Not all phone screens are the same. Just like how they are TV with plasma, LCD and LED display screen, the same applies to mobile phones. Most of Samsung’s phones in recent years are using OLED screens which stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. On the other hand, Apple has been using the cheaper LCD screens for all of their models until the release of iPhone X. For iPhone X, Apple decided to use OLED screen, joining the ranks of Samsung.

The move from LCD screens to OLED screens cause the cost increase of screen replacements when it comes to mobile phone repairs. To understand why, it is essential to understand the difference between OLED and LCD.

LCD which stands for Liquid Crystal Display is built on a backlight which is a panel that produces a continuous white light whenever the screen is on. Filters and polarisers are positioned and layered in front of that panel to control the light level. This produces the image you view on the screen. LCD technology is the dominant technology that has been used in the mobile phone industry for almost 20 years. However, it has a significant disadvantage of using a lot of power. As the mobile phone is a portable device, anything that draws a lot of battery juice is a big drawback.

OLED technology was invented to fix this issue. Unlike LCD, OLED eradicates the use of the backlight. How it works is each pixel has a minuscule amount of organics that lights up when current flows. The brightness can be controlled at an individual pixel level. Another advantage of OLED is that because of the backlight removal, OLED screens are thinner than LCD screens. What this means is that mobile phone manufacturers are now able to produce slimmer phones that draw less power with the use of OLED screen instead of an LCD screen. While Samsung has been using OLED for quite some time, Apple had only made the change with the release of iPhone X. Besides the advantages above, OLED also produces more vibrant colours, darker blacks and brighter whites with a higher contrast ratio which translates to better images.

However, OLED is a complicated and expensive technology. It is also sensitive. OLED screen contains a fragile layer of organics which is between charged plates. Any form of exposure to moisture or damage can permanently kill them. For this reason, it makes refurbishing OLED tough and reduces the replacement screens supply. Under natural economic conditions, price increases when supply is low. Without the availability of enough refurbished OLED, it is often that when a Samsung or iPhone X phone screen needs replacement, it might require the use of a new or almost new OLED screen. A new or almost new OLED screen would be expensive and certainly much more costly than a refurbished LCD screen. This is why when you are replacing your Samsung or iPhone X OLED screens, you should reasonably expect to pay more than what it would usually cost to replace a phone that uses LCD screen.

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