BOE Display, founded in 1993 in Beijing China, is one of the world's leading display maker, producing both LCDs and OLEDs. BOE also produces LCD backlighting units and solar panels.
BOE has been producing small glass-based OLEDs for some time, but the company's focus is currently in flexible and foldable OLEDs. In October 2017 BOE started to produce flexible OLED displays at its first flexible OLED line, the Chengdu B7 6-Gen fab. The annual capacity of the B7 line, when complete and at 100% yields, will be 45,000 monthly 6-Gen substrates, or about 90 million smartphone OLEDs
In addition to the B7 fab in Chengdu, in October 2016 BOE announced another 6-Gen OLED fab, in Mianyang, with a similar capacity. In March 2018, BOE announced plans for a third 6-Gen OLED fab, this one in Chongqing. In December 2018, BOE announced plans for its fourth line in Fuzhou. BOE is also building an OLED Microdisplay fab in collaboration with OLiGHTEK.
BOE's latest OLED prototypes and panels
In May 2018 BOE demonstrated its latest flexible and foldable OLEDs at SID 2018. BOE's foldable prototype was a 6.2" WQHD (1440x3008, 538 PPI) panel that features a fold-radius of 1R and include a touch layer. BOE also demonstrated a foldable tablet (which they call a Phonblet, I am not sure if this term will catch), which includes a larger 7.56" foldable OLED. This panel features a resolution of 2048x1535 (338 PPI).
The latest BOE OLED news:
BOE has been aiming to supply OLED displays for Apple for a long time. In 2020 BOE did not pass Apple's OLED quality test for the iPhone 12 , but later it it did manage to enter Apple's supply chain, only for aftermarket (refurbished models) 6.06" LTPS AMOLED displays.
According to reports in Korea, for Apple's 2014 models, which will be introduced in 2022, BOE aims to supply similar panels (to standard models). BOE is also aiming to be the producer of Apple's iPhone 15 Pro series in 2023.The company is looking to introduce LTPO technology at its B12 AMOLED line at Chongqing, the line which has only recently started production.
Market research firm Omdia estimates that 5.58 million OLED laptop displays shipped in 2021, up 389% from 2020. The leading producer is Samsung Display with a 84% market share, followed by LG Display (10%) and BOE (5%).
Omdia estimates that in five years, OLED penetration into the laptop display market could exceed 10%. The total laptop display market in 2021 amounted to 280.85 million panels.
BOE is now mass producing flexible OLED displays in two production lines, and the company says it has shipped around 40 million OLED displays in the first three quarters of 2021. One of the company's main AMOLED customers is Apple.
A few days ago we reported that BOE started mass producing OLED displays at its 6-Gen B12 production line in Chongqing, China. With the B12 line in full capacity (expected by late 2022 or early 2023), BOE's OLED production capacity will reach 144,000 substrates.
According to reports, BOE started mass producing OLED displays at its 6-Gen B12 production line in Chongqing, China. The ramp up is in stages, with the plant expected to reach full production capacity in late 2022 or early 2023.
The reports suggest that the first panels in production now will ship to Oppo for its smartphones. Actual shipments will begin by the end of 2021 (it is likely that actual production volume right now is still low).
According to a report from China, BOE will produce around 15 million AMOLED panels for Apple in 2021, or about 10% of Apple's total OLED panel orders.
BOE is supplying displays for refurbished iPhone 12 devices, and Apple is now looking into adopting BOE's panels in the iPhone 13. It is likely that the 15 million shipments estimate relies on Apple's approval of BOE's iPhone 13 panels, and even so it might be a bit optimistic that BOE will supply so many panels by year's end.
As demand for larger mobile OLED displays, for laptops, tablets and monitors is on the rise, there are reports that Samsung Display is considering building a 8.5-Gen AMOLED fab dedicated for laptop and IT displays. SDC is developing technologies to overcome the limitation in OLED deposition.
According to a new report from Korea, China's BOE and CSoT are both looking to also establish 8-Gen OLED production lines. BOE is accelerating its plans for a 2200x2500 (8-Gen) OLED deposition line, and is developing deposition technologies towards that goal. BOE's main target is to produce smartphone OLED displays, which it hopes to supply to Apple.
According to reports from Korea, Apple has given BOE a "conditional approval" for iPhone panel supply. BOE hasn't been able to meet 100% of Apple's requirements, but it is now given time to fix these issues, and may be able to become a supplier to Apple if all goes well.
Even if BOE manage to satisfy Apple, it will take some time and so it is likely that it won't receive large orders for the iPhone 13 series. Apple currently buys all of its iPhone AMOLED panels from Samsung Display and LG Display. BOE aims to supply the panels for the standard iPhone 13 (not the Pro series).
DSCC says that smartphone OLED shipments have increased around 50% in Q1 2021 compared to last year, and the growth will continue - around 30% in Q2 2021 and over 40% in Q3.
The market share of flexible AMOLEDs out of all OLEDs (rigid + flexible) continues to rise, and in Q1 2021 77% of all smartphone OLED displays were flexible ones. Samsung is still the largest producer by far, holding a 75% market share in Q1 2021. LG Display holds a 8% share and BOE 6%.
UBI Research says that the OLED materials market will grow 17% in 2021 to $1.52 billion USD (up from $1.3 billion in 2020).
Korean OLED makers are the main customers for OLED materials, with 74.3% of the total market, while China producers represent 25.7% of the market. Samsung Display is still the leading OLED materials customers with 45.9% of the total market, LGD is second with 28.5% and BOE third with 13.7%.
BOE demonstrates several new OLED technologies at SID Displayweek 2021. First up is a new rollable display. The new display is 8-inch in size, and it features a resolution of 2592x2176 and a bending radius of 4 mm. BOE says the new display passed over 200,000 sliding cycles.
Last year at Displayweek 2020, BOE demonstrated a 12-inch rollable OLED. It has since been working with LG Electronics on the company's rollable smartphone (which was since canceled as LG withdrew from the smartphone market) and with OPPO on a 7.4-inch sliding OLED phone.