Market Insight

The first foldable AMOLED smartphone displays are expected to hit the market this year

June 05, 2018

Jerry Kang Jerry Kang Senior Principal Analyst, Emerging Display Technologies & OLED
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  • Foldable active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) smartphone displays are expected to debut in 2018, as consumer demand for large-screen smartphones grows.
  • Foldable AMOLED displays are expected to comprise about 0.001 percent of flexible AMOLED shipments in 2018, rising to 6 percent in 2021.

Our analysis

While the flexible AMOLED display market included equal volumes of flat and curved displays in 2017, most flexible AMOLED panel suppliers are planning to put foldable AMOLED into mass production in a few years.

Flexible AMOLED displays have made rapid inroads into the flagship smartphone display market, with panel makers willing to supply differentiated products with innovative form factors, which increases the profit margin from sales of premium products. The first smartphones with foldable AMOLED displays are expected to be introduced before the end of the year.

Samsung Display has demonstrated single- and dual-foldable AMOLED displays since 2013. The company is expected to mass produce its first foldable AMOLED displays for Samsung Electronics in 2018.

BOE has developed a prototype of a 7.56-inch 2048x1536 foldable AMOLED display with a 5-millimeter bending radius, which reliably bends 100,000 times without breaking. BOE is looking to supply this foldable AMOLED display to Huawei this year.

AUO has developed a 5-inch 1280x720 AMOLED display, with a 4-millimeter bi-directional bending radius. The company says it will bend more than 1.5 million times without breaking. It includes an integrated touch sensor and 4H cover film.

Currently, smartphone brands are focusing on increasing display size and ratio, in order to maximize smartphone usability. These new foldable displays will be used primarily in larger-sized premium mobile devices, with transformable displays that combine the usability of smartphones and tablets. Resulting higher prices could be a barrier to adoption, however.

IHS Markit AMOLED & Flexible Display Intelligence Service

This service covers the latest market trends and forecasts for the AMOLED display industries, technologies and capacity analysis. It includes the business strategies of panel suppliers by region.

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