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 held its annual Innovation Partner Conference in Beijing, and the company's chairman said that the company aims to produce at least 70 million flexible AMOLED panels. This is a sharp increase from what BOE estimated only last month.
BOE has been known to make aggressive targets - it first aimed to produce 30-50 million AMOLED panels in 2019, but eventually the number of panels in 2019 will be around 20 million.
BOE announced on its official Weibo channel that it supplies the foldable OLEDs to the Huawei Mate X and the Motorola Razr. We already know that BOE produces the 8" 2200x2480 foldable OLED used in the Mate X, but we did not know that BOE supplies the 6.2" 2142x876 foldable display used in the new Razr.
This is a bit of a surprise - as Motorola, on its official specs, says that the Razr uses a pOLED display which is an LGD brand.
China-based display maker BOE posted its financial results for Q3 2019. While BOE first hoped to ship 30-50 million OLED panels in 2019, it lowered its forecast to 30 million in August and now BOE says that it will ship around 20 million panels in 2019.
BOE is confident, though, that it will ship at least 40 million OLEDs in 2020. BOE says that next year it will start shipments to customers outside of China (earlier this month it was reported that BOE is approaching Korean phone makers as it aims to increase its OLED customer base).
In February 2019 Huawei announced its first foldable smartphone, the Mate X with a 8" 2200x2480 foldable AMOLED display that folds outwards. Huawei hoped to launch it in the summer of 2019, but it faced several delays. Yesterday Huawei finally announced that the Mate X will start shipping on November 15th.
The price of the Mate X will be 16,999 Yuan (around $2,400) - even higher than Samsung's $2,000 Galaxy Fold. Obviously this is a premium device for early adopters. The 8" foldable AMOLED display is produced by BOE.
In July we reported that LG Electronics is in talks with China-based BOE to supply OLED panels for future smartphones, to replace LGE's current supplier - its sister company LG Display. A new report from Korea's ETNews confirms this, saying that LG Display is focusing on Apple as its future customers, and LGE's small shipments is not critical for the company.
ETNews also suggests that Samsung Electronics is in early talks with China's CSoT for flexible OLED supply for low-end and mid-tier smartphones. CSoT is not yet producing flexible OLEDs in volume - the company started pilot production in its Wuhan fab in May 2019.
In March 2017 OLED maker BOE Technology and OLED microdisplay maker OLiGHTEK announced a new $170 million joint-venture to produce OLED microdisplays for the consumer VR and AR markets. BOE now finally started shipping its first OLED microdisplay - a 0.39" Full-HD (1920x1080, 5644 PPI) one.
We are happy to report that this new high-quality display is already listed at the OLED Marketplace, and we have access to this display at a relatively low cost. Contact us if you are interested in this display.
DSCC says that OLED mobile display production capacity will overtake LCD capacity in 2020, and will reach a 65% market share in 2025.
Looking at the entire display market (mobile and TV and others), DSCC sees OLED production capacity rising at a 20% CAGR till 2025, and OLED's market share will rise from 5% in 2019 to 14% in 2025.
IHS Markit says that the global OLED smartphone market totaled $3.8 billion in Q2 2019. The top producer was Samsung Display had a market share of 82% ($3.15 billion in revenues).
The second largest OLED smartphone maker is China's BOE Display that had a 12% market share ($456 million in revenues). BOE experienced very vast growth - its market share in Q4 2018 was only 4% and in Q1 2019 it was 9%.
DSCC updated its display equipment spending forecast, and the company now expects LCD spending to stop completely in 2023 - as all new production lines from 2023 forward will be producing OLED displays (DSCC does not include other display technologies in this report, such as QDEL, e-paper and Micro-LEDs).
2019 will see 26% decrease in spending from 2018, with OLED spending down 64%. DSCC sees a rebound in 2020, where OLED spending will jump 132% due to new mobile flexible OLED lines in China.
BOE says that it shipped 9.1 million AMOLED displays in the first half of 2019 - better than expected as Huawei increased its OLED penetration to 24% in Q2 2019 (up from 9% in Q2 2018). BOE though warns of weak demand for flexible OLEDs and the company lowered its 2019 fully-year guidance to 30 million units (down from 30-50 million).
BOE further announced that it will delay the phase 3 of its Chengdu B7 6-Gen OLED fab due to the weak flexible OLED demand. CLSA estimates that BOE ships more than 60% of Huawei's flexible OLED displays. Over 90% of BOE's OLED revenue is attributed to Huawei, but BOE aims to add one or two new customers starting in Q4 2019.