updated 11:00 am EDT, Mon October 4, 2010
Samsung Wave B8530 drops AMOLED for LCD
Samsung today fueled rumors of Apple using AMOLEDs by unveiling a new version of the Wave with an LCD. The Wave II B8530 is virtually identical on the inside with a 1GHz processor, a five-megapixel camera and Bluetooth 3.0 but uses a 3.7-inch Super Clear LCD in place of the original's 3.3-inch Super AMOLED screen. The Bada OS-based phone ships to Europe in November for 429 euros ($587).
The connection to Apple is still tentative but supports the base theory of the earlier rumor. Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin had warned that Samsung was stopping production of both the Wave and the Galaxy S due to AMOLED screen supply shortages. While the Galaxy S is a strong seller and may be triggering shortages of its own, rumors at the time had suggested that Apple was buying up Samsung's 2011 AMOLED supplies and making it impractical to keep selling some current phones without reverting to LCD.
A corroborating if still unverified rumor has claimed that Apple is using Super AMOLED for a 2011 iPhone. Samsung's already known plans to ramp up production should let it make 30 million phone-sized displays each month, which would guarantee supply for both Apple and Samsung. The same OLED-Display rumor claimed that the Wave and Galaxy S were still in production, though it didn't say if they might be in low supply or if these were the same versions that launched earlier in the year.
Apple might face technical challenges in using AMOLED. No screen using the organic technology so far matches the 960x640 resolution of the iPhone 4's LCD, and current AMOLEDs have been criticized for oversaturated images versus plainer but more accurate LCDs. Samsung has usually touted Super AMOLED as having bolder colors, higher contrast and a thinner profile than LCD without sacrificing outdoor visibility.