OLED is an emerging display technology that enables beautiful and efficient displays and lighting panels. OLEDs are already being used in smartphones, laptops, wearables, tablets and TVs, and many of OLEDs are flexible ones.
A flexible OLED is based on a flexible substrate (usually polyimide). The first generation of OLEDs produced on these were not really flexible from the user perspective. The device maker bends the displays, or curves it - but the final user is not able to actually bend the device. These first-gen flexible OLEDs are adopted many premium smartphones, for example the Samsung edge-type Galaxy phones or Apple's latest iPhones. A plastic-based OLED has several advantages especially in mobile devices - the displays are lighter, thinner and more durable compared to glass based displays.
Second generation flexible OLED displays can be bent by the user - these can be used for example to create foldable smartphones - the first range of which started shipping in 2019. Rollable OLEDs are also now entering the market for both TVs and smartphones.
Where to buy flexible OLEDs?
While several companies (including Samsung, LG, BOE and others) are producing OLED displays, it is not straightforward to find a good and reliable supply of these displays.
If you are interested in buying a flexible OLED panel for your project or device, look no further. Our OLED Marketplace offers several flexible OLEDs, which can be ordered through us with ease.
The latest flexible OLED news:
Motorola has demonstrated a new concept phone design, which they refer to as a Adaptive Display Concept. This is a smart bendable phone, that sports a 6.9" FHD+ (2220x1080) flexible AMOLED display produced by LG Display.
The adaptive display concept can be adjusted from a standard Android phone experience in a flat position to being wrapped for a wrist-worn experience or positioned in several stand modes.
DSCC shared their estimation about display fab utilization (LCD and OLEDs), with some interesting comments. The slowdown in the industry, according to DSCC, is effecting all display makers, but the slowdown in demand for OLEDs is more severe and persistent. The industry is starting to recover, but this is a bumpy ride as the total capacity still far outstrips demand, and DSCC sees a slowdown in Q4 2023.
DSCC says that the slowdown for large-screen displays bottomed out towards the end of 2022, the slowdown in mobile devices only hit bottom in early 2023. There is still a weak demand for rigid OLEDs, mostly because of the lower demand for smartphones - but also because China-based flexible OLED makers are lowering prices to make them more competitive with glass-based OLEDs.
DSCC says that OLED smartphone shipments will total 585 million units in 2023, a 0.3% decline from 2023 in terms of shipments. Revenues will total $29 billion, a 11% decline from 2023. The soft demand for smartphones is due to a slow Chinese market, high inventories in the first half of 2023 and the global macroeconomic environment.
For flexible OLEDs, DSCC expects a 14% growth in 2023 (shipments) and a 9% decline in revenues - as average sale price has dropped 20%. The industry saw aggressive price cuts by Chinese phone makers - to the point where a flexible OLED made in China is cheaper than a rigid OLED made in Korea (by SDC). The market share of flexible OLED smartphones will reach 75% in 2023 out of the total OLED smartphone market.
LG Display detailed its latest automotive display strategy. The company is now offering three product family. For luxury flagship cars (over $80,000 in cost), the company is offering its P-OLED flexible panels, that offer high performance coupled with design freedom.
For premium cars ($50,000 - $80,000) the company offers rigid OLEDs, that offer high image quality and a tandem OLED architecture for increased efficiency and lifetime. These displays are lower in cost compared to LG's P-OLEDs, and LG brands these as ATO (Advanced Thin OLEDs) as they adopt TFE encapsulation over a glass substrate. For mass market cars ($30,000 - $50,000) LGD offers LTPS LCDs.
Samsung announced several new devices today, all utilizing AMOLED displays. We'll start with the two new foldable phones, the Galaxy Z Fold5 and Z Flip5. The Fold5 offers a foldable 7.6" 120Hz 1812x2176 foldable AMOLED display, and a 6.2" 120Hz 904x2316 cover AMOLED. The phone has a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, 12 GB of RAM, up to 1TB of storage and a triple camera setup.
Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip5 smartphone offers a foldable 6.7" 120Hz 1080x2640 foldable AMOLED display, and a small 3.4" 720x748 cover Super AMOLED display. The phone has a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, 8 GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage and a dual camera setup.
Three display makers in China (BOE, Tianma and Visionox) reported their preliminary financial results for the first half of 2023. It seems as if all companies are facing a sluggish economy and lower demand for displays - but the OLED business is actually seeing increased demand.
We'll start with BOE, that expects an operating profit of around 700-800 million Yuan ($97-110 million USD) in the first half of 2023, a decrease of around 90% from last year. BOE says that it is starting to see demand increasing as the year progresses.
China-based Visionox demonstrated many OLED displays and new technologies at Display Week 2023.
So first up, we have some rollable and foldable OLEDs. You can see some impressive looking such flexible OLEDs in the video above, and Visionox featured many such displays at their booth.
TCL CSoT had several interesting new OLED demonstrations at SID DisplayWeek 2023, all of which were produced by inkjet printing, which shows the company's commitment to the new production process.
First up is the company latest inkjet-printed panel, this time CSoT showed a 8K (7680 × 4320) 65" TV panel that is foldable (with a bending radius of 25 mm). The panel offers a peak brightness of 800 nits, a response time of under 1 ms and a refresh rate of 120Hz.
During Display Week 2023, BOE showcased a 15" 2560x1600 rollable OLED display.
The display offered a rollable radius of 10 mm (outwards), and can roll 50 mm of its length, changing from the full 15" 16:9 display to a 13.6" 24:9. This is not as impressive as Samsung's rollable demo that grew 5 times its original rolled size.
Taiwan-based AU Optronics (AUO) demonstrated several microLED display prototypes at Display Week 2023, showing the company's focus on microLED display technology as its next-gen platform.
Sample displays include a 13.5" Full-HD 5,000-nits 55% transparent display, a 17.3" transparent panel that includes an embedded LC layer so it turn from 55% transparency to an almost completely opaque display, a 14.5" 2560x1440 foldable laptop display that is based on blue microLEDs with QD color conversion, and more.