Pissed at Samsung, HTC ditches AMOLED in favor of Sony’s SCLCD displays

HTC must be really pissed at Samsung right now. Sammy’s just ruined what should have been a perfect party for the Taiwanese smartphone powerhouse.

By hitching their ride to Google last year, and agreeing to make Google branded Nexus One, HTC got their hands on the early builds of Android 2.1 OS, months before other competitors did. Which enabled them to start working on their own branded Android 2.1 handsets, the great Sense UI and all, well before anyone else.

As a result,  HTC  was first to market with branded and customized Android 2.1 superphones. And had this highly profitable category all to themselves,  for the last two months. The only other Android handset with matching specsheet- Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 – was running Android 1.6, which is strongly inferior.

With no viable competition around, HTC Android handset sales exploded. Verizon’s Droid Incredible, Sprint’s EVO 4G, Desire – all were selling at a record setting pace for HTC. But, just as HTC rushed to increase production of their Android 2.1 flagships, around comes Samsung, and says – “Sorry, no more of those shiny bright AMOLED displays for you”.

No more displays, no more phones. So today, Verizon HTC Droid Incredible has had 3 -4 weeks of backlog for more then a month, Sprint’s EVO 4G is sold out, and  European HTC Desire is pretty hard to come by, too.

Peter Chou must be in danger of going bold, pulling his hair from frustration by now.

I understand that this huge demand may have come as a surprise to HTC. And, suddenly increasing the output of AMOLED displays might be hard for Samsung, if their  production lines are already running at near 100% capacity.

But what an interesting coincidence. While HTC is scrambling, and failing to meet the demand, loosing frustrated customers, Samsung is able to ramp up the production of it’s own direct Android 2.1 competitor – Galaxy S. And launch it in multiple countries, with multiple operators, almost at once. Without any supply issues at all…

Well, both HTC and Google have had enough of Samsung for now. According to Korea Herald, HTC is ditching Samsung AM-OLED displays, and replacing them with Sony’s SCLD (Super TFT LCD) displays.

Right now, Korean telecom KT confirmed the display switch for Google Nexus One’s produced from July.

But I’m pretty sure, that HTC has the same display switch  coming to Droid Incredible, as soon as they get Verizon’s nod. HTC Desire should follow along in the nearest future, too.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • Gascogne

    Does this mean that the Htc Desire will get true 800 x 480 resolution instead of the PenTile matrix 640 x 480?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/WL33AHCUENUOLLJDXOINMORFKY peter

    S-LCD is a company co-owned by Samsung and Sony. So what HTC did was abandon one of Samsung's product for different product.

  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    Maybe. But JV is still better then pure Samsung subsidiary.

    From a subsidiary, they can get all they want. From JV with Sony, they have
    to go through the board, if they don't give money anymore…

  • http://twitter.com/nabeelburney nabeelburney

    How does the SCLD technology compare to AMOLED? Will this make a big difference to the Nexus Ones and other handsets produced with the new screens?

  • David tan

    SLCD was a venture with Samsung holding 50% +1 share while sony holding 50% – 1 share, as sony was the one approaching samsung for the JV. Samsung has more advance technology and capital resources.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/WL33AHCUENUOLLJDXOINMORFKY peter

    Well, times have changed. It looks like this JV is no more, with Samsung regaining full control of the S-LCD company. Sony is abandoning their JV because they dont have enough money. Also, they are thinking of joining with Sharp to better compete with Samsung.


  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/WL33AHCUENUOLLJDXOINMORFKY peter

    So essentially my predictions were right. HTC is abandoning one of Samsung's products for another one of their products. Its hard to not deal with Samsung in the electronics world. They have a firm grip on almost every major electronics components, from memory chips, processors, leds, backlights, screen techs etc.

    Samsung is in a unique positioin as they can be your competitor and supplier at the same time. This applies to everyone in the electronics market.

  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    Well, S-LCD may be the Samsung/Sony JV, that now is owned by Samsung. But now, that I've looked through sources, Korea Herald never says that screens are produced by this JV

    What they are talking about is SLCD technology, and that SLCD displays are produced by Sony. So Samsung might be out of the picture afterall