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Analysis: Opportunities of Flexible OLED Smartphone Display

time:2020-07-21 13:21:15

At present, the industry generally believes that flexible OLED display is the best solution for the next generation smart phone market. New smart phone products equipped with flexible OLED displays are often praised for their excellent display performance. Even in the slow demand market, this display technology is becoming more and more popular. The emergence and launch of new production capacity, the increasing output and the launch of new products all bring new opportunities for flexible OLED displays. However, the increase of cost, the decrease of finished product rate, the increase of price, the lack of product differentiation, the seasonal demand pattern and the uncertainty of economic prospect all bring great challenges to the growth of demand. Focusing on reducing costs, increasing new functions, implementing product differentiation, new appearance and industry demand for 5G models will bring more opportunities for flexible OLED displays in 2020. Flexible OLED-the best solution for the next generation of smart phones Flexible OLED display provides excellent image quality, with very high contrast, wider color gamut, faster refresh rate and wide viewing angle. In addition, it can also achieve thin, light, bending, flexible, foldable shape and design differentiation. In a mature market with slow growth in demand, smartphone brands hope to promote market demand through differentiation. Samsung's Galaxy smartphone and Apple's iPhone flagship product make flexible OLED display enter the public's field of vision. This technology is expected to occupy a dominant position in the next generation smartphone market, because it has the advantages of thinner and lighter, borderless, immersive screen and differentiated appearance. However, the high cost will limit its adoption rate in the short term, especially when most of the growth comes from mass market products with lower prices. Rigid OLED and LTPS LCD-Solutions for Mass Market Products Samsung, LGE and China's top brand manufacturers began to focus on mass market products with enhanced functions and low prices (less than US$ 500) to promote the demand in Asia-Pacific region and emerging markets. In the financial report of the second quarter of 2019, Samsung said that even though the overall market demand of smartphones declined due to the negative macroeconomic environment and seasonal weakness, Samsung's shipments increased month-on-month due to the strong sales of the new Galaxy A series (mass market models). However, due to the weak sales momentum of Galaxy S10 (flagship product) and stagnant demand for high-quality products, the sales volume of flagship models still declined month by month. Due to the increasing uncertainty of global economy and trade, it is expected that the market demand will remain weak in the second half of 2019. Samsung plans to continue to strengthen its flagship product lineup and increase sales of new Volkswagen models. Flagship products are usually equipped with flexible OLED displays, while the mass market products with lower prices of most brand manufacturers are often equipped with rigid OLED and LTPS LCD displays. Flexible OLED- Challenges and Opportunities IDC reported on July 31st that global smartphone shipments in the second quarter of 2019 decreased by 2.3% year-on-year, but it was also the strongest performance since the second quarter of 2018. According to IDC data, as the market began to stabilize again, the performance in the second quarter showed that demand began to pick up. A key driver driving demand in the second quarter is the availability of much improved mid-range equipment, which can provide high-quality design and functions while greatly reducing prices. The market share of Xiaomi, Huawei and Apple all declined, while the market share of Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo increased. Samsung and Apple are top customers of flexible OLED displays. The adoption rate of flexible OLED by other Chinese brands depends on the price of competitive panels. However, most brands will pay more attention to mass market products with lower prices, which can be realized through rigid OLED displays or even LTPS LCD. Slow demand for high-end products and higher demand for consumer products in the mid-end mass market will bring great challenges to the demand of flexible OLED displays in 2019. IDC's forecast in May 2019 shows that the recovery of the smartphone market in 2019 will continue to face enormous challenges. IDC predicts that the smartphone market will slowly recover from 2020. It is expected that the accelerated deployment of 5G, the popularity of low-cost and high-end mobile phones and the continuous growth of markets including India will promote the shipment of smart phones in the second half of 2019. In addition, when buying new mobile phones, price is still a key determinant, but this trend also provides new opportunities for mid-range price models. It is a big challenge for users to pay attention to mid-range price models, but the acceleration of 5G deployment and the launch of new high-end products will bring new opportunities for flexible OLED. Flexible OLED-higher cost, complex production and lower yield Flexible OLED displays are facing complex manufacturing problems and production management problems, which lead to higher production costs. The large-scale production of TFE technology developed by Kateeva and other companies has eliminated the need for rigid glass in the production of flexible displays. According to Kateeva, the next generation of TFE printing will achieve narrower borders, the largest ratio of screen to body, and support complex fine pattern printing. OLED industry is still looking for materials with higher efficiency and longer service life. The research and development of OLED materials and equipment is also ongoing. Universal Display Corp (UDC) has successfully realized the commercial production of phosphorescent OLED materials for many years. PHOLED materials have good power efficiency, which can greatly improve the life and performance of OLED. However, due to the low efficiency of blue light emitters, the industry still faces great challenges. OLED uses red, green and blue emitters. The industry is also developing better blue phosphorescence, among which Kyulux is developing a superfluorescence solution, and Cynora is working on TADF for light emitter technology. With the provision of thinner, lighter, more reliable, lower power consumption and better performance flexible display products in the future, the future prospects will be better. Higher cost, lower output and long production process have caused the backlog of the market, but due to customized production requirements, fewer suppliers and higher manufacturing costs, the price has not dropped significantly. As a result, flexible OLED meets the requirements of most high-end products, but does not meet the needs of consumers in the mass market. Samsung shows that it currently occupies a dominant position in the flexible OLED market, while LGD and BOE are also increasing their output and supply. In 2020, the production capacity of Tianma, Visionox and Huaxing Optoelectronics will also increase. Thereby helping to reduce the cost and improve the adoption rate. Flexible OLED-Integration, Innovation and Differentiation Help Improve Adoption Rate In the slow-growing smart phone market, the growth of flexible OLED is also very slow due to the high price. The market demand for Samsung and Apple's flexible OLED display products also began to decline. As a result, the market utilization rate of flexible displays decreases and the backlog increases. Major brand manufacturers such as Samsung and Apple are planning to launch new products to boost demand. The introduction of 5G products that require thinner displays to adapt to 5G components will also promote the market demand for flexible OLED. Technologies such as fingerprint display, embedded touch screen, perforated display, sound on display, tactile display, film on chip package (COF)/ plastic chip (COP), etc., and the integration of technologies such as folding display, etc., provide more new opportunities for flexible OLED, and promote the growth of demand and adoption rate. Due to its superior image quality, differentiated design and integration of more new functions, flexible OLED display will become the best solution for the next generation smartphone market. The complexity of the manufacturing process, low yield, high production cost and other factors may limit its adoption in the near future, especially in 2019, but in 2020, the cost will be reduced and the yield will be increased, which will eventually bring great opportunities for flexible OLED displays. Source: OFweek display network post

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