Foldgate? Galaxy Fold reviewers complain of broken screens, Samsung responds

Only yesterday we reported that early reviews of the Galaxy Fold are very positive and that Samsung says there's overwhelming demand for the new foldable device - and today we have much less positive news.

Broken Galaxy Fold screen, The Verge

At least 4 early Galaxy Fold reviewers report that only after one day of use, the screens on their devices broke. The Verge's Dieter Bohn says that a bump appeared on the crease of the phone, which quickly broke the screen - even though he did not perform any stress tests or anything - just normal phone use.

Samsung says there's overwhelming demand for the Galaxy Fold, T3 says it could truly change smartphone design

Samsung Electronics started to accept pre-orders for the Galaxy Fold a few days ago (April 14th) - and the company says it is already sold out due to "overwhelming demand" and it is no longer taking pre-orders

Samsung Galaxy Fold photo

This is great news, especially as many questioned whether customers will be willing to pay $2,000 for a foldable smartphone. Of course Samsung's foldable OLED production capacity is limited so this demand may not be actually very high.

Samsung Display starts to produce foldable OLED displays

Samsung Display announced today that it has started to mass produce foldable OLED displays, shipping the first such displays to Samsung Electronics.

Samsung Galaxy Fold photo

SDC's first foldable OLEDs are the inside-folding 7.3" 1536x2152 Infinity Flex AMOLED displays that will be used in the Samsung Galaxy Fold - which will start shipping later this month (for $2,000) in Korea and Europe.

Dell is now shipping the OLED Alienware m15 gaming laptop - the first 2019 OLED laptop!

In February 2019 Samsung Display started to mass produce its new 15.6" 3840x2160 OLED display panels, and finally we have the first laptop to ship with such a panel - Dell is now offering its 2019 Alienware m15 laptop. The 15.6" OLED display is a $350 extra compared to the regular 15.6" FHD LCD (according to Digitimes, the price gap between these two displays should have been closer to $60).

Dell Alienware m15 2019 photo

SDC is targeting premium laptops, as these ultra high resolution panels are optimized for gaming, graphic design and video streaming. At CES we saw three companies that announced 15" OLED laptops - HP with its Spectre x360, Lenovo with the Yoga C730 and Dell with the XPS 15, Dell G7 15 and the Alienware m15 which is indeed now shipping.

DSCC: AMOLED revenues to reach over $52 billion in 2023

DSCC says that OLED market revenues will grow from $26.5 billion in 2018 to $28.7 billion in 2019 and over $52 billion by 2023. The largest application will remain smartphone displays, but several other applications will generate over $1 billion in 2023 - TVs, tablets, notebooks and monitors. By area of production, TV displays will surpass smartphone displays in 2021.

AMOLED shipments by application (2017-2023, DSCC)

Samsung is still (and will remain so) the dominant AMOLED display producer, even though its market share will drop from 97% in Q1 2018 to 81% in Q4 2019. In Q1 2019 Visionox surpassed LGD to become the 2nd largest AMOLED producer (but most of Visionox's panels are low-end 5.5-inch panels). DSCC expects LGD to regain its number 2 position in the second half of 2019. BOE is the third player and will remain so following its supply agreement with Huawei.

HP to ship its first AMOLED laptops in April 2019

HP introduced its 2019 Spectre x360 15 high-end laptop in CES 2019 - including a top-of-the-line variant that sports a 15.6" 4K AMOLED display. HP originally aimed to start shipping it in March 2019, but this did not happen and according to Anandtech, the company says it now hopes to start shipping it on April 19.

HP Spectre x360 15 photo

Interestingly Anandtech also says that HP will release an updated HP Envy laptop which will also sport the same AMOLED display. We do not have more details on the new Envy laptop yet.

CLSA updates on BOE's AMOLED production plans for 2019

Market analysts from CLSA say that in 2018 BOE shipped 2.7 million flexible OLED displays to Huawei, its main customer. These were produced at BOE's Chengdu B7 6-Gen OLED fab, which has reached yields of over 75% (DSCC estimates that BOE's yields are around 50%).

CLSA says that BOE will soon start ramping the second phase of its B7 line, and the company expects to ship 30-50 million AMOLED panels in 2019. CLSA says that this is a highly aggressive target - and they believe actual shipments will only be 12.9 million in 2019.

Samsung says its display earnings were lower than expected in Q1 2019

Samsung Electronics announced that it expects its first quarter earnings to be below market expectations - due to weakness in its display and memory businesses.

Samsung says that LCD prices have dropped more than expected and demand for its flexible OLED also declined. Analysts from Susquehanna Financial Group estimate that a weak smartphone market and a "dramatic" decline of Apple iPhone OLED orders caused Samsung Display's revenue to decline around 50% compared to Q4 2018.

Reports from China suggest excellent sales of Samsung's Galaxy S10

A report from China suggests that Samsung sold over 500,000 units of its new flagship Galaxy S10 smartphones in China in only 7 days. it tok 30 days to achieve the same number of sales for Samsung's GS9 smartphone in 2018. Within two weeks of its launch, the GS10 is sold out in Hong Kong.

Samsung Galaxy S10 photo

Reviews on Samsung's GS10 has been very positive, and Samsung expects to sell 40-45 million units in 2019.

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