OLED shortage could be problematic for Android smartphone industry

The AMOLED display shortage has been growing in awareness lately, especially with delays plaguing certain smartphones. But according to iSuppli, this issue is only going to get worse for those in the Android smartphone business.

The AMOLED display shortage has been growing in awareness lately, especially with delays plaguing certain smartphones. But according to the research firm iSuppli, this issue is only going to get worse for those in the Android smartphone business.

Small-sized AMOLEDs have grown popular with Android-based smartphone manufacturers because the screens are thinner, known to perform better than AMLCDs (the ones used on the iPhone), and require less battery power since they aren't backlit.

Unfortunately, OLED panels (especially Super AMOLED) have become a favorite among the likes of Samsung and HTC so fast that more cell phones are being designed with these screens quicker than the displays can actually be produced.

iSuppli cites that 20.4 million units were made with small AMOLEDs in 2009, but that number is expected to escalate to a whopping 184.5 million units by 2014. Only Samsung and LG are actually producing these presently, with a few more international companies investing and/or jumping into the AMOLED manufacturing business within the next few years.

If the demand for mobile devices designed with AMOLEDs surpasses that of the actual supply, we could be looking at serious wait times for many more smartphones down the line.

[Graph via iSuppli]

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