Over the past few months, AMOLED shortages have become a well-documented problem. And those of you still waiting for your Droid Incredible are experiencing the ramifications of AMOLED shortages firsthand. Samsung, one of the world's few manufacturers of AMOLED displays, has not had much to say on the matter, but plans that it will overcome these shortages by 2012. Samsung has already committed $2.2 Billion into a new AMOLED factory, that should be in full production by 2012. However, 2012 is a long ways off, especially in the smartphone world. Due to the ever-increasing interest in these shortages, iSuppli, an independent research company, conducted an analysis on the future of the AMOLED display, and whether or not it will ever become a major competitor to AMLCDs. Here are some of the highlights from the analysis:

Rising rapidly, shipments of small-sized AMOLEDs used in mobile phones and other applications are projected to reach 184.5 million units by 2014, up from 20.4 million units in 2009, for a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 55.1 percent during the period. While such growth is impressive, the AMOLED figures pale next to small-sized AMLCD shipments, forecasted to rise to 1.75 billion units by 2014 from 1.3 billion in 2009.

As you can see, by 2014 the projected shipments of AMOLEDs (184.5 million units) will pale in comparison to its AMLCD counterparts (1.75 billion units), even though the AMOLED's technology is newer and superior.

iSuppli goes on to explain that AMOLEDs may simply remain a niche technology, and never become a true competitor to AMLCDs, due to the fact that production of AMOLEDs is so limited. To put this into context, there are only two companies currently manufacturing AMOLEDs, Samsung and LG. As of now, both companies are producing at capacity, and are still coming up short for the global demand. Furthermore, as you may expect, Samsung gives preferential treatment to its own phones. For example, the Galaxy S Series, which uses a Super AMOLED screen, has essentially taken up all of Samsung's AMOLED production at this time.

Samsung is investing in a $2.2 billion facility that will be ready by 2012, and LG plans to do the same. Neither company, however, has yet to increase production in face of the shortages. Two other smaller companies,AU Optronics Corp. and TPO Display Corp., are working on AMOLED products, but neither are producing the displays yet.

The limited number of suppliers and manufacturers is troubling for the future of the AMOLED display, and iSuppli believes that if there is no further investment in AMOLED, the technology could be lost. Considering Samsung and LG are spearheading the AMOLED technology, it is important that these are the companies recognize the demand for AMOLEDs and ramp up production sooner, rather than later. Even though both LG and Samsung plan to open up new facilities by 2012, this may not be enough to keep AMOLEDs afloat.

Smartphone companies, such as HTC, recognize the superior technology behind the AMOLED, but as the delays and shortages continue, they will have no choice but to resort to other technologies, such as AMLCD. This can already be seen with the Droid Incredible; HTC was forced to switch from AMOLED to TFT LCD, which has caused months of delays for Verizon customers.

Thoughts on iSuppli's analysis of the AMOLED shortages?

via Phandroid
Source iSuppli