Just a year after they officially began mass-producing OLED displays for smartphones, Sharp have now announced that they will discontinue them. The Japanese manufacturer has realised that it cannot compete with Korean and Chinese display makers.
The OLED market is wholly dominated by Samsung with an 87.2% share, the remainder split between Chinese producers BOE (5.9 percent), Ever Display (3.2 percent), Tianma (1.3 percent), and Visionox (1.3 percent). LG have only carved in a 1 percent share although reports say that it is expected to reach 2.4% in the third quarter of 2019.
During the year they made OLED panels, Sharp have produced some 60,000 displays, which amount to 0.1% market share. Sharp's majority shareholder Foxconn pushed for mass-production last year hoping to win the orders for the displays of next-generation iPhones, however, that deal didn't seem to go through.
It is as yet unconfirmed if Sharp will completely abandon their OLED manufacture or will still be making such displays for their own devices.
Sharp only managed to release one OLED-screen smartphone during the year they mass-produced this type of display: the Aquos Zero, which came with rounded corners and notches, an actual curve in the display making this the world's first flexible OLED in mass production, and amazing coverage of digital imaging standards. The Aquos Zero was however only sold by SoftBank and as a SIM-free device in Japan and in Taiwan – and is launching sales this August in Singapore and India.