Leading Chinese smartphone brands seeking alternatives to AMOLED as Apple hogs production

Leading Chinese smartphone brands are said to be looking at alternatives to Active Matrix OLED (AMOLED) screens, concerned that Apple may be monopolising available supplies for this year’s iPhones.

Three big Chinese brands are all said to be considering the use of screens backlit by mini LED panels …

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Digitimes carried the report.

Huawei Technologies, Oppo and Xiaomi Technology, plan to adopt mini LED-backlit panels as an alternative to AMOLED for smartphones to be launched in second-half 2018 and have asked Taiwan-based makers to start producing mini LED backlighting in June 2018, according to industry sources.

The vendors speculate Apple may extend use of AMOLED panels to its iPhone devices to be launched in 2018, occupying more of Samsung Display’s AMOLED production, the sources said.

Samsung is currently Apple’s sole supplier of OLED screens for the iPhone X as it has the most advanced production capabilities. Apple is expected to bring LG on board as a second supplier this year, with one report suggesting that Samsung would continue to make 5.8-inch displays while LG would make screens for the rumored larger 6.5-inch Plus model.

Apple is currently rumored to be planning a mix of OLED and LCD for this year’s iPhones. A new form of LCD screen would allow a similar near-bezel-free design as the OLED one in the iPhone X.

In the longer-term, Apple is expected to adopt microLED, which further improves the brightness, color saturation and power efficiency over OLED.

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Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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