Foldable OLED displays can be bent by the user. These innovative displays enable new form factors, such as - such as phones that open into tablets, smart bands that open into smartphones and laptops with large displays. In 2019 the first foldable smartphones were launched, and after a rocky start, device markers are now introducing new devices to market as analysts expect increased adoption in the future.
In 2019 Samsung finally introduced the first device, the Galaxy Fold - which had a problematic launch. Since then Samsung followed up with several new foldable phones, for example the Galaxy Z Fold 2 which sports an internal foldable display at 7.6" 1768x2208 HDR10+ 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED and also a larger 6.23" 816x2260 Super AMOLED cover display. Samsung also launched the clamshell-style Galaxy Z Flip.
Several companies offer foldable phones besides Samsung, including Motorola, Huawei and others. Huawei for example launched the Mate X2 in 2021, which features an inside-folding AMOLED display, a 8-inch 90Hz 2480 x 2200 one. There is also an external 6.45-inch 1160 x 2700 90Hz (240Hz touch sampling rate) AMOLED display.
Foldable OLED laptops
Foldable OLED laptops is another promising market segment. In 2021 Lenovo started shipping the $2,499 foldable ThinkPad X1 Fold laptop, with its 13.3" 2048x1536 foldable OLED display (produced by LG Display). Hopefully more companies will follow suit and we'll see more such devices on the market soon.
The foldable OLED industry & market
If you want to learn more about the foldable OLED technology, industry and market, 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
- Foldable OLED plans and forecasts
- 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!
The latest foldable OLED news:
Flexible OLED producer Royole announced a new development kit, called the Royole RoKit, an open platform for designers to develop products based on flexible electronics. The RoKit is now shipping in the US, Europe, Japan and China.
The RoKit includes a 7.8" 1440x1920 60Hz flexible OLED display with touch input (Cicada Wing foldable OLED), Royole's fully-flexible sensor module, an Android 10 motherboard that includes HDMI to MIPI, Wi-Fi, USB and more and more accessories.
Last year DSCC estimated that the foldable OLED market will grow to 94 million panels by 2025. DSCC now updated its forecasts, and lowered its estimates to 75.6 million units in 2025.
DSCC sees Apple starting to adopt foldable OLEDs in 2023, which will boost the total market and will lead to other companies adopting foldable displays. DSCC expects foldable and rollable panels to grow at an 87.5% CAGR from 2020 to 2025. Smartphones will dominate with a market share of over 92% during the entire forecast period.
DSCC posted an interesting blog post in which the company shares its information on Samsung's upcoming foldable smartphones.
First up is the Galaxy Z Flip 3 (which is a bit strange as there's no Galaxy Z Flip 2). This new phone will feature an Ultra Thin Glass cover - which for the first time will not be exclusively produced by SCHOTT. This time Corning will supply some of the UTG for Samsung. According to DSCC, Corning’s UTG will be processed by Korean supplier eCONY. This is interesting - a while back it was reported that Samsung Electronics halted its UTG project with Corning.
Samsung Display is unveiling new OLED technologies today at SID Displayweek 2021. The video below shows all the new displays:
First up we have a tri-foldable AMOLED display shown with a smartphone prototype. The display can be folded twice inside and outside, and when fully open the display is 7.2-inch in size.
Kolon Industries says that the company is supplying colorless polyimide (CPI) films to Xiaomi - used as cover windows for Xiaomi's latest Mi Mix Fold smartphone. Xiaomi sold over 40,000 such smartphones within one minute, and the company hopes to ship around 500,000 units in total.
Kolon says it is the only company that produces such CPI films, and the company says it also supplied films for Huawei's Mate X, Motorola's Razr and Lenovo's Thinkpad X1 foldable laptop - and will also supply to Oppo and Vivo for their own foldable devices.
Trusted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple is developing its first foldable smartphone, planning to release it in 2023. The company plans to sell up to 20 million units in the first year of production.
The Apple foldable smartphone's current design uses a 8-inch 3200x1800 display. Samsung Display is expected to be the exclusive supplier of this high-end display.
At the end of last month, Xiaomi introduced its first foldable OLED device, the Mi Mix Fold smartphone, with a main 8.01-inch HDR10+ 1860x2480 AMOLED display that folds inwardly, and an external 6.52-inch 90Hz HDR10+ 840x2520 AMOLED display.
The Mi Mix Fold is now shipping in China, starting at around $1,500. According to Xiaomi, it has sold around 40,000 units in the first minute - generating over $61 million in revenue for the smartphone maker.
Chinese smartphone producer TCL unveiled an interesting new smartphone prototype (concept?) called the Fold ‘n’ Roll.
As you can see in the video, the device has a 6.87-inch OLED display when fully folded. It can open up (out-folding) into a 8.85-inch display, and then it can open even further to a 10-inch tablet-like device using a rolling mechanism. The display itself is produced by TCL's CSoT subsidiary.
Today we published new versions of our market reports - that cover the flexible, microdisplays and automotive 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 2021.
- The advantages of OLED and MicroLED microdisplays
- Information on all companies involved in this market
- What kind of displays are available on the market today
- Future technologies and roadmaps
The report package also provides a complete list of OLED and microLED microdisplays makers and their current (and future) products, and personal contact details into the leading microdisplays makers. Read more here!
Tianma unveiled a new OLED display technology, which it refers to as CFOT OLED. This new foldable AMOLED display improves over the company's previous design with a lowered power consumption. The new displays are also thinner than before. The company demonstrated a 8.3-inch CFOT OLED:
We do not know much about this new technology. But from the performance boost and the CF part of the name, it is likely that this is a polarizer-free OLED that adopts color-filters instead to remove reflections.