OLED Shortage Doesn't Bode Well for Android

Paul Lilly

At this point in the game, there doesn't appear to be anything that can stop the fast moving freight train known as Android, right? Not so fast, says market research firm iSuppli. According to iSuppli, a shortage of AMOLED displays threatens to derail the Android Express as it attempts to race past the competition.

"Starting with the Nexus One introduced in January, Android-based smartphones have aggressively adopted high-quality AMOLED displays as a competitive differentiator against the advanced-technology AMLCD screen used in the iPhone," said Vinita Jakhanwal, principal analyst for small and medium displays at iSuppli. "However, rising demand combined with a limited supply base has led to the constrained availability of AMOLEDs."

Part of the problem is that there aren't a whole of manufactures making AMOLED products, which makes keeping up with volume shipments particularly challenging. And because the technology is relatively new, many mobile display makers instead to choose to focus their attention on cranking out cheaper-to-produce AMLCD screens.

The good news for Android fans is that this is only temporary. Samsung, for example, is throwing big bucks at AMOLED and plans to have another 5.5-generation fab up and running by the end of 2011. If anything, the current supply challenges are temporary and will only serve to delay Android's rise to the top, if that's where it's destined to go.

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