Amid growing demand for active matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) panels for smartphones, shipments of flexible AMOLED panels are expected to account for more than 50 percent of total AMOLED panel shipments by 2020.
According to IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO), a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions, shipments of flexible AMOLED panels are expected to reach 335.7 million units by 2020, topping those of rigid AMOLED panels at 315.9 million units. Flexible AMOLED panels are predicted to make up 52.0 percent of total AMOLED panel shipments, up from 38.9 percent in 2018.
“Growth in demand for smartphones with flexible AMOLED panels has accelerated since 2016 as demand increased for curved form or full screen displays,” said Jerry Kang, senior principal analyst of display research at IHS Markit. “Major smartphone brands have been promoting flexible AMOLED screens for their premium products, which allow a differentiated form factor from ones with rigid AMOLED and low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) liquid crystal display (LCD) panels.”
Apple has applied flexible AMOLED panels first in 2017 to the iPhone X. It is expected to launch its second phone with a flexible AMOLED panel, slightly larger than the first one, in 2018. Demand for the new iPhone is expected to contribute to boost the shipments of flexible AMOLED panels.
“Another factor is that high-end smartphone brands are now planning to launch foldable applications using flexible AMOLED panels, which is not possible using rigid AMOLED or LTPS LCD panels. Foldable AMOLED panels will be key in changing the demand situation from mobile devices in the foreseeable future,” Kang said.
Shipments of flexible AMOLED panels are expected to reach 157.6 million units in 2018, more than triple compared to 46.5 million units in 2015, with a compound annual growth rate of 50 percent.