Energized by their widespread use in cell phones, worldwide sales of OLED displays hit a record high of $192 million for the second quarter of the year, according to a report released this week by DisplaySearch.
Second-quarter sales of OLED displays rose 22 percent over the same period last year, and 32 percent over the first quarter of 2009, noted DisplaySearch's latest "Quarterly OLED Shipment and Forecast Report," which came out Monday.
The report said that shipments of AMOLED displays were especially strong thanks to their use in mobile phones, with more than 15 different AMOLED cell phone models released in 2009.
AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) screens use less energy than PMOLED (passive-matrix) displays, making them better-suited for portable devices such as phones and MP3 players.
"AMOLED displays have become an important differentiating feature for high-end electronic products," said Jennifer Colegrove, DisplaySearch director of display technologies, in a statement. "This technology is not only used for mobile phone main displays, but has also penetrated the market for portable media players, digital still cameras, and other applications."
Making OLED TVs has been a costly, time-consuming challenge for most manufacturers. Despite demonstrations of flashy new products from several companies, Sony remains the only firm with an OLED TV on the shelves.
LG Electronics is getting ready to launch a 15-inch OLED TV, says the report, but Sony is still trying to rev up its own 20-inch-plus model, originally announced in 2008 but not likely to appear in stores anytime soon.
As OLED technology improves, DisplaySearch believes that AMOLED displays will hit the PC market, appearing in notebooks and Netbooks sometime in 2010. OLED TVs 20 inches to 29 inches in size should reach consumers by the end of next year, while OLED TVs 30 inches and larger could be seen in late 2011.
DisplaySearch expects the total market for OLED displays to grow from $600 million in 2008 to $6.2 billion by 2016. Use in mobile phones will continue to lead the way, generating $3 billion in sales in 2016, while OLED TVs will surge as the second most popular use, capturing sales of $2 billion by that time.