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:
DSCC released the interesting (but confusing, note the legend starts at 350M) chart below, detailing the market share of smartphone OLED producers in 2016-2019. As can be seen Samsung will remain the dominant producer, but its market share in 2019 will drop from 94% in 2018 to around 85%.
Non-SDC shipments will increase to 73 million units in 2019 - led by LG Display (~25 million units), BOE (around 20 million) and Visionox (around 15 million units).
DSCC: BOE managed to triple its flexible OLED production yields, increases capacity to over 1 million flexible OLED panels per month
Market research firm DSCC says that BOE managed to dramatically increase its yields - which have tripled to over 30% by the end of 2018. The company is expected to continue and improve its yields which will reach, according to DSCC, to almost 60% by the end of 2019.
The increased yields enabled BOE to increase its flexible OLED production at its first B7 line from 125,000 units per month in Q3 2018 to almost 1 million panels per month in Q4 2018. BOE's main customer is Huawei - with its Mate 20 Pro. The increased yields means that panel production costs are falling - and DSCC actually expects BOE's production costs to fall below SDC's by the end of 2019 as BOE's fab costs are subsidized - as can be seen in the image below.
Earlier this month we reported that BOE started to construct its 3rd 6-Gen flexible AMOLED production line in Chongqing's Liangjiang district (the B12 line). The Chongqing line will join BOE's first flexible 6-Gen OLED fab in Chengdu (the B7) and its second line in Mianyang.
BOE now announced plans for another large investment in a new flexible OLED fab, this one in Fuzhou, Fujian. This fab will be similar to BOE's other fabs - a 6-Gen (1500×1850 mm) line with a capacity of 48,000 substrates. The investment will total 46.5 billion Yuan (about $6.75 billion USD). This fourth line will bring BOE's total flexible OLED capacity to 192,000 monthly substrates.
According to reports from China, last week BOE started to construct its 3rd 6-Gen flexible AMOLED production line in Chongqing's Liangjiang district (the B12 line). The investment in the new fab will total 46.5 billion Yuan, or about $7.3 billion USD.
The B12 line will have a capacity of 48,000 monthly substrates - which will bring BOE's total flexible OLED capacity to 144,000 monthly substrates (second only to Samsung).
South Korean prosecutors indicted a group of 11 executives and employees of Korea-based Toptec, a Samsung Electronics supplier, accusing them with leaking Samsung's flexible OLED technology to Chinese display makers. The group includes Toptec's president and managing director.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, the Toptec's executives supplied the stolen information to four companies in China - including BOE and CSoT. The cost of the information was 15.5 billion Won - or almost $14 million USD. Toptec produces display production automated equipment.
BOE's 1.4" round 454x454 AMOLED panels are now available on The OLED Marketplace. This is a high-end AMOLED display, suitable for smartwatch applications and more.
BOE started producing this display in 2017. This display was adopted, for example, in Fossil's Men Explorist smartwatch. If anyone is interested in these displays, let us know. Click here for more information on this panel.
CLSA says that as OLED displays are too expensive for many smartphone makers and lack enough differentiation to LCDs, the company is lowering its OLED adoption forecasts. CLSA now expects China's OLED smartphone shipments to total 116 million in 2018, 143 million in 2019 and 168 million in 2020. CLSA lowered its forecasts by 12-21%. In terms of penetration into the total Chinese smartphone market, CLSA sees 14% in 2018, 18% in 2019 and 21% in 2020.
Looking at the OLED makers, side, CLSA sees ample OLED supply in coming years, which means that expansion is likely to slow. CLSA assumed that OLED makers will achieve 70% yields and a utilization rate of 90%, which will bring all OLED makers to have a combined production capacity of around 288 million 6" panels in 2020. As demand will be only 168 million by Chinese phone makers (and remember there's also Samsung and LGD of course), this will create quite an oversupply situation in China. CLSA cuts its China OLED production forecasts by BOE, Tianma, Visionox, CSoT and Everdisplay by 23% to 26% in coming years.
BOE is hosting its Global Innovation Partner Conference 2018 (BOE IPC-2018, which invited experts from all over the world to see BOE's latest technology and future trends.
During the event, BOE unveiled an ink-jet printed 55" UHD OLED TV prototype. This is the first time that BOE demonstrated an ink-jet printed TV (in May 2018 BOE unveiled 5.5" FHD flexible AMOLED which was also produced using a printing process).
Last week we reported that some Huawei Mate 20 Pro complain about a green tint in the smartphone's 6.39" 1440x3120 AMOLED display.
In our original post we reported that these displays are produced by BOE. However, according to Hernán Castañón (@hema), Huawei actually uses OLEDs produced by both LG Display and BOE - and all the faulty phones are one that use LGD made panels.
BOE is ramping up its AMOLED production, and according to CLSA its target for the second half of 2018 is to produce 3 million panels. BOE is reportedly the supplier of AMOLED panels to Huawei's Mate 20 Pro smartphone, but CLSA says that the company is struggling to find customers from other smartphone makers.
According to CINNO, BOE produced around 1.7 million panels in the first half of 2018 - which means that it plans to almost double its shipments in the second half of the year.