Chinese Smartphone Makers Plan for Mini LED Supply as Apple Expected to Control Majority of OLED Production This Year

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Apple's domination of the OLED supply chain is one of the reasons why three Chinese smartphone makers are seeking out alternative display technology in future handsets, according to a report today by DigiTimes.

    Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi are planning to adopt mini LED-backlit panels in smartphones launched later in 2018. The three companies believe that Apple "may extend use of AMOLED panels" to iPhones coming in 2018 and occupy even more of Samsung Display's production of the OLED displays.

    [​IMG]

    Apple's entry in smartphone OLED displays began with the manufacturing of the iPhone X last year and is expected to increase in 2018 with the second-generation iPhone X and 6.5-inch "iPhone X Plus," which should lead Apple to significantly increase OLED display orders thanks to the larger size. The company has also implemented OLED displays into the Apple Watch.

    Instead of attempting to fight for OLED display supply against Apple, the China-based smartphone makers are turning towards mini LED this year. The companies have reportedly asked Taiwan-based suppliers to begin producing mini LED backlighting in June 2018 in anticipation of products that would debut in the second half of 2018. Industry sources noted that technological advances in mini LED product designs have the potential to cut production costs, further boosting the smartphone makers' readiness to adopt the technology.

    Besides Samsung Display, a report earlier in the month suggested that Apple will add LG Display to its OLED supply chain to help build 6.5-inch panels for the iPhone X Plus. Samsung was the sole OLED supplier for the iPhone X in 2017, and it's predicted that the company will increase supply of OLED panels to Apple with between 180 and 200 million OLED displays in 2018 (for the 5.8-inch device), up from an estimated 50 million in 2017.

    Article Link: Chinese Smartphone Makers Plan for Mini LED Supply as Apple Expected to Control Majority of OLED Production This Year
     
  2. now i see it macrumors 68030

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    Nice way to spin a story. OLED is "old tech" as far as cutting edge displays go. The next future display technology will be mini LED.
     
  3. 69Mustang macrumors 603

    69Mustang

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    What? The next future display tech won't be mini LED. I think what you meant was micro LED. Not the same thing. micro LED's are self-illuminating. mini LED's require a backlight (as mentioned in the article.)

    No one uses "cutting edge" displays anyway. Cutting edge doesn't scale. It's why micro LED is still rumored to be 3-5 years away from mainstream adoption. Ironically, you can get a peak at micro LED at CES with "The Wall". It's a 146" micro LED modular panel.
     
  4. heov macrumors regular

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    Uh oh... adding LG to the suppliers of OLED? I can already see the threads now...
     
  5. GrumpyMom macrumors 604

    GrumpyMom

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    I don't know what mini LED is. I hope whatever it is, it doesn't irritate my eyes as badly as the OLED display on my X did, due to pwm flicker. That gave other forum members migraines.

    Anyway, I am not sure I'll be able to upgrade on Apple anymore if all they offer in the future is OLED. I'll hang onto my 8 Plus and get Apple Care Plus for it as soon as we reset the budget after the holidays.

    OLED on my S8+ seems fine to my eyes, so whatever Samsung did there, I hope Apple is able to follow. And Google. My Pixel 2 has a similar display to the X's. It's a lot smaller and so my eyes are less irritated by it than they were by the X, but if I want to upgrade my Pixel 2, Google needs to figure out how to mitigate that pwm flicker, too.
     
  6. Scottsoapbox macrumors 6502a

    Scottsoapbox

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    The age of a product category is irrelevant. What matters is comparing the abilities of the current generation of products.
     
  7. goshya macrumors member

    goshya

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  8. 69Mustang macrumors 603

    69Mustang

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    They are two distinct product categories. Mini LED (I've never heard that term before this article) requires a backlight. Micro LED is self illuminating.
     
  9. macTW Suspended

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    Blasphemy!! Chinese company going outside of China for parts! Where’s the Chinese government stepping in? /s
     
  10. kdarling macrumors P6

    kdarling

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    As far as I can tell, "mini LED" refers to variable LCD backlights with much higher resolution than currently used in TV sets etc.

    The idea is to get LCD close to having the same wonderful black contrast abilities as OLED, by allowing very fine backlight control.

    For example, the fine backlight control on the left allows the high black contrast of the LCD top layer shown on the right:

    mini-led.png

    At least, that's how I understand it.
     
  11. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000

    thisisnotmyname

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    So Tim Cook cornering another supply chain and forcing competitors to inferior tech. Are the forums going to give him credit for doing this right?
     
  12. johnnygee macrumors regular

    johnnygee

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    Won't be long before we're hearing how mini LED is the future while OLED is yesterday's tech...Yadda yadda yadda...
     
  13. thadoggfather macrumors G4

    thadoggfather

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    What about all the android manufacturers that use OLED?

    Do they have that much of a reserve of OLED For future models that Apple will actually dominate the 2018 OLED supply
     
  14. macduke macrumors G3

    macduke

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    Micro LED is the future. mLED. I have no idea what this crap is. Sounds like marketing speak to make people want old display tech again because these companies can't compete with what Apple is paying per OLED.
     
  15. kdarling macrumors P6

    kdarling

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    Without a major manufacturing breakthrough, micro LED is still years away from being viable tech for smartphone resolution displays. (Which is why I call it, "The liquid metal of displays". It sounds cool, but isn't usable in mass production.)

    An advantage of mini LED backlit LCDs is that they get much of the power savings and black levels of OLED, while mostly keeping the lower cost of LCD.
     
  16. 69Mustang macrumors 603

    69Mustang

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    Before Apple, there was no need to reserve future OLED stock. Samsung (primarily) and the other smaller OLED suppliers could handle all the OLED for the industry needs with no problems. Apple comes in and buys current and future production of OLED panel capacity from Samsung, leaving the other OEMs without adequate supply. To avoid being caught without a major component of their phones, the Chinese OEMs look to mini LED as an alternate to OLED.

    That's the tl;dr version of the article.
     
  17. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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  18. Wawajey macrumors member

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  19. jdiamond macrumors 6502

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    I believe all the Apple Stores that have been updated to have the gigantic ~40 foot television are also micro-LEDs. So you can go to an Apple store and check them out. In my personal opinion, both the OLED display in the iPhone X and the micro-LED televisions in Apple stores seem to have less color saturation than simple IPS displays. They look very washed out to me. Maybe they're just calibrated to "bland".
     
  20. 69Mustang macrumors 603

    69Mustang

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    I believe this is incorrect. Those aren't micro LED. They are standard commercial displays.
     

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