Thanks in part to Apple, low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) TFT LCDs are now hot. LTPS TFT LCD shipments in September outpaced other contenders toward the end of Q3, according to IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS). Demand for LTPS TFT LCDs rose 30 percent in September to reach 51.6 million units, due to strong demand from Apple and Chinese brands.
“Since Apple adopted LTPS for its popular iPhones, demand for the new technology has continued to increase,” said Brian Huh, senior analyst for IHS Technology, in a press release. “While LTPS panels cost greater, they boast lower power consumption and higher resolution compared to a-Si LCD panels. Greater demand for higher definition screens, especially in China, has also increased the adoption of LTPS LCD mobile phone displays.”
However, amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin-film transistor (TFT) liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels continue to lead the smartphone display market, IHS reports. TFT-LCD based on a-Si substrate has been the leading panel technology for mobile phones because it is easy to manufacture and costs less to produce than other display technologies. However, the market share for the a-Si TFT LCD panel fell 10 percent month over month. The technology still comprises the majority of smartphone display shipments, reaching 79.6 million in September. Active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) panel shipments grew 7 percent to reach just 25 million units.
AMOLED shipments might be poised to increase as Samsung Display begins to market AMOLEDs to other electronics companies, according to IHS. Samsung Electronics adopted AMOLED-based LTPS displays in 2009. At that time Samsung Display was not looking to expand its customer base because Samsung Electronics digested almost all of the company’s AMOLED capacity. However as Samsung Electronics’ AMOLED smartphone business began to decline last year, Samsung Display has been expanding its customer lineup. “Since the end of last year, Samsung Display has been actively and aggressively promoting AMOLED displays to other electronics companies, especially in China, and AMOLED panel shipments for Chinese brands have increased remarkably since September,” Huh said.
Total smartphone panel shipments grew 4 percent month over month to reach 160 million units in September, according to IHS.