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The best display tech isn't coming to phones for (at least) another decade

It looks like we'll be stuck with OLED or perhaps mini-LED for a while.
By
December 20, 2023
samsung galaxy S23 plus front
Ryan Whitwam / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • MicroLED screens are only expected to come to smartphones after 2033, the MicroLED Industry Association stated.
  • The association expects the first wearables with the tech to arrive as soon as 2026, though.

MicroLED technology is the next big step for screens, and we’ve already seen the first microLED TVs on the market (albeit for $100,000 or more). Now, an industry association has revealed when it expects smartphones to offer this display tech, and it’s years away.

The official MicroLED Industry Association released a state-of-the-industry document that also includes a roadmap for the technology. It turns out that the association only expects preliminary R&D and pilot production of microLED screens for smartphones from 2030 to 2033.

In other words, it sounds like we might only get commercial phones with microLED screens after 2033. So we could be in for a wait of a decade or more.

The roadmap is more optimistic regarding wearables, though, noting that we could see microLED panels adopted in premium wearables between 2026 and 2029, along with “full-scale production” of these screens. It also suggests that tablets, laptops, and monitors with the tech might only debut in premium products from 2030 to 2033.

Either way, it’s no surprise to hear that microLED screens won’t make it to smartphones any time soon. This technology offers numerous advantages over OLED panels, such as higher brightness and a longer lifetime. However, these screens are still extremely expensive and there simply aren’t any companies making smartphone-sized microLED panels right now.