Applied Materials CEO: We're in the "early innings" of OLED adoption into smartphones

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Rumors of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) adding OLED (organic light-emitting diode) displays for its 10th-anniversary iPhone leads many wondering about what other premium technologies or features could be added to future smartphones.

And according to Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT) CEO Gary Dickerson, the demand for advanced chips and technologies will only keep rising as the smartphone race gets tighter and tighter.

"Well, I would say that Applied has never been in a better position. Our markets are fundamentally stronger than they've ever been," Dickerson told CNBC's " Closing Bell " on Thursday. "Applied equipment is used to manufacture every chip and advanced display in the world. We're setting records. Every quarter our markets are strong and our position in the markets have never been stronger."

OLED technology isn't anything new. OLED displays have already been implemented in Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, and Dickerson believes OLED adoption will only continue to spread across mobile.

"You know, we're really in the early innings of the adoption of OLED into mobile devices, and even at the rate of equipment being purchased today, over the next few years we can see 2 billion, or more, of equipment for Applied Materials. And then after two years, we're still at about 55 percent total adoption," Dickerson said. "So that adoption is broadening across all of the different types of mobile devices, and the manufacturers of those devices are also broadening."

Dickerson also expanded on chip-makers' and technology equipment suppliers' roles in expanding materials innovation.

"So what we're seeing in semiconductor business and in display are larger technology inflections than we've seen in decades," Dickerson said. "Memory technology is changing in many ways. Organic LEDs are also changing. Those technologies will need materials innovation to enable those inflections."





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