With Samsung Electronics, Huawei and other smartphone manufacturers already announcing new smartphones with foldable form factors, shipments of foldable active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) panels are expected to exceed 17 million units by 2021.
Only three years after the introduction of foldable form factors, foldable AMOLED panels are forecast to account for 2.4 percent of the 735 million AMOLED panels expected to ship by 2021, according to the Foldable Display Technology and Market report by IHS Markit. Foldable AMOLED panel shipment growth is forecast to accelerate after 2022, after the user experience is further enhanced.
The foldable display market is forecast to grow more rapidly, once the reliability and properties of foldable cover lenses and touch sensors – the key components that decide the folding durability – are improved.
Royole launched the world’s first foldable-screen smartphone in October 2018, while Samsung Electronics and Huawei unveiled their own foldable smartphones in February 2019. A few more brands are expected to release their own foldable devices in various concepts later this year, but some brands are still cautious about launching foldable devices.
Various sizes of foldable displays are expected in the market within next few years, beyond the current 7- to 8-inch screen sizes. Brands have to make sure their products are durable enough to be capable of repeatedly folding and unfolding. The products must also remain thin and light, even with a larger display and battery.
Foldable Display Technology & Market – 2019
This IHS Markit report includes the market demand forecast through 2025 of foldable displays, based on three growth scenarios (i.e., downside, baseline, upside). It estimates the manufacturing costs and supply capacity needed to meet market demand. It also focuses on the technology and supply chain of recent foldable displays, including cover lenses, touch sensors and polarizers.