end smartphone with a 4.3” display WVGA (480 x 800) resolution, 8-mega pixel camera and uses Android V4.0.  In general, Micromax offers in-expensive smartphones; however, the company step up by integrating a 4.3” Super AMOLED to the smartphone model.     Table 2 shows the specs of phones recently introduced by SEC


Table 2 Samsung Electronics Company Smartphones

Source: Companies, OLED-A


Samsung’s smartphone popularity has been growing with the introduction of the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy NOTE 2.  The media estimates that Samsung Electronics Company shipped close to 56 million smartphone units in Q3’12 and forecasts sales of over 62 million smartphones in Q4’12.  The OLED Association estimates Samsung Display Company (SDC) shipped 34 million AMOLED small panels in Q3’2012.  In order to meet the industry demand for pixel densities higher than 300ppi, SDC has introduced that the Pentile pixel design, with 300+ ppi in a 4.8” HD AMOLED in the Galaxy S3.  For the new Galaxy NOTE 2 model, SDC applied S-Stripe RGB in order to enhance lifetime of blue organic material and improve line drawing and image quality for auto screen rotation.  The S-Stripe is not a newly developed pixel pattern, but has been used on CRTs.  Figures 1, 2, and 3 demonstrate the conventional RGB stripe, the pentile type and S-Stripe RGB type, respectively. 


Figure 1 Conventional RGB Stripe


Source: OLED-A


Figure 2 Pentile Pixel Layout


Source: OLED-A


The S-Stripe is formed with the same size of three organic colors-Red, Green and Blue- in order to realize one pixel where the conventional stripe and the pentile patterns are formed with two pixels-RGB &RGB or with the different sizes of subpixels-RGBG.  In case of S-Stripe, each Red, Green and Blue subpixel represent same size in order to form a pixel.  The industry thinks that the S-Stripe could reach high resolution for AMOLED. 

Figure 3 S-Stripe Pixel Layout


Source: OLED-A


SDC is already developing a FHD AMOLED for Galaxy S4 to meet the competition for FHD LCD panels for smartphones, as promoted by Japanese Display, Inc.  Despite of the debate on resolution and ppi, AMOLED producer SDC has successfully marketing its HD AMOLED over 300ppi.  It will be very important for SDC to develop a FHD AMOLED to demonstrate that AMOLED can deliver resolution equal to or higher than LCDs. To date, SDC has been reluctant to use the white with a color filter format to achieve high pixel densities because of cost and power consumption.


Table 3 shows additional smartphones with AMOLED displays released by SEC.


Table 3 Samsung Electronics Company Smartphones

Source: Companies, OLED-A


The Galaxy S Relay 4G is Samsung’s QWERTY keyboard integrated phone introduced in Q3.  This phone is also known as Blaze Q.  T-Mobile carries the phone.  The display is 4.0” with 480 x 800 resolution at 233ppi.  Its camera features 5-mega pixels and the OS is Android 4.0.  Samsung’s Window8 Series phone, Ativ S was released in Q3’2012.  Its Super AMOLED display is 4.8” in diagonal with HD resolution featuring 720 x 1280 pixels, 306 ppi.  Ativ S is designed with rounded edges similar to the Galaxy S model.  It is thin 0.3” (8.7mm) and has an aluminum body.  The camera is an 8-mega pixel with a separate camera button. 


In October, Samsung released a smaller and a lower spec version of Galaxy S3 phone; the Galaxy S3 mini.  The Galaxy S3 features a smaller display at 4.0” with 800 x 480 resolution and 233 ppi.  The Galaxy S3 mini display is similar in size to the Apple iPhone 5 but not resolution.  The CPU is a dual core with 1GB RAM.  Oversea release was in November.  Table 4 shows new smartphones with AMOLED displays released by Toshiba and ZTE. 


Table 4 Toshiba and ZTE Smartphones

Source: Companies, OLED-A

Toshiba’s REGZA series T-02D is equipped with a 4.3 AMOLED display and qHD (540 x 960) resolution, with a 13.1-mega pixel camera; the same type as Sony uses in its Cybershot series.  The OS is also Android V4.0.  ZTE also introduced a new smartphone with a 4.3” AMOLED and qHD resolution. 



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