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Sony TV business on its final way out? - Page 2

post #31 of 108
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Originally Posted by barrelbelly View Post

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Originally Posted by fafrd View Post

Please excuse my ignorance, but from where???

-fafrd

I meant that mobile will grow even faster as more miniature display breakthrough technology comes on stream like VR that expands usage of all applications and display techs like OLED. It's debatable whether it will be nuclear or just explosive. But it will make a lot of noise. And Sony is positioned to grow into it. Especially as they shed losers like Vaio and mid size screen HDTVs.

OK, I understand what you mean now - thanks.

-fafrd
post #32 of 108
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Originally Posted by rogo View Post

I don't mean to be flip, but DisplaySearch does this kind of stuff for a living. Sure, they get it wrong sometimes. But they most definitely know exactly how much fab capacity Samsung has -- and everyone else too. They are using predictions of the smartphone market that are on the order of 1.5 billion+ annually (installed base headed for 6 billion, replacement cycles probably stretching out to an average of 3+ years).

I mean it's possible they are flat out wrong and OLED will take the lion's share of mobile phone displays. They say, "No, that won't happen, it'll be 30%." What's your number?
OLED displays are more expensive than LTPS displays on mobile phones.

Granted, there are screen real estate differences here, but IHS has the iPhone 5 at $41 for display + touchscreen, the Galaxy S4 at $75 for the 5" high-res model. Even if we assume that it's a linear difference for real estate, the iPhone screen scaled up would be $10 cheaper. (And Apple usually uses more expensive touchscreens, so it may be a bigger gap.) $10 x 1.5 billion phone is a lot of freaking money.

There is quite a bit of irony here. I am fairly sure I have seen a few posts where you have pointed out that Displaysearch has been dead wrong on their projections for OLED televisions over the years. I also just recently pointed to a post where they were missed the large commercial ramp of mobile OLED's back in '09. It happens all the time, even by people who are paid to do this for a living.

Now as for costs. I think you continue to overestimate the cost structure of OLED's when given matching substrate materials and yields. Displaysearch itself is projecting that production costs for a 5" FHD OLED will match a 5" LTPS LCD this year. Your comparison of the iPhone 5S and the S4 display prices fails to take into account the margins that Samsung Display has been able to command or the fact that OLED costs are dropping faster than LCD's. Those 25% margins are a thing of the past as OLED"s transition into the mid-tier of the smartphone market. If you read through the press release by Displaysearch, they dont cite cost as the driving factor of LTPS LCD's but performance. They believe that LTPS LCD"s will allow for higher resolutions at lower power consumption and that will allow for its dominance through 2020.

I simply think that they underestimate OLED's ability to drive down power consumption as well as its potential advantages as flexible/unbreakable displays hit the market. As two examples, Samsung is still using the same red emitter that they used when the first Galaxy handset hit the market. They also could adopt a RGBB architecture if a phosphorescent dark blue doesnt make it to market by then. There are plenty of avenues to drive down power consumption here, and that is without the possibility that flexible displays simply take over the high-end of the market by that date.

I doubt that LTPS LCD goes away, but I expect that a significant majority of LTPS based smartphone displays will be OLED's by 2020.
post #33 of 108
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Originally Posted by rogo View Post

2) OLED is going to lose ground. This is not some half-cocked theory, it's based on the fact that LTPS has passed it already. Before, both LTPS and OLED were taking share from a-Si LCDs (the old kind, which didn't really allow for high-resolution screens). Now, as the move to "retina" displays in in full force and even affecting midrange and low-priced smartphones (like the Moto G, which has a decent screen), LTPS has become the dominant technology. Samsung is a huge player in smartphones and so it's going to keep OLED strong in the sector, but it can't stop the LCD buzzsaw.

I'm confused ... are you being loose with your terminology or are you actually comparing a backplane LTPS to a frontplane OLED? All OLED mobile displays on the market today use LTPS. Mobile OLED displays are also higher resolution than mobile LCD. The iPhone high-resolution retina screen is 1136x640, 326 ppi vs the S4 is 1920x1080, 441 ppi. The S5 will be 2560x1440, 560 ppi, likely far higher than similar LCDs such as whatever the iPhone 6 will have.
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Originally Posted by slacker711 View Post

Now as for costs. I think you continue to overestimate the cost structure of OLED's when given matching substrate materials and yields. Displaysearch itself is projecting that production costs for a 5" FHD OLED will match a 5" LTPS LCD this year. Your comparison of the iPhone 5S and the S4 display prices fails to take into account the margins that Samsung Display has been able to command or the fact that OLED costs are dropping faster than LCD's. Those 25% margins are a thing of the past as OLED"s transition into the mid-tier of the smartphone market.

Here's the DisplaySearch cost comparison chart. The cost for a 5" display are even now. OLED costs are continuing to drop every quarter while LCD costs are flat.

Source: DisplaySearch
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Originally Posted by rogo View Post

3) This is small screen stuff, but it has ramifications for larger screens. OLED has yet to get anywhere in tablets. Ask yourself why it's going to given this trend. Ask yourself why it's going to make any progress in laptops (a shrinking market with increasingly less economic value). TFT-LCD took over the world on the back of massive scale economies. It doesn't appear to be losing them.

Samsung hasn't had production capacity for tablets until now but that has changed and they are making a push for OLED tablets this year with the first ones expected to be announced at MWC in 2 weeks.
post #34 of 108
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Originally Posted by slacker711 View Post

There is quite a bit of irony here. I am fairly sure I have seen a few posts where you have pointed out that Displaysearch has been dead wrong on their projections for OLED televisions over the years. I also just recently pointed to a post where they were missed the large commercial ramp of mobile OLED's back in '09. It happens all the time, even by people who are paid to do this for a living.

So two things....

1) By selectively quoting and leaving out this: "So it is at all possible that DisplaySearch is right here or are you just certainly that because Samsung has all this capacity, they will ship more than 1/3 of smartphone screens by 2020?" you create irony where is this none. I asked you the question, you quoted as if I didn't ask you the question but rather just decided DisplaySearch must be right.

2) You seem to have decided that (a) Samsung's OLED production capacity is going to be 100% absorbed by the market but (b) all the LTPS capacity being built/retrofitted on existing a-Si capacity is not going to be. This is where I am questioning how you -- slacker -- knows more than they do.
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Now as for costs. I think you continue to overestimate the cost structure of OLED's when given matching substrate materials and yields. Displaysearch itself is projecting that production costs for a 5" FHD OLED will match a 5" LTPS LCD this year. Your comparison of the iPhone 5S and the S4 display prices fails to take into account the margins that Samsung Display has been able to command or the fact that OLED costs are dropping faster than LCD's.

It doesn't fail to take it into account. It's IHS doing teardowns. Surely they know that Samsung is buying screens from Samsung.
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Those 25% margins are a thing of the past as OLED"s transition into the mid-tier of the smartphone market. If you read through the press release by Displaysearch, they dont cite cost as the driving factor of LTPS LCD's but performance. They believe that LTPS LCD"s will allow for higher resolutions at lower power consumption and that will allow for its dominance through 2020.

Yes, in high-res LTPS is kicking OLED's rear end right now.
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I simply think that they underestimate OLED's ability to drive down power consumption as well as its potential advantages as flexible/unbreakable displays hit the market. As two examples, Samsung is still using the same red emitter that they used when the first Galaxy handset hit the market. They also could adopt a RGBB architecture if a phosphorescent dark blue doesnt make it to market by then. There are plenty of avenues to drive down power consumption here, and that is without the possibility that flexible displays simply take over the high-end of the market by that date.

I, again, think people are very, very confused about what can/will happen with flexible displays. The LG and Samsung that exist are "flexible" in a narrow band for a reason. There are parts that remain rigid and not flexible by nature (a bendable LiPo battery is a disaster waiting to happen). And there remains no screen cover material that meets the needs of real-world use that is particularly flexible. The latest Gorilla Glass has some flex to give it break protection, but it's limited. You can make an OLED screen with a much, much greater bend radius. But so what? You still need a rigid screen cover to make finger prints manageable, to keep it scratch resistant, to protect the touchscreen layer from breaking months/years before its time.

The "hinged" screen remains one of the most interesting (the only interesting?) ideas in flexible screen tech. The "unbreakable" screen is a false grail until we hear about some scratchproof flexible, transparent screen cover. And that thing doesn't exist in mass-production quantities. (If it exists at all.)
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I doubt that LTPS LCD goes away, but I expect that a significant majority of LTPS based smartphone displays will be OLED's by 2020.

So you answer me here. You expect it to be more like 70-30% in favor of OLED.
post #35 of 108
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Originally Posted by ynotgoal View Post

I'm confused ... are you being loose with your terminology or are you actually comparing a backplane LTPS to a frontplane OLED? All OLED mobile displays on the market today use LTPS.

I'm not being loose with anything. It's pretty clear when the LTPS reference is to "LTPS LCD". I'll try harder to satisfy your pedantic need to have that spelled out as often as possible from now old. (LG's OLED TVs do not use LTPS, by the way, for anyone who cares.)
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Mobile OLED displays are also higher resolution than mobile LCD.

That's just wrong. The bulk of high-resolution phones use LCD. The only exception is the Galaxy S4, which is a relatively small selling product.
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The iPhone high-resolution retina screen is 1136x640, 326 ppi vs the S4 is 1920x1080, 441 ppi. The S5 will be 2560x1440, 560 ppi, likely far higher than similar LCDs such as whatever the iPhone 6 will have.

I'm going to bypass the rumor mongering till we have a new phone, but there was talk Samsung would not be able to supply Samsung with enough high-res OLED screens for the S5. And, again, the S5 is not actually that big a seller. It sells nowhere near as much as the iPhone and is a very small part of Samsung's overall giant smartphone sales portfolio.... But anyway.
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Here's the DisplaySearch cost comparison chart. The cost for a 5" display are even now. OLED costs are continuing to drop every quarter while LCD costs are flat.

I can't tell how helpful that chart is but here's what I do know.

DisplaySearch believes LTPS capacity will exceed OLED capacity by more than 2:1. That will help drive up scale economics and drive down prices. There is no way LCD prices will remain flat for the next 6 years if volumes are anyway where what DisplaySearch projects. LCD may be near as cheap as it will ever get, but it's not as cheap as it will ever get.
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Samsung hasn't had production capacity for tablets until now but that has changed and they are making a push for OLED tablets this year with the first ones expected to be announced at MWC in 2 weeks.

And yet, (1) a tiny portion at most of Samsung's tablets will be OLED (2) it's really not clear even that's a good idea given image retention/burn in. I guess we'll see how many they make, but the more it is, the less of this "infinite" capacity is available for phones. So that certainly explains the disconnect.

No matter what, you can't have it both ways until Samsung opens bigger fabs.
post #36 of 108
rogo: Is it guaranteed that whatever happens with phone displays will necessarily translate to TVs?

I'm trying to ascertain how long I will have to live to avoid having ONLY LCD as a display choice.

Whatever OLEDs or last chance plasmas may be out there--eventually they will burn out.

I don't think I will live to 100--I'm 55 now--if I have to spend my twilight years in an LCD only world.

Can you give me any hope?

You can't tell me that you are overjoyed at such a prospect as LCD only with NO other display technologies even being remotely considered?
post #37 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by ynotgoal View Post

Mobile OLED displays are also higher resolution than mobile LCD. The iPhone high-resolution retina screen is 1136x640, 326 ppi vs the S4 is 1920x1080, 441 ppi. The S5 will be 2560x1440, 560 ppi, likely far higher than similar LCDs such as whatever the iPhone 6 will have.
This is incorrect. OLED displays are using a subpixel structure which only uses two subpixels per pixel rather than three subpixels per pixel. So the effective resolution is 2/3 of what they claim. We really need to start counting subpixels per inch rather than pixels per inch.

iPhone 5S: 978 subpixels per inch.
Galaxy S4: 881 subpixels per inch.
Galaxy S5: 1108 subpixels per inch, if the 5.3" 2560x1440 rumors are to be believed. This is higher resolution than the iPhone, but it's not as drastic as you might think.
post #38 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrelbelly View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by fafrd View Post

Please excuse my ignorance, but from where???

-fafrd

I meant that mobile will grow even faster as more miniature display breakthrough technology comes on stream like VR that expands usage of all applications and display techs like OLED. It's debatable whether it will be nuclear or just explosive. But it will make a lot of noise. And Sony is positioned to grow into it. Especially as they shed losers like Vaio and mid size screen HDTVs.


Shed mid size HDTVs? I disagree. It seems to me that a lot of the general consumers want mid size HDTV's due to the fact they don't feel the need for anything bigger then maybe a 55inch tv. Bigger isn't always better IMO.
post #39 of 108
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Originally Posted by rogo View Post

(b) all the LTPS capacity being built/retrofitted on existing a-Si capacity is not going to be.
LCD capacity that is being converted from a-Si to LTPS actually reduces the total LCD capacity as it takes more space to build LTPS than it does a-Si.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

There are parts that remain rigid and not flexible by nature (a bendable LiPo battery is a disaster waiting to happen). And there remains no screen cover material that meets the needs of real-world use that is particularly flexible. The latest Gorilla Glass has some flex to give it break protection, but it's limited. You can make an OLED screen with a much, much greater bend radius. But so what? You still need a rigid screen cover to make finger prints manageable, to keep it scratch resistant, to protect the touchscreen layer from breaking months/years before its time.

The "unbreakable" screen is a false grail until we hear about some scratchproof flexible, transparent screen cover. And that thing doesn't exist in mass-production quantities. (If it exists at all.)
The "screen cover" you're looking for is called thin film encapsulation. LG Display describes the production process a bit here.
http://lgdnewsroom.com/products-solutions/next-generation-display/3074
The initial versions of the Galaxy Round and G Flex use different versions of this thin film encapsulation. Although the initial version of the encapsulation is too thick for folding the reason these are limited in the bending ability is not because of the cover but because they don't yet remove the glass substrate on the back side. See the Plastic OLED Panel Structure section in the link.
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Originally Posted by rogo View Post

DisplaySearch believes LTPS capacity will exceed OLED capacity by more than 2:1. That will help drive up scale economics and drive down prices.
The scale economics of OLED are greater than they are for LCD because OLED has higher initial fixed cost but lower per unit cost.
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Originally Posted by rogo View Post

It's IHS doing teardowns. Surely they know that Samsung is buying screens from Samsung.
While Samsung Electronics is a shareholder in Samsung Display they are different companies with many different shareholders and Samsung Display sells to other customers as well.
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Originally Posted by rogo View Post

That's just wrong. The bulk of high-resolution phones use LCD. The only exception is the Galaxy S4, which is a relatively small selling product.
There are a larger number of models of phones with 1920x1080 LCD displays but I'm skeptical they sell more than the 1920x1080 S4 and Note 3. Is there a 2560x1440 or more LCD phone display?
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Originally Posted by rogo View Post

I'm going to bypass the rumor mongering till we have a new phone, but there was talk Samsung would not be able to supply Samsung with enough high-res OLED screens for the S5.
There's some irony in that statement. The rumor you refer to came from a dubious Chinese website and Samsung has refuted it. The official announcement is Feb. 24.
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Originally Posted by rogo View Post

And, again, the S5 is not actually that big a seller. It sells nowhere near as much as the iPhone and is a very small part of Samsung's overall giant smartphone sales portfolio.... But anyway.
So the S5 is not for sale yet. Since the iPhone 5s/5c sales stats are available for its first 3 moths here's that equal 3 month comparison.
iPhone 5s 30 million
iPhone 5c 12 million
Galaxy S4 28 million
Note 3 15 million
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

And yet, (1) a tiny portion at most of Samsung's tablets will be OLED (2) it's really not clear even that's a good idea given image retention/burn in. I guess we'll see how many they make, but the more it is, the less of this "infinite" capacity is available for phones. So that certainly explains the disconnect.

No matter what, you can't have it both ways until Samsung opens bigger fabs.
I guess "Samsung hasn't had production capacity for tablets until now but that has changed" wasn't clear so I'll restate it. Samsung has added capacity.
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Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

This is incorrect. OLED displays are using a subpixel structure which only uses two subpixels per pixel rather than three subpixels per pixel. So the effective resolution is 2/3 of what they claim. We really need to start counting subpixels per inch rather than pixels per inch.

iPhone 5S: 978 subpixels per inch.
Galaxy S4: 881 subpixels per inch.
Galaxy S5: 1108 subpixels per inch, if the 5.3" 2560x1440 rumors are to be believed. This is higher resolution than the iPhone, but it's not as drastic as you might think.
I think most reviewers consider the PPI numbers correct. Now it's valid to compare subpixels as well. DisplayMate does a good job discussing it in their review of the Note 3.
http://www.displaymate.com/Galaxy_Note3_ShootOut_1.htm
post #40 of 108
Maybe the predicted OLED decline in mobile has already started?:

http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/23/samsung-q4-2013-earnings/

"OLED earnings dropped an unspecified amount due to lower shipments, even though new product sales actually increased". I guess more of their new products are switching to LCD?

Also, there are several S5 leaks which indicate it has a 1080p screen. For example:

http://www.geek.com/android/samsung-galaxy-s5-benchmarks-pop-up-480ppi-display-confirmed-1584352/
post #41 of 108
Another chart to add to the mix:

http://www.displaysearch.com/cps/rde/xchg/displaysearch/hs.xsl/140204_smartphone_shipments_forecast_to_reach_23_million_units_in_2015.asp

Kind of bizarre that most consumers will probably get a 4K phone long before they buy a 4K TV. Is that kind of resolution really necessary on a tiny phone screen?
post #42 of 108
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Originally Posted by rogo View Post

So two things....

1) By selectively quoting and leaving out this: "So it is at all possible that DisplaySearch is right here or are you just certainly that because Samsung has all this capacity, they will ship more than 1/3 of smartphone screens by 2020?" you create irony where is this none. I asked you the question, you quoted as if I didn't ask you the question but rather just decided DisplaySearch must be right.

2) You seem to have decided that (a) Samsung's OLED production capacity is going to be 100% absorbed by the market but (b) all the LTPS capacity being built/retrofitted on existing a-Si capacity is not going to be. This is where I am questioning how you -- slacker -- knows more than they do.

So if I asked, how you know more than the management teams at Sharp, Sony, and Panasonic, when you (rightly) eviscerate their television strategies, you would have no issue?

In any case, I am comfortable challenging outfits like Displaysearch or the conventional wisdom on the Street since looking at where the market is wrong is pretty much what I do for a living. I do a hell of a lot of research before I come to a conclusion.

Here is where I see mobile OLED's in 2020.

1) They will be cheaper to manufacture than LTPS LCD's. The fact that they have hit pricing parity right now, without the LCD scale that you so frequently cite, will allow faster price reductions as they do increase in scale and the technology matures. Just one example, Samsung is still cutting their Gen 5.5 substrates into quarters versus the half substrates planned for their Gen 6 fab. There are a lot of pricing levers to pull for a young technology.

2) They are already cheaper than LTPS LCD's depsite the fact that they are only manufactured by a single company. I dont trust the current estimates for the Chinese ramping OLED manufacturing, but they are buying equipment and I expect that 2020 is long enough to be able to ramp capacity.

3) The power consumption for mobile OLED's will be lower than for LTPS LCD's during normal use. The S4 already had lower power consumption than the iPhone 5 when normalizing for screen size and luminance at a 50% picture level. Compensate for the fact that OLED's are perceived as being brighter than LCD's and the fact that video usage is exploding, and normal usage is going to reinforce OLED's advantage here. and again, there are still quite a few achievable paths to bring down power consumption significantly. The red emitter that I believe Samsung is using is 35% less efficient than the current state of the art.

I do agree that increasing resolutions pose difficulties for AMOLED's. We'll find out soon whether Samsung was again able to overcome the manufacturing issues, as they have continuously for the last four years.
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That will help drive up scale economics and drive down prices. There is no way LCD prices will remain flat for the next 6 years if volumes are anyway where what DisplaySearch projects. LCD may be near as cheap as it will ever get, but it's not as cheap as it will ever get.

The question isnt whether LTPS LCD's will drop in price but which technology will drop faster. Do you really feel comfortable betting on LCD"s reversing the current trend of OLED's dropping faster in price?
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[Yes, in high-res LTPS is kicking OLED's rear end right now.

Samsung DIsplay has only sold high-res OLED's to Samsung Electronics. As with prior years, the latest and greatest OLED capacity was reserved for their in-house customer. Nokia, Motorola, and the rest were simply SOL.

We'll see if that changes as Samsung Display actually has excess OLED capacity. They are either going to attempt to sell to other high-end customers or drive down the price for Samsung Electronics mid-tier offerings. One way or other, I expect that OLED capacity to get to market as they have a lot of room to maneuver on price.
Edited by slacker711 - 2/8/14 at 1:42pm
post #43 of 108
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Originally Posted by Artwood View Post

rogo: Is it guaranteed that whatever happens with phone displays will necessarily translate to TVs?

Of course not.
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Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

This is incorrect. OLED displays are using a subpixel structure which only uses two subpixels per pixel rather than three subpixels per pixel. So the effective resolution is 2/3 of what they claim. We really need to start counting subpixels per inch rather than pixels per inch.

iPhone 5S: 978 subpixels per inch.
Galaxy S4: 881 subpixels per inch.
Galaxy S5: 1108 subpixels per inch, if the 5.3" 2560x1440 rumors are to be believed. This is higher resolution than the iPhone, but it's not as drastic as you might think.

Right.
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Originally Posted by ynotgoal View Post

LCD capacity that is being converted from a-Si to LTPS actually reduces the total LCD capacity as it takes more space to build LTPS than it does a-Si.

Good thing China is adding LCD capacity then.
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The "screen cover" you're looking for is called thin film encapsulation. LG Display describes the production process a bit here.

No, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the fact it still has a sheet of Gorilla Glass on top of the panel.

(http://www.engadget.com/2013/12/06/lg-g-flex-review/)

And it will need one for years to come. When your smartphone screen breaks, it's rarely the screen and almost always the Gorilla Glass (or competing product).
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While Samsung Electronics is a shareholder in Samsung Display they are different companies with many different shareholders and Samsung Display sells to other customers as well.

You are proving my point.
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So the S5 is not for sale yet. Since the iPhone 5s/5c sales stats are available for its first 3 moths here's that equal 3 month comparison.
iPhone 5s 30 million
iPhone 5c 12 million
Galaxy S4 28 million
Note 3 15 million

Nice cherrypicking! The Galaxy S4 sold 40 million in 7 months. http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2302755/samsung-disappointed-with-galaxy-s4-sales-despite-hitting-40-million-milestone

Can we take some wagers on the equivalent period figures for the iPhone 5S?

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Originally Posted by slacker711 View Post

So if I asked, how you know more than the management teams at Sharp, Sony, and Panasonic, when you (rightly) eviscerate their television strategies, you would have no issue?

No, I would answer the question (even if I took issue). I'm asking you the question as to how you're so sure they're so completely and utterly wrong. Because, I mean, this is a brand new report and they surely have access to the exact same fab capacity information you do. And you're sure they have it almost entirely 180-degrees off. So I'm asking how you're so sure. What I'm not doing is saying, "Hey Slacker, you're wrong, DisplaySearch is right."
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1) They will be cheaper to manufacture than LTPS LCD's. The fact that they have hit pricing parity right now, without the LCD scale that you so frequently cite, will allow faster price reductions as they do increase in scale and the technology matures. Just one example, Samsung is still cutting their Gen 5.5 substrates into quarters versus the half substrates planned for their Gen 6 fab. There are a lot of pricing levers to pull for a young technology.
So we disagree they have hit pricing parity. The evidence for that doesn't exist in my opinion. But I'll concur there is more room to improve -- perhaps a lot more.
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2) They are already cheaper than LTPS LCD's depsite the fact that they are only manufactured by a single company. I dont trust the current estimates for the Chinese ramping OLED manufacturing, but they are buying equipment and I expect that 2020 is long enough to be able to ramp capacity.

So, of course, LTPS LCD also doesn't have scale on the order of, say, a-Si. Is there no way that can improve?
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3) The power consumption for mobile OLED's will be lower than for LTPS LCD's during normal use. The S4 already had lower power consumption than the iPhone 5 when normalizing for screen size and luminance at a 50% picture level. Compensate for the fact that OLED's are perceived as being brighter than LCD's and the fact that video usage is exploding, and normal usage is going to reinforce OLED's advantage here. and again, there are still quite a few achievable paths to bring down power consumption significantly. The red emitter that I believe Samsung is using is 35% less efficient than the current state of the art.

This is going to matter if it bears out. It again presumes LTPS can't get better, which I'm skeptical of. Have we maxed out that technology? Have we maxed out LED improvements?
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Do you really feel comfortable betting on LCD"s reversing the current trend of OLED's dropping faster in price?

I don't have to bet on any of this. But I'll tell you this. The "good screen" smartphone market (i.e.better than a-Si) will be approaching 1 billion units annually by decade's end. Whichever technology is cheaper will take the lion's share of business. If it's $5 difference per display, that's $5 billion in profit. For the past 4 years, only 2 companies have earned even $1 of profit in the mobile phone business.
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We'll see if that changes as Samsung Display actually has excess OLED capacity. They are either going to attempt to sell to other high-end customers or drive down the price for Samsung Electronics mid-tier offerings. One way or other, I expect that OLED capacity to get to market as they have a lot of room to maneuver on price.

It doesn't seem Samsung has any particular technology here but does have scale and experience. I imagine that China can replicate all that with the right investments and I guess I'm surprised that LG hasn't (with the help of Apple if needed). I realize there's some belief that because Apple and Samsung despise each other that there was no deal to be done here, but it's clear that Samsung has tried to sell OLEDs to Apple and Apple has said no mostly because you can only buy lots of them from one company (which they happen to also hate). And then Apple weirdly designed iOS 7 in a way that is oddly OLED unfriendly, which I'm not sure of the long term ramifications of.
post #44 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post


Because, I mean, this is a brand new report and they surely have access to the exact same fab capacity information you do. And you're sure they have it almost entirely 180-degrees off. So I'm asking how you're so sure. What I'm not doing is saying, "Hey Slacker, you're wrong, DisplaySearch is right."

While I cited Samsung's current capacity, that really only has an impact on the near-term. If one technology were to develop a significant advantage over the other, the capacity would be switched to support it. The incremental capex for the OLED (or LCD) manufacturing equipment pales in comparison to the overall cost of the LTPS fab.

Companies are building quite a bit of LTPS LCD capacity right now and it makes sense. They dont yet have the ability to manufacture RGB OLED displays at commercial yields. Extrapolate that condition out forever and you get the Displaysearch report. If OLED's prove to be significantly better than LTPS LCD's by 2020, then vendors will either have figured out a way to manufacture OLED's or Samsung is going to dominate a huge portion of the smartphone display market. As you mention, Samsung's success isnt a matter of IP but experience. The Chinese vendors will figure it out or steal entire teams of people who have already done it at Samsung.
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So we disagree they have hit pricing parity. The evidence for that doesn't exist in my opinion. But I'll concur there is more room to improve -- perhaps a lot more.

I have been saying that they are close for a long time and it turns out that Displaysearch now agrees. Whether they have hit that exact point isnt particularly relevant. It is relevant that pricing is close and that prices are dropping faster on OLED's than LTPS LCD"s.
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This is going to matter if it bears out. It again presumes LTPS can't get better, which I'm skeptical of. Have we maxed out that technology? Have we maxed out LED improvements?

So, of course, LTPS LCD also doesn't have scale on the order of, say, a-Si. Is there no way that can improve?

A LTPS LCD is still a LCD. There are plenty of economies of scale that already apply across a-si LCD's and LTPS LCD's (LED's, liquid crystal layer, polarizer etc). Costs can still improve but the economies of scale arent changing. Any improvements to the LTPS process itself should generally apply to OLED's as well (though the two substrates arent exactly the same).

OTOH, the bill of materials for OLED's are lower than for LCD's right now and they still have quite a bit of room to add scale. Moreover, they likely have more room to improve yields than with the LCD. Note, I am never discounting LCD's ability to improve, only that the rate at which they are likely to improve is going to be below OLED's. It has definitely been the case for the last four years and I believe that continues to be the case going forward.

and none of the above includes the possibility of flexible/unbreakable or blue. Samsung is aiming for 2015 for their flexible display. I'll be surprised if they hit that date, but the fact that they have publicly endorsed the date and are showing prototypes suggests more progress than I would have expected.
post #45 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by slacker711 View Post

Companies are building quite a bit of LTPS LCD capacity right now and it makes sense. They dont yet have the ability to manufacture RGB OLED displays at commercial yields. Extrapolate that condition out forever and you get the Displaysearch report. If OLED's prove to be significantly better than LTPS LCD's by 2020, then vendors will either have figured out a way to manufacture OLED's or Samsung is going to dominate a huge portion of the smartphone display market. As you mention, Samsung's success isnt a matter of IP but experience. The Chinese vendors will figure it out or steal entire teams of people who have already done it at Samsung.

So I think this misstates things just in a small way. "Whether or not OLED proves to be better, either vendors will have figured out a way to make OLEDs and they will have a chance to proliferate or it will be a Samsung-dominated product that has no such chance." Yes, that's convoluted but imported. If OLED is marginally better but only Samsung can make them in volume, LTPS will win. It's not only Apple that wants multi-source parts. There is no way the 2/3 or so of phones that will be in the world and not made by Samsung will rely on displays that can only be sourced from Samsung. And, honestly, the idea that Samsung will be supplying much more of the world's phones by then is perhaps even more absurd.
Quote:
A LTPS LCD is still a LCD. There are plenty of economies of scale that already apply across a-si LCD's and LTPS LCD's (LED's, liquid crystal layer, polarizer etc). Costs can still improve but the economies of scale arent changing. Any improvements to the LTPS process itself should generally apply to OLED's as well (though the two substrates arent exactly the same).

That's a fair point and I tend to agree although it seems LG is committed to IGZO for their OLEDs. In theory they might be cheaper still.
Quote:
and none of the above includes the possibility of flexible/unbreakable or blue. Samsung is aiming for 2015 for their flexible display. I'll be surprised if they hit that date, but the fact that they have publicly endorsed the date and are showing prototypes suggests more progress than I would have expected.

I still don't see how this is important unless there is some breakthrough in a flexible Gorilla Glass replacement I'm unaware of. I suppose a 180-degree hinged product would (a) need OLED and (b) still work without a flexible front, but none of this goes to unbreakability, which seems to be a false grail.
post #46 of 108
The Japanese are going away. How long will the Koreans be able to hold out against the Chinese? Will Samsung and LG meet Sony's fate somewhere down the road to the Chinese?
post #47 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artwood View Post

The Japanese are going away. How long will the Koreans be able to hold out against the Chinese? Will Samsung and LG meet Sony's fate somewhere down the road to the Chinese?


Artwood,

With the right decisions being made by Samsung and LG I am sure they a going to in the game for awhile.
post #48 of 108
With all due respect, why speculate on a world in 2020 with only Samsung making mobile OLEDs? Companies currently building out new or expanded mass production facilities for mobile OLEDs.
Samsung
LG
AUO
Japan Display
Hon Hai (Innolux)
BOE
Visionox
Tianma
Everdisplay
Truly Optoelectronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

That's a fair point and I tend to agree although it seems LG is committed to IGZO for their OLEDs. In theory they might be cheaper still.
LG uses LTPS for their mobile OLEDs. "LTPS" is not shorthand for LCD.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

I still don't see how this is important unless there is some breakthrough in a flexible Gorilla Glass replacement I'm unaware of. I suppose a 180-degree hinged product would (a) need OLED and (b) still work without a flexible front, but none of this goes to unbreakability, which seems to be a false grail.

Dr. Soneira at DisplayMate reviewed the Galaxy Round. He was also given an OLED display without the cover glass.
http://www.displaymate.com/Galaxy_Round_ShootOut_1.htm

"There’s more… Flexible OLED displays are manufactured using a flexible plastic substrate, so they don’t have the glossy cover glass used on virtually all existing mobile displays. That provides three more advantages: first, the screen Reflectance is lower because is doesn’t have the extra layer of cover glass. Second, the plastic bendable screen is not as glossy as the cover glass so it has a very slight matte haze finish, which cuts down on the specular mirror reflections. Third, without the cover glass the OLED display appears to be right on the surface of the screen, which is quite visually striking!"

The cover glass is also very expensive. Tell me how LCD's which will still require that will compete with OLEDs that won't?

Samsung showed a foldable phone at a private gathering at CES. These types of things are expected to be released in products next year.
post #49 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve1971 View Post

Shed mid size HDTVs? I disagree. It seems to me that a lot of the general consumers want mid size HDTV's due to the fact they don't feel the need for anything bigger then maybe a 55inch tv. Bigger isn't always better IMO.

I'm talking specifically about "Sony". Not general consumers preference. Of course they want mid size. And by a pretty overwhelming margin. But they want them good quality and dirt cheap. That is definitely not in Sony's wheelhouse. The Chinese and Koreans own that market. And other cheap labor countries are currently being primed to enter production into it. "General Consumers" is a commodity HDTV market swamp in terms of pricing. One that a premium price, innovative company like Sony can't thrive in.
post #50 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by ynotgoal View Post

With all due respect, why speculate on a world in 2020 with only Samsung making mobile OLEDs?

That's the point. There is no chance that OLED dominates in a world where only Samsung makes it. There is some chance it's a 2nd-tier choice if only Samsung makes it.
Quote:
Companies currently building out new or expanded mass production facilities for mobile OLEDs.
Samsung
LG
AUO
Japan Display
Hon Hai (Innolux)
BOE
Visionox
Tianma
Everdisplay
Truly Optoelectronics

Yes, and none of them make much (any) today. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. What we're discussing is that DisplaySearch says they will make little even 6 years from now.
Quote:
LG uses LTPS for their mobile OLEDs. "LTPS" is not shorthand for LCD.

How about you put aside the pedantry. It's pretty clear when I use LTPS as shorthand for LTPS-LCD and when I don't. I've already offered to try to use more letters more often to mollify. You can put the pedantry hammer to rest, ok?
Quote:
Dr. Soneira at DisplayMate reviewed the Galaxy Round. He was also given an OLED display without the cover glass.
http://www.displaymate.com/Galaxy_Round_ShootOut_1.htm

"There’s more… Flexible OLED displays are manufactured using a flexible plastic substrate, so they don’t have the glossy cover glass used on virtually all existing mobile displays. That provides three more advantages: first, the screen Reflectance is lower because is doesn’t have the extra layer of cover glass. Second, the plastic bendable screen is not as glossy as the cover glass so it has a very slight matte haze finish, which cuts down on the specular mirror reflections. Third, without the cover glass the OLED display appears to be right on the surface of the screen, which is quite visually striking!"

The cover glass is also very expensive. Tell me how LCD's which will still require that will compete with OLEDs that won't?

You and Soneira are both confused.

The cover glass is on the Galaxy Round (Soneira know this if you read the review). Once you remove the cover glass, you lose scratch resistance. You also lose all protection for the touchscreen layer. You can certainly sell a smartphone that has no scratch resistance, but you won't likely find very many satisfied customers.

The cover glass is not the substrate glass (LCDs are made on a glass substrate, OLED can be manufactured on plastic subtrates, which gives the screen itself more inherent flexibility.) It's not expensive. A Gorilla Glass front currently runs about $3.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/512411/your-next-smartphone-screen-may-be-made-of-sapphire/

If there was a plastic alternative to Gorilla Glass that was in any way acceptable, it would be used today. The ability to manufacture screens on more flexible plastic substrates doesn't solve this problem. The Galaxy Round and G Flex both use cover glass for that reason.
Quote:
Samsung showed a foldable phone at a private gathering at CES. These types of things are expected to be released in products next year.

Foldable is very interesting. Very interesting.

Why? Because foldable with a seamless hinge would allow for a phone that could really double as a pretty nice tablet. Fix the software so that your apps actually adapt to the bigger screen properly and you could go from, say, a 4.5" to a 9" screen with the second panel. If that second panel could flip backwards out of the way and was super thin, I believe this would be a contender for the "one device to rule them all" category. There would be little remaining market for small tablets, except as "secondary tablets" for your kids or in kiosks or whatnot.

Foldable screens (a) would have cover glass (b) are really challenging to do well. Existing technology doesn't allow for things like wiring to bend the full 180 (or more) over and over with any kind of reliability. You'd probably end up with two screen assemblies electronically. But to do one seamless screen, you will need an OLED that can literally be fully folded over tens (hundreds) of thousands of times without showing a visible "creasing". I'm very skeptical the technology is anywhere near good enough to deliver that kind of experience -- though I'd love to see it.

As with TVs, I don't see these small radius, curved phones becoming an important trend. Over time, the "flexing" will improve a bit, but batteries, wiring, speakers, antennas, rigid casing, etc. don't benefit from too much repeated flexing so that will always be limited. And the downsides will exceed any upsides for most people. Of course, impact resistance/unbreakability will be nice, so if a polymer replacement for Gorilla Glass or sapphire should emerge, great. But then, this will benefit flat, non-folding phones every bit as much.

Anyway, we'll see what they do with foldable technology. In the base use case, "I want a phone with a nice screen," it feels like it doesn't offer much. But if it does deliver an entirely new class of device -- a near zero compromise hybrid -- then it will be exciting.
post #51 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

That's the point. There is no chance that OLED dominates in a world where only Samsung makes it. There is some chance it's a 2nd-tier choice if only Samsung makes it.
Yes, and none of them make much (any) today. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. What we're discussing is that DisplaySearch says they will make little even 6 years from now.

It would be a pretty rare technology that would allow a company to create a decade long sustainable advantage purely through manufacturing prowess. Not impossible, but I would bet against it.

LG certainly seems comfortable enough with their ability to manufacture RGB LTPS OLED's to push flexible displays.

Quote:
Foldable is very interesting. Very interesting.

Why? Because foldable with a seamless hinge would allow for a phone that could really double as a pretty nice tablet.

Samsung was showing two prototypes at their analyst day, with one folding out to the size of a phablet and the other to the size of a tablet. The touchscreen was supposedly made out of a metal mesh that allows for flexing.

Samsung claimed at their analyst day to have solved the display issues with folding but are working on the "flexbile window" issue.

Like I said, they are much farther along than I expected.
post #52 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by slacker711 View Post

It would be a pretty rare technology that would allow a company to create a decade long sustainable advantage purely through manufacturing prowess. Not impossible, but I would bet against it.

LG certainly seems comfortable enough with their ability to manufacture RGB LTPS OLED's to push flexible displays.

Yes, and it appears a lot of the key equipment is moving to commoditization right now. When that happened in LCDs, every one could build a nearly state of the art fab within a couple of years. History seems likely to repeat.
Quote:
Samsung was showing two prototypes at their analyst day, with one folding out to the size of a phablet and the other to the size of a tablet. The touchscreen was supposedly made out of a metal mesh that allows for flexing.

So, again, there's a difference between a touchscreen that works enough to show and maybe even make and one good enough to meet the current standards of "this has to be amazing" that people are demanding of touchscreen performance right now. I guess I don't really believe they are anywhere near that level given how long it's taken to get existing touchscreens to be almost great.
Quote:
Samsung claimed at their analyst day to have solved the display issues with folding but are working on the "flexbile window" issue.

Not sure what this means exactly, but I'll segue into the other key thing which is durability. I'm not really sure what the cycle is, but I imagine a lot of us check our phones dozens of times per time. So using 25 as a not completely unreasonable "duty cycle" -- you have to estimate high -- puts this at "it has to work 10,000 times per year with perfect reliability." Oh, and the phone needs to last 3-4 years. To be conservative, you are probably looking at 50-75K cycles.

Maybe they are really close to that with state of the art touchscreen performance. But given you have never been able to touch a single demo at CES or any other public showing, well, I don't believe it.
Quote:
Like I said, they are much farther along than I expected.

Let me say I believe this. That said, I'm skeptical a product based on technology like this arrives in any quantity before 2016. And I'm skeptical it sells in important quantities for several years after that.
post #53 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

So, again, there's a difference between a touchscreen that works enough to show and maybe even make and one good enough to meet the current standards of "this has to be amazing" that people are demanding of touchscreen performance right now. I guess I don't really believe they are anywhere near that level given how long it's taken to get existing touchscreens to be almost great.

If it's the touchscreen you're focused on then you might want to research the technologies that are currently replacing the rigid ITO touchscreens that require a glass sheet. Even in LCD devices. If you need a device that rolls up to call it flexible then that is a few years away.
post #54 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by ynotgoal View Post

If it's the touchscreen you're focused on then you might want to research the technologies that are currently replacing the rigid ITO touchscreens that require a glass sheet. Even in LCD devices. If you need a device that rolls up to call it flexible then that is a few years away.

The touchscreen is only one part of the problem, arguably the secondary concern.

The primary concern is that the screen is in your pocket, purse, change tray, etc. It's constantly exposed to little items that want to ruin its shiny surface. You can't get rid of the glass front until you find a plastic replacement that won't show scratches. People have been looking for a plastic like that for decades and haven't come close to one. Now, it needs to be (a) transparent and (b) optically pure. And the "need" for this is what exactly? Oh, right, so the phone can contort itself! The lack of contortable phones has prevented the smartphone from reaching 1 billion in annual sales thus far... Oh wait....

As for roll-up screens, they have no place in mobile. Who wants to unfurl a screen just to use their phones? No one! That's a solution in search of a sci-fi movie problem. And it's a lot of mechanical parts in devices that are fundamentally solid state right now. Who wants that? No one!

Again, there is a lot of fascinating potential for "extension" screens and "extendable" screens going forward. And as someone who owns a smartphone, small tablet, large tablet and laptop, I can tell you that I believe (a) most people would happily abandon small tablets if such a screen existed on a smartphone as portable as today's Galaxy S4 (b) even on my big tablet, I would place very high value on such a screen and could easily see tablets continue to erode laptops with such a technology.

As such, I consider it potentially very critical/disruptive stuff. But I think people wildly mistake what is important for what is exciting in a demo. And a flexible phone that gets scratched up the day you buy it is not going to be very exciting. Now, if these things get covered with the kind of "screen protectors" people buy for iPhones and such, perhaps they will find a way to shed cover glass sooner rather than later. But that would be a pretty radically change and those films don't really resist scratching either. They just allow for the film to "give itself up" to protect the underlying later. Do we want to replace our films over and over or do we want next gen Gorilla Glass, with the glare reduction technology built in, but no "fully folding main screen". (you can still have a second panel that folds away).

I bet 99% of people take the Gorilla Glass phone.
post #55 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

You can't get rid of the glass front until you find a plastic replacement that won't show scratches. People have been looking for a plastic like that for decades and haven't come close to one. Now, it needs to be (a) transparent and (b) optically pure.

So you're saying that such a film is a valuable material. Good to know.
post #56 of 108
Anyone that's seen or broken an LCD display only to have to throw away a hundreds to thousands of dollar device will be an easy sale to mostly unbreakable screened devices.

OLED is the future, nothing's going to stop that.

The question isn't if, it's when.

When LED could only do large segments in a calculator and you could see how long it took to refresh the "screen" nobody then would have guessed at todays 90 inch LCD in the stores.

OLED will be the same. Just remember that OLED started the same way. Low resolution one color displays.

The development in OLED general lighting will also keep development going.
post #57 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ynotgoal View Post

If it's the touchscreen you're focused on then you might want to research the technologies that are currently replacing the rigid ITO touchscreens that require a glass sheet. Even in LCD devices. If you need a device that rolls up to call it flexible then that is a few years away.

The touchscreen is only one part of the problem, arguably the secondary concern.

The primary concern is that the screen is in your pocket, purse, change tray, etc. It's constantly exposed to little items that want to ruin its shiny surface. You can't get rid of the glass front until you find a plastic replacement that won't show scratches. People have been looking for a plastic like that for decades and haven't come close to one. Now, it needs to be (a) transparent and (b) optically pure. And the "need" for this is what exactly? Oh, right, so the phone can contort itself! The lack of contortable phones has prevented the smartphone from reaching 1 billion in annual sales thus far... Oh wait....

As for roll-up screens, they have no place in mobile. Who wants to unfurl a screen just to use their phones? No one! That's a solution in search of a sci-fi movie problem. And it's a lot of mechanical parts in devices that are fundamentally solid state right now. Who wants that? No one!

Again, there is a lot of fascinating potential for "extension" screens and "extendable" screens going forward. And as someone who owns a smartphone, small tablet, large tablet and laptop, I can tell you that I believe (a) most people would happily abandon small tablets if such a screen existed on a smartphone as portable as today's Galaxy S4 (b) even on my big tablet, I would place very high value on such a screen and could easily see tablets continue to erode laptops with such a technology.

As such, I consider it potentially very critical/disruptive stuff. But I think people wildly mistake what is important for what is exciting in a demo. And a flexible phone that gets scratched up the day you buy it is not going to be very exciting. Now, if these things get covered with the kind of "screen protectors" people buy for iPhones and such, perhaps they will find a way to shed cover glass sooner rather than later. But that would be a pretty radically change and those films don't really resist scratching either. They just allow for the film to "give itself up" to protect the underlying later. Do we want to replace our films over and over or do we want next gen Gorilla Glass, with the glare reduction technology built in, but no "fully folding main screen". (you can still have a second panel that folds away).

I bet 99% of people take the Gorilla Glass phone.


The talk of Gorilla Glass takes me back to a time when Sony used it on their TV's. You bet 99% of people will take a Gorilla Glass Phone? I know I would. biggrin.gif
post #58 of 108
I agree. I was with Best Buy in the Home Theater Department for years from 2005 to 2009, and Sony lost it's edge when flat panels started to take off. Basically, Flat Panels launched Samsung into the behemoth they are today, and Sony relied on it's Trinitron and Wega Tube TV name to take it into the Flat Panel Business. Now, or at least when I was there, Sony was selling incredibly overpriced TVs with inferior picture quality.

It doesn't hurt that I worked with a woman at my last job who was laid off by Sony...she says they are in trouble as well. Just my .02
post #59 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

You can't get rid of the glass front until you find a plastic replacement that won't show scratches. People have been looking for a plastic like that for decades and haven't come close to one. Now, it needs to be (a) transparent and (b) optically pure.
And hopefully no-one will. The less plastic used, the better. I am all for designs using metal and glass, which are readily recycled, rather than plastic. (most "recyclable" plastic is not reused and ends up in a landfill)
Quote:
Originally Posted by David_B View Post

Anyone that's seen or broken an LCD display only to have to throw away a hundreds to thousands of dollar device will be an easy sale to mostly unbreakable screened devices.
This is part of the reason why I buy Apple hardware for a lot of these devices - the screen is trivial to replace if it's broken, and replacement parts are easily available for years after that model has been replaced.
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve1971 View Post

The talk of Gorilla Glass takes me back to a time when Sony used it on their TV's.
They don't any more? (I assumed they still did)
post #60 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

You can't get rid of the glass front until you find a plastic replacement that won't show scratches. People have been looking for a plastic like that for decades and haven't come close to one. Now, it needs to be (a) transparent and (b) optically pure.
And hopefully no-one will. The less plastic used, the better. I am all for designs using metal and glass, which are readily recycled, rather than plastic. (most "recyclable" plastic is not reused and ends up in a landfill)
Quote:
Originally Posted by David_B View Post

Anyone that's seen or broken an LCD display only to have to throw away a hundreds to thousands of dollar device will be an easy sale to mostly unbreakable screened devices.
This is part of the reason why I buy Apple hardware for a lot of these devices - the screen is trivial to replace if it's broken, and replacement parts are easily available for years after that model has been replaced.
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve1971 View Post

The talk of Gorilla Glass takes me back to a time when Sony used it on their TV's.
They don't any more? (I assumed they still did)


Nope. They stopped using Gorilla Glass on their TV's after 2012. Very stupid among the many other stupid things they have done since.
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