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Samsung Wave moves to LCD, partly backs Apple AMOLED rumors

updated 11:00 am EDT, Mon October 4, 2010

Samsung Wave B8530 drops AMOLED for LCD

Samsung today fueled rumors of Apple using AMOLEDs by unveiling a new version of the Wave with an LCD. The Wave II B8530 is virtually identical on the inside with a 1GHz processor, a five-megapixel camera and Bluetooth 3.0 but uses a 3.7-inch Super Clear LCD in place of the original's 3.3-inch Super AMOLED screen. The Bada OS-based phone ships to Europe in November for 429 euros ($587).

The connection to Apple is still tentative but supports the base theory of the earlier rumor. Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin had warned that Samsung was stopping production of both the Wave and the Galaxy S due to AMOLED screen supply shortages. While the Galaxy S is a strong seller and may be triggering shortages of its own, rumors at the time had suggested that Apple was buying up Samsung's 2011 AMOLED supplies and making it impractical to keep selling some current phones without reverting to LCD.

A corroborating if still unverified rumor has claimed that Apple is using Super AMOLED for a 2011 iPhone. Samsung's already known plans to ramp up production should let it make 30 million phone-sized displays each month, which would guarantee supply for both Apple and Samsung. The same OLED-Display rumor claimed that the Wave and Galaxy S were still in production, though it didn't say if they might be in low supply or if these were the same versions that launched earlier in the year.

Apple might face technical challenges in using AMOLED. No screen using the organic technology so far matches the 960x640 resolution of the iPhone 4's LCD, and current AMOLEDs have been criticized for oversaturated images versus plainer but more accurate LCDs. Samsung has usually touted Super AMOLED as having bolder colors, higher contrast and a thinner profile than LCD without sacrificing outdoor visibility.

by MacNN Staff



  1. WaltFrench

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ya gotta apply a SMIDGEON of logic to the spew of

    So, the firm that makes Super-AMOLEDs promised all its capacity to Apple several weeks ago, and Apple has been stockpiling screens in anticipation of a future, unannounced device. Somehow, better for Samsung to drop a unique feature that'd help you promote your own brand, and let Apple have it, even tho Apple doesn't really need it for a while.

    How can anybody think that makes sense?

    In contrast (pun intended), the other possibility is that the Super AMOLED has some real challenges in good display drivers: the Nexus One screen was a fuzzy, posterized (but shiny: heavily saturated!) mess. It also has power challenges: equivalent brightness, for typical (black on light color or on white) displays, uses MORE power than LCD. Samsung pulled the plug until they could get it competitive. They conveniently use "supply constraints" as an excuse, even tho a surge of orders is nowhere to be (officially) seen.

    Gotta think these things thru, at least a bit. Which sounds more likely?

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