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AMOLED and SLCD screens will be used on Nexus One and Desire

A shortage of devices on the smartphone market like the high-end iPhone 4 smartphone is often caused by a lack of key components. Builders of LCD screens for smartphones like Samsung and LG Display can’t keep up with demand from Apple and other companies like HTC.

HTC is having problems getting enough of its AMOLED displays for use in its smartphones like the HTC Desire and the Nexus One.

HTC announced today that it would move some of its smartphones from AMOLED screens that are in short supply to a more readily available Super LCD or SLCD screens. HTC figures that the differences in the screens are so minimal that buyers won't be able to tell the difference between the two screen types. HTC will apparently continue to source as many AMOLED screens as it can and will fill in the gaps with the SLCD from Sony.

The display that will be used is the Sony VSPEC III LCD promising good color, contrast, broad viewing angles, and improved power efficiency. HTC will likely catch grief from buyers if there is no way to tell which type of screen they are getting on models that use both AMOLEDs and SLCD displays.

“HTC is experiencing high-demand for many of our phones, specifically our phones with 3.7 inch displays. The new SLCD display technology enables us to ramp up our production capabilities quickly to meet the high-demand,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation. “The SLCD displays provide consumers with a comparable visual experience to HTC’s current 3.7 inch displays with some additional benefits including battery performance.”

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Nexus One?
By Alphafox78 on 7/26/2010 12:21:17 PM , Rating: 2
Wasn't this discontinued? so, that shouldn't be contributing to a shortage in LCD screens, or am I missing something?

RE: Nexus One?
By Marlonsm on 7/26/2010 12:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
Actually not, it's just that Google is not selling it anymore, but it can still be bought from carriers, as any other phone.

RE: Nexus One?
By Alphafox78 on 7/26/2010 12:28:49 PM , Rating: 2
so even though Google discontinued it, they are still making it for other carriers?

RE: Nexus One?
By AstroCreep on 7/26/2010 1:24:55 PM , Rating: 2
Google never discontinued it. They simply stopped reselling it directly to consumers.
Since it is an HTC phone (in partnership with Google), they would be the ones to decide when it is "Discontinued".
But yes, you can still purcahse a Nexus One from any of the carriers that sell it (T-Mobile, maybe?).

RE: Nexus One?
By Chaser on 7/26/2010 2:02:24 PM , Rating: 1
Sure why don't you call around to the "any of the carriers" or any T-Mobile outlet and see if they can pull one from their vast supply in the warehouse.

Don't hold your breath. That phone is history.

RE: Nexus One?
By Chaser on 7/26/2010 2:20:29 PM , Rating: 1
Sure why don't you call around to the "any of the carriers" or any T-Mobile outlet and see if they can pull one from their vast supply in the warehouse.

Don't hold your breath. That phone is history.

RE: Nexus One?
By theapparition on 7/26/2010 5:04:21 PM , Rating: 1
You are correct. Article should have stated Incredible, rather than Nexus One. Nexus One is no longer in production.

Handset makers need to reduce models
By vision33r on 7/26/2010 12:14:41 PM , Rating: 2
HTC, Samsung, and others should reduce the number of models they are producing while supplies are tight.

There are just way too many variation models. If one model doesn't sell as well as another model and uses the same LCD, all the unsold phones are wasted.

Another bad thing with these constant releases, it's pushing demand for supplies faster than ever. If a model of droid gets a refresh one a year, that's fine but when you have 3-4 releases in a span of 6 months, some geeks are changing their phones out too quickly and their older phones gets tossed aside.

By omnicronx on 7/26/2010 12:46:22 PM , Rating: 2
I don't follow your logic, are you really trying to imply that a manufacturer will just chug along making displays for phones that do not have demand and that will sit on the shelves?

If a certain model is in high demand, it will most likely be prioritized over the device with lower demand.

Furthermore, i can't think of a phone using an AMOLED display on the market right now that is not in high demand or where shortages have not been reported.

So taking this into account, it really would not matter how you split up your inventory.

By HotFoot on 7/26/2010 1:04:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yes please save me from all this choice! /jk

Really, if they're making good money with the strategy, then it's working. If they can convince some people that they really should spend hundreds of dollars on new hardware every few months, then good for them. I hope to get at least a couple years out of my phone before I sell it, and by the time it's replaced I expect some very nice portable devices on the market.

In other news...
By nvalhalla on 7/26/2010 12:40:21 PM , Rating: 2
Due to a shortage of 1080p LCD screens, Sony had decided to use 720p screens in some models.

"Our research shows most people can't even tell the difference between 1080p and 720p. We're sure no one will mind..."

Seriously, I would be upset if they used a different screen in my phone than the one it is advertised to have. I don't want an AMOLED as it has worse direct sunlight performance and I know a few people who broke their N1 screens just setting them down, but it's not ok to just swap panels with a completely different technology. Some people want the high contrast of AMOLED and don't mind the downsides. This is a bad decision by HTC and I'm going to have to keep an eye out for things like this when I buy phones from them.

RE: In other news...
By melgross on 7/26/2010 4:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that they should tell when moving to a different technology screen. But AMOLEDS don't really have much better contrast, because under most practical usage, they are dimmer than LCDs. It's only under dimmer lighting, when LCDs are turned down that they appear to have better contrast.

You may notice that contrast isn't usually measured with AMOLED devices, because odd numbers (such as a million to one, or even infinite) will be shown, that don't represent the actual visual contrast seen most of the time.

I consider the much brighter screens of the better LCD devices much more important that the blacks from AMOLEDS. Especially from the iPhone 4 and a few of the newer Android phones.

Is it Sunlight viewable?
By bildan on 7/26/2010 12:20:28 PM , Rating: 1
I live my life outdoors so the first thing I do with a new device is walk outside into direct sunlight and see if I can read the screen - if not, no matter how many functions it offers, it's crap. No LCD or, so far, any OLED screen works in direct sunlight.

There's a huge market of people like me who would run to the nearest store to buy "outdoor friendly" devices. Just think of the military market. Why can't these guys get this?

RE: Is it Sunlight viewable?
By Solandri on 7/26/2010 1:53:56 PM , Rating: 2
Transflective screens have been around for a while. My laptop from 1995 had one and when using it in sunlight I'd just turn the backlight off. They are perfectly readable in sunlight.

Their problem is that the active area of their pixels is smaller, meaning compared side-by-side with a regular screen indoors, they appear dimmer and not as contrasty. Unfortunately, nearly all phones are sold indoors, so people don't learn about the sunlight deficiency until they've bought the product and take it outdoors.

Most of the handheld (not car-mounted) GPSes I've seen use transflective screens. I'm as puzzled as you are why they don't have a bigger presence in the cell phone market.

More Sweat Shops
By DoeBoy on 7/26/2010 1:24:52 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe they just need to open up some more sweat shops over there in China. I have no need for a smart phone myself.. I got a regular cell phone and a gaming laptop.

What a load of marketing bollocks
By AnnihilatorX on 7/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: What a load of marketing bollocks
By omnicronx on 7/26/2010 12:17:50 PM , Rating: 2
They are not really called SuperLCD's, in the end as you stated they are still LCD's. S-LCD is just the company name of the joint venture between Sony and Samsung. I'm pretty sure many Sony and Samsungs sets (especially big displays) etc use displays from a S-LCD joint venture fab.

RE: What a load of marketing bollocks
By Scabies on 7/26/2010 1:22:30 PM , Rating: 2
heh, silly me was thinking SLCD was a similar term to IPS/PVA/TN etc.

a few posters below are whining about AMOLED sunlight visibilty- go get your hands on a Galaxy S. At least the T-Mobile iteration is pretty impressive in this test.

By Cheesew1z69 on 7/26/2010 1:36:33 PM , Rating: 2

S-LCD Corporation (Hangul: ?? ???, Japanese: ??ยท???????) is a joint venture between the South Korean Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd (50% plus 1 share) and Japanese Sony Corporation (50% minus 1 share) established in April 2004 in Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea. S-LCD, as of April 25 2008, operated with a monthly production capacity of 100,000 7th Generation Amorphous Silicon panels and 50,000 8th Generation panels,[1] which are integrated into both Samsung Electronics and Sony LCD televisions and memory cards.

RE: What a load of marketing bollocks
By bodar on 7/26/2010 11:55:18 PM , Rating: 2
That's because Samsung is using Super AMOLED, not 1st-gen AMOLED:

RE: What a load of marketing bollocks
By adder on 7/27/2010 12:17:17 PM , Rating: 2
Not true the joint venture between samsung and sony called S-Lcd is for panels found in tvs.

The lcd used in sony mobile division,cameras etc use Sony own lcd panel from Sony Mobile Corporation ,so HTC will be using it from Sony mobile Corporation

By Cincybeck on 7/26/2010 10:02:51 PM , Rating: 2
Samsung is using Super AMOLED screens in the Galaxy S iterations. Supposedly the touch capacitive layer for the touch screen is built into/onto the actual AMOLED screen, so there isn't another layer of plastic/glass in between the LCD and your eyes. Not for sure, but maybe they're doing the same thing with these "new" LCDs.

By Gul Westfale on 7/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: maybe
By Marlonsm on 7/26/2010 12:31:30 PM , Rating: 3
I don't really like the idea of: "Hey, here is an inferior product, lets sell it to the developing markets, they won't notice the difference"
Well, the few people who buy this kind of (expensive) gadget here in Brazil is likely to notice it.

RE: maybe
By adiposity on 7/26/2010 12:40:33 PM , Rating: 2
Good point--in developing markets, such a phone is even more highly prized. So that might be the worst place to ship inferior screens.

OTOH, the SLCDs are supposed to be very good...and I don't think the AMOLEDs on Incredible etc., are that great. They have a grainy look on small text, due to having less than 3 subpixels per pixel.

RE: maybe
By tank171 on 7/26/2010 1:37:41 PM , Rating: 2
They have 3 subpixels per pixel... Red, green, and blue. Pretty much all displays have 3, and AMOLED is no exception. Some have 4, but I dont know of any full color ones that have less than 3.

RE: maybe
By chaos386 on 7/26/2010 2:33:40 PM , Rating: 3
Some AMOLED screens, like that on the Nexus One and other phones, use a PenTile grid, so there are in fact only two subpixels per pixel: alternating double-width red/blue subpixels and green subpixels.

Ars Technica did an article about it:

RE: maybe
By Fluppeteer on 7/26/2010 3:08:50 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely. And the "HTC figures that the differences in the screens are so minimal that buyers won't be able to tell the difference between the two screen types." is nonsense - if it weren't for the PenTile arrangement, I'd have followed my other half's lead and replaced my Touch Pro 2 with a Desire by now. (She has a Desire, she's very happy with it; I can't stand the speckles.) Given the fuss, I'm surprised HTC aren't pushing it as a genuine alternative, like the glossy/matte screen options on laptops.

Give me a DVGA or better display in an Android device and I'll get my credit card out; I'm sure there's a rush to catch up with the iPhone 4, so now feels like a bad time to buy WVGA. Especially if you bolt on a pico-projector (Samsung Beam, where art thou?)

Not that I have anything against OLED per se - it's the PenTile arrangement (which is very clever, but no match for RGB stripes of the same nominal resolution) that I dislike.

RE: maybe
By leexgx on 7/26/2010 5:11:37 PM , Rating: 2
the HTC desire i got was not impressed on the screen as my HTC HD1 and the HTC G1 text is normal on the desire (guessing the nexus one) all the dots are offset to each other so no lines any more just offset lines and not so clear text

Samsung galaxy S and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 (big one) are fully flat lines and perfect DPI rendering (text and pictures) that my dad and sister got it

bit stupid of me getting the HTC desire (was the only google phone they had that was 1ghz) but apart form that the desire is way better then the G1 every thing just happens right away as well, i can use it for more then 5hrs as well with out charging or fitting an 2200mha batt (as i did), norm use 1.5 days i get out of the HTC desire unless i run something i know will run it down faster then normal (where as the g1 or iphone seems to die quite fast under light use)

RE: maybe
By Gul Westfale on 7/26/2010 3:03:04 PM , Rating: 2
but, as i said, at a lower price point, which would make sense n a poorer country.

RE: maybe
By rudy on 7/26/2010 6:06:19 PM , Rating: 2
I know that in 1 "poorer" country these phones cost more than here take into account the lower wage and they are paying a ton more for these phones. So I think shipping them an inferior product is a really bad idea.

RE: maybe
By omnicronx on 7/26/2010 1:00:25 PM , Rating: 1
I see it as more of a
"Hey, here is a more cost effective product, lets sell it to the developing markets, where it makes more sense from an economic standpoint"

The fact that the 'few' people in Brazil (using your example) would notice does not really mean anything, if a company can attract the mass market (or just increase their market in general) by lowering the price for a small difference in the display, it not only benefits the manufacturer, but a far greater portion of the population in question.

RE: maybe
By Marlonsm on 7/26/2010 2:01:10 PM , Rating: 2
My point is that if they want to sell it to more than (rich) gadget lovers, they will have to change much more of the phone than just the screen.
The latest high-end Android over here is the Milestone (the GSM Droid), although soon the Desire and the Galaxy S might also be available. This kind of phone costs about R$1200 (some US$700) with a contract.
So it's not something most people can buy. Many people here just opt for those low-quality KIRFs, there are much more HiPhones, BlackBArries and NokLas than real iPhones, Blackberries and Nokias

RE: maybe
By yomamafor1 on 7/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: maybe
By petrosy on 7/26/2010 7:53:53 PM , Rating: 2
.... Um America is a 3rd world country... they just haven't realised it yet!

RE: maybe
By Alareth on 7/26/2010 9:51:21 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps you should do some research into what the term third world actually means.

RE: maybe
By petrosy on 7/26/2010 10:55:13 PM , Rating: 2
Don't get your panties in a knot.
It's called sarcasm not sure if you heard of it?

Maybe get a dictionary and look it up... while you there maybe look up "Socialism" "Communism" and "Democracy"... once you found the definition maybe you can enlighten some of the other US posters on what those terms mean

RE: maybe
By bill4 on 7/27/2010 10:00:26 AM , Rating: 2
More arrogant fat Europeans preaching to us lowly Americans. No wonder the world hates Europe.

BTW, Europe is much closer to third world than the USA, just saying. Especially places like Portugal and Spain.

RE: maybe
By bill4 on 7/27/2010 10:02:56 AM , Rating: 2
So perhaps by "third world" he meant they should sell these substandard phones in Europe. Lolololol. That's pretty funny. True though.

Although with Obama, America will join theEuro's down in third world land soon enough

RE: maybe
By petrosy on 7/27/2010 7:40:43 PM , Rating: 2
"More arrogant fat Europeans preaching to us lowly Americans. No wonder the world hates Europe."

Should that not be.... lowly Europeans preaching to fat Americans?

When you say the world hates Europe... you mean the US. News flash the world does not mean America... However as soon as you admit that, you will need to change the baseball "World" series to fat guy swining a stick series!

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