Share of OLED Smartphones at Record High

  • OLED smartphones share reached 49% in Q1 2023.
  • iPhones switching to OLED was the inflection point for the tech adoption.
  • 5G penetration in lower price bands limited OLED adoption and slowed the growth rate.

The share of OLED display smartphones in global smartphone sales reached a record high of 49% in Q1 2023, up from 29% in Q1 2020, according to Counterpoint Research’s Global Handset Model Sales Tracker, published in March 2023.

The screen or display has been one of the main factors influencing consumers to purchase a smartphone. OLED display provides a better viewing experience than LCD in several aspects by offering better viewing angles, deeper blacks and increased battery life along with other features. Brands also pushed OLED displays as a differentiating factor due to the leaner and more flexible panels that allow slimmer phones with curved displays in mid-priced and premium segments. Notably, the share of OLED displays in the above $250 wholesale price band reached 94% in Q1 2023.

The launch of the iPhone 12 with OLED display was the inflection point for OLED adoption in smartphones. All iPhones launched since, apart from the SE versions, have been equipped with OLED panels and the adoption of this display technology has increased with each iteration of the device.

OLED smartphones Adoption in Q1 2018-Q1 2023

In Q1 2023, almost half of all smartphones sold had OLED displays. The rate of adoption reached its highest ever mark in February 2023. However, beyond that the growth rate plateaued due to the following reasons:

  • 5G smartphones penetration has been consistently increasing. Over half of the smartphones sold in Q1 2023 were 5G capable. A push to bring 5G to lower price bands, especially in emerging markets, is a key driving factor for this growth. However, adding 5G also meant increasing BoM costs. Due to increasing costs, certain OEMs have used LCD displays to optimize BoM costs for 5G smartphones, especially in the lower price bands. Close to half of the 5G smartphones sold globally were from the sub-$400 wholesale price band, of which 50% had LCD displays. Meanwhile, in the over $400 band, the share of 5G phones with LCD displays was just 1% in Q1 2023.
  • Although 5G is advancing, LTE still accounted for over 40% of the total market with a higher presence in price-sensitive developing economies. The use of OLED displays in LTE smartphones has almost halved over the past three years as iPhones, which use OLED, have shifted to 5G, leaving the LTE market mostly to Android devices, which mostly use LCD. The best-selling LTE devices are all entry-level Android smartphones that are mostly equipped with LCD displays. This has played a major role in dampening OLED demand.

Among OEMs, Samsung has been consistently lowering its use of OLED over the years, reaching 41% in Q1 2023, its lowest level in the past three years. This was due to the rise in popularity of Samsung’s LCD-equipped A series smartphones in the entry-level segment. Among major Chinese smartphone players, only Xiaomi increased its OLED adoption, rising to 51% in Q1 2023 from just 18% in Q1 2021, helped by its popular Redmi Note series smartphones with OLED panels. OPPO’s employment of OLED displays decreased slightly YoY during the quarter while that of vivo remained flat. Devices with LCD panels accounted for more than 60% of their sales in Q1 2023. Meanwhile, realme, in its endeavor to deliver 5G smartphones at lower prices, opted for LCDs over OLEDs, thus lowering its OLED adoption to 36% in Q1 2023 from 45% in Q1 2021.

Going forward, smartphones will increasingly adopt OLED, which will cross the 50% mark driven primarily by the launch of new iPhones. Increasing popularity of foldable smartphones, which are all equipped with flexible OLED displays, will also be a contributing factor.

Analyst Contacts

Harshit Rastogi



Related Posts

Counterpoint research is a young and fast growing research firm covering analysis of the tech industry. Coverage areas are connected devices, digital consumer goods, software & applications and other adjacent topics. We provide syndicated research reports as well as tailored. Our seminars and workshops for companies and institutions are popular and available on demand. Consulting and customized work on the above topics is provided for high precision projects.

Term of Use and Privacy Policy

Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited


In order to access Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited (Company or We hereafter) Web sites, you may be asked to complete a registration form. You are required to provide contact information which is used to enhance the user experience and determine whether you are a paid subscriber or not.
Personal Information When you register on we ask you for personal information. We use this information to provide you with the best advice and highest-quality service as well as with offers that we think are relevant to you. We may also contact you regarding a Web site problem or other customer service-related issues. We do not sell, share or rent personal information about you collected on Company Web sites.

How to unsubscribe and Termination

You may request to terminate your account or unsubscribe to any email subscriptions or mailing lists at any time. In accessing and using this Website, User agrees to comply with all applicable laws and agrees not to take any action that would compromise the security or viability of this Website. The Company may terminate User’s access to this Website at any time for any reason. The terms hereunder regarding Accuracy of Information and Third Party Rights shall survive termination.

Website Content and Copyright

This Website is the property of Counterpoint and is protected by international copyright law and conventions. We grant users the right to access and use the Website, so long as such use is for internal information purposes, and User does not alter, copy, disseminate, redistribute or republish any content or feature of this Website. User acknowledges that access to and use of this Website is subject to these TERMS OF USE and any expanded access or use must be approved in writing by the Company.
– Passwords are for user’s individual use
– Passwords may not be shared with others
– Users may not store documents in shared folders.
– Users may not redistribute documents to non-users unless otherwise stated in their contract terms.

Changes or Updates to the Website

The Company reserves the right to change, update or discontinue any aspect of this Website at any time without notice. Your continued use of the Website after any such change constitutes your agreement to these TERMS OF USE, as modified.
Accuracy of Information: While the information contained on this Website has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, We disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. User assumes sole responsibility for the use it makes of this Website to achieve his/her intended results.

Third Party Links: This Website may contain links to other third party websites, which are provided as additional resources for the convenience of Users. We do not endorse, sponsor or accept any responsibility for these third party websites, User agrees to direct any concerns relating to these third party websites to the relevant website administrator.

Cookies and Tracking

We may monitor how you use our Web sites. It is used solely for purposes of enabling us to provide you with a personalized Web site experience.
This data may also be used in the aggregate, to identify appropriate product offerings and subscription plans.
Cookies may be set in order to identify you and determine your access privileges. Cookies are simply identifiers. You have the ability to delete cookie files from your hard disk drive.