Flexible organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays is one of the key technology advancements in digital displays. In the past couple of decades, the demand for technology has picked up significant pace for being used in designing innovative displays in vast range of consumer electronics, notably in smartphones and other wearable devices. The flexibility to bend, roll, or twist the displays while still in use account for the attractiveness of these OLED displays, apart from the advantage of low power consumption.
The growth of the flexible OLED displays seem to be underpinned by constant design improvements and technology breakthrough in hardware. The advent of novel materials in fabricating flexible OLED displays has enhanced the functionalities markedly. The demand continue to gather steam in several consumer markets driven by their adoption in wearable devices.
Rising spends by prominent smartphone makers to include flexible displays in smartphones is expected to create vast promising avenues in the market. The soaring popularity of curved displays for smart TVs and a vast assortment of display devices will bolster the uptake in various developing and developed regions. Bustling with opportunities, the market for flexible OLED displays is projected to touch a valuation of US$ 3.1 billion by the end of 2026, according to Transparency Market Research. The global market will clock a spectacular CAGR of 35.0% from 2017 to 2026.
Which product segment is set to be the most popular among consumers?
Broadly, the two types of control schemes used for flexible OLED: active-matrix OLED (AMOLED) and Passive Matrix OLED (PMOLED). Of the two, the AMOLED is estimated to be the most attractive segment as it alone accounted for a leading revenue share of almost 90.0% in 2017. According to TMR, the opportunities in the segment is projected to reach US$ 3 billion by the end of 2026 and is expected to hold its sway throughout the assessment timeline. However, over the years, industry analysts contend that with the emerging popularity of PMOLED in the display market, the segment is likely to gain some share.
The various types of flexibility are curved OLED display and foldable OLED display. There is a widespread uptake of curved flexible OLED displays in various devices. However, considering the saturated nature, the demand may witness a slight slump over the forecast period. Nevertheless, the demand for curved display is still estimated to supersede that of foldable OLED displays, at least for the next 10 years.
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In recent years, there have been a spate of collaborations and partnerships between smartphone makers and manufacturers of flexible OLED displays. In a recent partnership in January 2018, LG Display, a worldwide LCD panel maker, intends to supply flexible OLED displays to Sony Corporation. The partnership will have a profound impact on the mass production of display devices and bodes well for both the partners. Essentially, LG Display seeks to find customers for its flexible OLED displays while the deal will help Sony bolster its presence in the global smartphone market.
Which is the most attractive application area for flexible OLED displays?
The broad application areas for the use of flexible OLED displays are lighting, smartphones, televisions, monitors, and wearable devices. Of all the segments, lighting and smartphones are anticipated to witness widespread adoption. The lighting segment alone is forecast to account for an opportunity of around US$ 237 million, vis-à-vis absolute dollar terms, during 2017–2026.
The staggering rise in adoption of smartphones is also driving the demand for flexible OLED displays for an engaging user experience. A major chunk of worldwide demand for these displays will come from key economies of Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ). Countries such as China, India, and Vietnam are forecast to present abundant opportunities for manufacturers to capitalize on.