LCD is still king in the land of the mobile phone displays, but a number of other screen technologies are vying for small slices of the vast realm.
According to ABI Research, because LCD is a mature technology, it has a cost advantage that ensures its future as the primary display technology for some time to come. However, despite the face that LCD displays have improved greatly over the years, their performance still falls short in such areas as power consumption and readability in bright light conditions.
Among the “LCD challengers,” ABI identified few technologies:
- Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLEDs), which they found to be among leading contenders because of the maturity of development and existing use in other devices such as TV sets.
- Then, there’s Qualcomm’s micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS)-based “mirasol” display that is finding its first role in secondary screens found on clamshell handsets. During this year, Qualcomm will open a dedicated mirasol display factory in Taiwan.
- E-Ink, which is used for Amazon’s Kindle ebook reader, is also a technology worth mentioning. Though it is physically robust and boasts very low power consumption, E-Ink’s current lack of color handling and low refresh rate may limit its immediate appeal, but also has opportunity as a phone’s secondary display.
The problem with all the mentioned technologies, however, is that they all cost more than LCD displays. The sheer volume in the handset market means that even a differential of a few cents can make the difference between adoption and rejection…
More information about ABI’s report titled “Emerging Displays in Mobile Handsets” is available from their website.