Article last updated on: Aug 25, 2019

OLED is an emerging display technology that enables beautiful and efficient displays and lighting panels. OLEDs are already being used in many mobile devices and TVs, and the next generation of these panels will be flexible and bendable.

Different kinds of flexibility

When we talk about flexible OLEDs, it's important to understand what that means exactly. A flexible OLED is based on a flexible substrate which can be either plastic, metal or flexible glass. The plastic and metal panels will be light, thin and very durable - in fact they will be virtually shatter-proof.

The first range of devices that use flexible OLED displays are 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 iPhone X and Xs. Besides the beautiful designs, a flexible 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 are expected to hit the market by the end of 2019.



The latest flexible OLED news:

DSCC details the iPhone 12 screens and OLED suppliers

DSCC posted an interesting blog post, in which they detail what they believe to be Apple's iPhone 12 smartphone family specifications.

Apple iPhone 12 range - specs and OLED suppliers (DSCC May 2020)

So we start with the iPhone 12, which will use a 5.42" 2348x1048 (476 PPI) flexible AMOLED display, produced by Samsung Display. DSCC believes the iPhone 12 will use a Y-OCTA integrated touch. DSCC believes that while BOE did not manage to get its panel to the iPhone 12, it may become a supplier in 2021 to the iPhone 12s - if all goes well with the iPhone 12 Max (see below).

A Q&A with Dr. York Tsai, Wisechip's Vice President of R&D

WiseChip Semiconductor, based in Taiwan, is one of the world's leading PMOLED maker (in fact in 2015 Wisechip said it's the world's second largest). Wisechip is developing next-generation PMOLED displays, including flexible panels, transparent panels and Hyperfluorescence/TADF PMOLEDs.

Wisechip headquarters photo

WiseChip recently announced its first, and the world’s first, Hyperfluorescence display, using TADF materials provided by Kyulux. Can you tell some more about this display and its properties?

This 2.70” 128x64 product is adopted mostly in industrial products. The size matters in such market but the main problem was to increase the brightness due to the limited efficiency of the fluorescence emitters. The Hyperfluorescence technology helps to settle the problem and can reach up 2.5 times brighter. It performs much better readability so users do not have to stand right in front of the device. This feature adds to the value of the end product.

EDO starts producing tablet and laptop rigid and flexible AMOLEDs, available on the OLED Marketplace

China-based EverDisplay (EDO) has recently started to produce AMOLED displays for tablets and laptops. The first rigid AMOLEDs are a 11" 1728x2368 and 15.6" 3840x2160 4K rigid displays for tablets and laptops. The first flexible ones are a 12.8" 1888x1728 panel for tablet-like devices and a 15.6" 3840x2160 4K flexible AMOLED for laptops.

Everdisplay 6-gen flexible OLED fab Shanghai (render)

These new 11", 12.8" and 15.6" AMOLEDs are now available in the OLED Marketplace. This is great news from EDO, as up until now Samsung Display was the exclusive supplier of AMOLEDs for tablets and laptops. If you are interested in this display for your device or new project, contact us now, or check out more information over at the OLED Marketplace.

BOE to integrate Qualcomm's fingerprint sensors in flexible AMOLED displays

BOE and Qualcomm announced plans to establish a strategic collaboration to develop innovative display products featuring Qualcomm's 3D Sonic ultrasonic fingerprint sensors. BOE have already started to embed Qualcomm's sensor in its flexible OLED displays.

BOE also says that this collaboration will result in a streamlined supply chain and reduces the bill of materials (BoM) and R&D expenses expenses. BOE says that it will start shipping the integrated panels and sensors in H2 2020.

Omdia: Smartphone AMOLED shipments to rise in 2020 in a plunging smartphone market

Omdia (IHS Markit) says that even though global demand for smartphones in 2020 will drop 13% compared to 2019 due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the demand for smartphone AMOLED displays will increase by 9%. AMOLED penetration will rise sharply in 2020.

Smartphone AMOLED shipments 2017-2020 (OMDIA)

In 2020 513 million smartphone AMOLED panels will ship, up from 471 million in 2019. The growth will be entirely driven by flexible AMOLEDs which will see a 50% surge in production in 2020. Rigid OLED shipments will decline 12% in 2020.

OLED-Info's foldable, flexible, VR/AR, transparent, microdisplays and automotive OLED market reports updated to April 2020

Today we published new versions of our market reports - that cover the flexible, VR/AR, microdisplays, automotive, PMOLED and graphene OLED markets. OLED-Info provides comprehensive niche OLED market reports, and our reports cover everything you need to know about the niche market, and can be useful if you want to understand how the OLED industry works and what this technology can provide for your own industry. The reports are now updated to April 2020.

The Flexible and Foldable OLED Market Report:

  • Why flexible displays and lighting panels are so exciting
  • What kind of flexible displays are currently on the market
  • All about the foldable OLED market and industry
  • What the future holds for flexible OLEDs
  • How to acquire flexible OLEDs for your products

The report package provides a good introduction to the flexible and foldable OLED market - present and future. It details both flexible displays and lighting technologies. Read more here!

Royole announces new foldable OLED displays with much improved specifications

Chinese OLED developer Royole announced its next-generation (3rd-Gen) fully flexible OLED displays, which it refers to as "Cicada Wing". Royole says that these new displays deliver significant improvements over its previous generation displays. The new displays have a material stack of over 100 layers.

Cicada Wing displays, compared to Royole's 2nd-Gen flexible OLEDs, offer 5X higher contrast, 50% higher brightness, 20% faster response time and a better color shift. It also offers a low brightness decay (Royole says it is 3.5X better then competing foldable OLEDs).

We now list BOE's 5.99" 1080x2160 flexible smartphone AMOLED display at the OLED marketplace

We are happy to announce that we now list a new panel at the OLED Marketplace - a BOE 5.99" 1080x2160 flexible AMOLED display with a flexible touch panel.

This is a high-end smartphone display (but can be used for other applications as well) that is now in production (at BOE's B7 line in Chengdu). Check out more information over at the OLED Marketplace, or contact us now.