New rumor: Samsung to switch to LCD panels only for low-end and mid-range phones

by: AdrianNovember 22, 2012

With great success come great expectations, responsibility and a lot of pressure. That’s probably what Samsung officials are feeling right now, near the end of their most successful year in history when talking about mobile devices.

Not only has Sammy become the absolute smartphone king in 2012 based on total device sales, but it has also managed to find a high-end identity and steal the spotlight from Apple’s iPhones, even if for just a little bit.

But what now? Nobody doubts Samsung’s force, nobody sees the Koreans as underdogs anymore, which bumps the level of expectation for the Galaxy S4 and other 2013 high-end products to an unprecedented level. Will Samsung thrive or crack?

We’re going to be honest with you – we’re hoping it will thrive, not for us, but for Android and the smartphone world in general. And the first hints are certainly promising, starting with GS4’s rumored spec sheet, but also the most recent status update on the development of flexible displays.

What didn’t feel quite right in the rumor mill was the story about the switching from AMOLED to LCD for the upcoming top-tier Samsung phones. Fortunately, that has a good chance of not happening or at least not happening in the initially rumored form.

According to a “trusted source” close to SamMobile, Samsung is in fact thinking of bringing several 2013 devices with LCD panels onto the market, but these will mostly be entry-level and mid-range. As for high-end gadgets, including the S4 and possibly the Note 3, these will continue to be of the AMOLED variation.

Sammy’s decision might be both practical and marketing-oriented, according to the same source. Practical, as we already know the S4 is set to sport a full HD display and developing an AMOLED panel with such a high resolution is going to take a lot of time and great resources. Thus, Samsung might be looking for an easier method of getting mid-range devices out and about, and that could be equipping them with LCD screens.

And marketing-oriented in the sense that Samsung could be looking to differentiate its high-end offering from the lower-end products in a more obvious way. In that case, AMOLED panels will start to be seen as more exclusivist and a standard for high performance.

Of course, everything the “source” told SamMobile is to be taken with caution for the time being, although it’s certainly nice to be able to dream. Ah, how cool would the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 look with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution AMOLED screens! Be them flexible or not…

  • chris125

    I hope they eliminate all buttons on the s4 like in your mock up. Then it could have a 5 inch 1080p screen in same size overall shell as s3.

    • sh4d0w.phantom

      I prefer not, as having an on screen buttons require more resolution, thus the aspect ratio would not be 16:9. This will result in unsightly black bars when watching videos or movies. It would be better in my opinion if Samsung make the home button thinner.

      • chris125

        The galaxy nexus is 16:9 and has on screen buttons

  • Note Lover

    The only thing I wonder about (with the screen being completely side to side) would be accidentally hitting the screen when holding it. The small to minimal bezel doesn’t really give you much room to hold it without accidentally pressing something. Also, where would the home, search and back button be, possibly on the actual screen itself maybe? Excited to see what the S4 and Note 3 will look like…may have to get the Note 3!

  • I don’t want more than 4.7 inch…

  • Darknut

    Ugh. AMOLED? I dont know why people consider them superior to LG’s IPS displays. If im missing something technical here, feel free to fill me in, but from what I know and what Ive seen, the LG display is nicer.