SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Mobile Display, a mobile display venture of Samsung Electronics, said on Sunday the global smartphone market was expected to grow to 500 million units in 2012 from 170 million in 2009.
Despite slowing economies worldwide and falling sales in the overall mobile phone market, sales of feature-jammed smartphones, such as Apple’s iPhone and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry, continue growing.
Smartphones would account for 29 percent of the entire mobile phone market in 2012, compared with 14 percent in 2009, Samsung Mobile Display predicted in a statement summarizing its recent industry event presentation.
The display maker, a 50-50 joint venture between Samsung Electronics and Samsung SDI, also expected touchscreens would be adopted by about 50 percent of major portable devices — mobile phones, digital cameras, navigations and digital media players — to be sold in 2013.
It said growing smartphone sales and touchscreen adoptions would boost sales of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, a small but fast-growing display segment.
Makers of screens for cellphones and portable gadgets pin hopes on premium displays for high-end mobile devices in the slowing market.
OLED panels are seen as a promising next-generation display as they are thinner and offer higher quality pictures than liquid crystal and plasma panels, but a shorter life span and high prices are drawbacks.
OLED screens could appear on 50 percent of all mobile phones within next five years, said Samsung Mobile Display, the world’s No. 1 maker of active-matrix OLED.
OLEDs could also be used by 20 percent of digital cameras and 30 percent of portable game players in the same period, it added.
Reporting by Rhee So-eui; Editing by Jeremy Laurence