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. 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 devices may indeed be flexible to the final user. Finally, when the technology is ready, we may see OLED panels that you can fold, bend or stretch. This may create all sorts of exciting designs that will enable large displays to be placed in a mobile device and only be opened when required.



Flexible OLED products

In October 2013, following many years of development and prototype demonstrations, both Samsung and LG Display finally started producing flexible AMOLED displays on plastic (polyimide) substrates. Both Korean companies are now mass producing such displays, which are being used in mobile phones and wearable devices - such as the Galaxy S7 Edge (shown below), the LG G Flex 2 and Apple's Watch.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge at MWC photo

Samsung Display is currently producing flexible OLEDs in two production lines, the 5.5-Gen A2 and the and the newer A3 6-Gen A3. Samsung is producing around 9 million flexible OLEDs per month - to satisfy demand for its mobile phones and wearables - and Samsung is working on expanding its capacity as demand soars and as Apple ordered around 100 million flexible OLED panels for its future iPhones.

LG Display currently produces plastic-based OLEDs in its Gen-4.5 fab, and is investing $900 million to build new production lines as it also aims to become a major flexible AMOLED producer.

Flexible OLED lighting

OLEDs can also be used to make white lighting panels. OLED is a diffuse area lighting source with unique characteristics. While OLED lighting is still in its infancy, many believe that flexible OLED lighting panels may provide designers with a new lighting source that will create stunning designs. Currently there are two companies that produce flexible OLED lighting - LG Display who is also constructing the world's first Gen-5 OLED lighting mass production line and Konica Minolta who's also developing an amibitious flexible OLED lighting fab.

Flexible OLEDs Market Report

If you want to fully understand the flexible OLED display and lighting markets, check out our Flexible OLED Market Report. This comprehensive report explains:

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

The report package also provides a complete list of flexible OLED developers and makers and their current (and future) products, and a lot more. Read more here!

Latest Flexible OLED news

OLED-Info's flexible, VR/AR, microdisplays, automotive and graphene OLED market reports updated to January 2019

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 January 2019.

The OLED for VR/AR Market Report:

  • Why OLEDs are adopted in almost all VR HMDs
  • What kind of displays are required for VR and AR applications
  • What the future holds for the VR and AR markets
  • Current and future VR and AR systems

The report package provides a great introduction to the emerging VR and AR market, and details the role that OLED displays will have. Read more here!

BOE announces plans for its fourth flexible OLED line, in Fuzhou, Fujian

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.

Graphene for Displays and Lighting Market Report

BOE starts to construct its 3rd 6-Gen flexible OLED fab in Chongqing

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).

Here are JOLED's new OLED display prototypes

Japan-based printed OLED developer JOLED demonstrated several new OLED displays at Finetech Japan last week. We already posted on these new OLEDs, and now we have photos of the new panels.

JOLED 55'' OLED TV prototype (FineTech Japan 2018)

So first up is JOLED's first OLED TV panel. The 55" 4K (3840x2160, 80 PPI) panel offers a 120Hz refresh rate and a color gamut of 100% DCI (135% sRGB) and is printed on JOLED's Transparent Amorphous Oxide Semiconductor (TAOS) backplane.

Everdisplay's 6-Gen flexible OLED line in Shanghai is progressing, trial production to begin in January 2019

In 2016 China-based Everdisplay (EDO) started to construct a 6-Gen flexible AMOLED fab in Shanghai. In August 2017 EDO said that it finished the building's main steel frame roof, and in July 2018 EDO started to install equipment.

Everdisplay 6-gen flexible OLED fab Shanghai (render)

Everdisplay now announces that the new production line has been successfully lit for the first time. It's not exactly clear what the company means by that, but progress seems to be going well and EDO says that trial panel production will begin in January 2019, as planned.

Lyteus partners demonstrate the world's longest flexible OLED lighting device at 15 meters

The Fraunhofer FEP institute, the Holst Center and other partners have developed a 15-meter long OLED lighting panel, the longer OLED device ever (beating their own 2017 record of a 10-meter OLED). This work was done as part of the Lyteus, the EU's €14 million initiative within PI-SCALE.

Lyteus 15 meter OLED lighting roll
The partners in this project say that this is the first OLED produced using a new unique roll-to-roll (R2R) process that combines the performance of an evaporated OLED stack with solution processing of auxiliary layers.

OLEDWorks flexible OLED lighting panels, now branded as Wave, are now commercially available

In March 2018 OLEDWorks launched its first flexible OLED panels, branded as BendOLEDs. The company now announced that the panels are now commercially available - and rebranded as LumiCurve Wave, which is the first panel in OLEDWorks LumiCurve product family.

OLEDWorks Lumicurve Wave photo

The LumiCurve Wave is produced on Corning's 0.1mm thin Willow Glass flexible glass substrate. OLEDWorks says that the Wave panels are extremely thin and light and deliver the superb light quality and excellent color rendering that is uniquely achievable with OLED.

Researchers use printed red and near-infrared PLEDs to create a flexible blood oxygen sensor

Researchers from the University of California Berkley developed a new flexible and lightweight blood oxygen sensor that can map oxygen levels over large area. The sensor uses an array of red and near-infrared OLEDs, together with organic photo-diodes, printed on a flexible substrate.

Red and infrared flexible OLED-based blood oxygen sensor (UCB)

The research was supported by Cambridge Display Technology, which means that these red and near-infrared printed OLEDs use polymer emitters (PLEDs).

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters