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Here we go again: Samsung to ship two versions of Note 3 – AMOLED and LCD (rumor)

Due to limited supplies of AMOLED displays, Samsung is going to use LCD instead of AMOLED for a version of the Galaxy Note 3, says Korean media.

Published onJune 27, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note Note 2 aa 1600

If this report sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve heard it before. Back at the beginning of the year, it was rumored that Samsung would use LCDs instead of AMOLED displays for the Galaxy S4, or use both technologies and ship multiple variants of the phone. As it turned out, Samsung managed to muster enough Full HD AMOLED panels for the GS4, though it did use an LCD display on the Galaxy S4 Active, probably to offset the costs of ruggedizing the device.

Now, it’s time for the Galaxy Note 3 to go through the same rumors. According to the Korean publication Daum, Samsung is considering using liquid crystal displays, at least for a part of the Galaxy Note 3 production.

The alleged reasons are the limited AMOLED production capacity and the fact that AMOLED displays no longer offer Samsung a branding benefit. Let’s take a closer look.

First, Samsung Display’s AMOLED production capabilities may well be overbooked. The 5-inch Galaxy S4 is selling very well (despite rumors of a sales slowdown and misjudged demand), and ensuring supplies of AMOLED panels for the Galaxy S4 is the top priority for Samsung. Then, there are the OLED TVs that Samsung has begun to commercialize. The 55-inch and larger TV sets definitely take their toll on Samsung Display’s capacity. In short, it’s entirely plausible that Samsung Display hasn’t been able to scale up its AMOLED production as fast as Samsung Electronics has been able to sell smartphones, tablets, and TVs.

The second reason to use LCD alongside AMOLED would be brand recognition, or better said, lack of thereof. According to Daum, the Galaxy brand is already strong enough to eclipse the absence of AMOLED technology, which has long been one of the unique selling points of Samsung’s high-end devices. In other words, customers will flock to buy the Note 3 anyway, AMOLED or LCD.

If this pans out, Samsung is reportedly going to use LCDs made by Sharp, the troubled Japanese display maker in which the Korean giant has a minority share.

We’ll see how this turns out for Samsung. Minorities can be very vocal, and I am sure that many fans would be disappointed to get an LCD display instead of the vivid AMOLED.

What display technology do you prefer and why?