Article last updated on: Sep 03, 2018

China-based BOE display is one of the leading display producers in the world, and the company has been developing OLED technologies for many years.

BOE has been producing small glass-based OLEDs for some time, but the company's focus is currently in flexible and foldable OLEDs. In October 2017 BOE started to produce flexible OLED displays at its first flexible OLED line, the Chengdu B7 6-Gen fab. The annual capacity of the B7 line, when complete and at 100% yields, will be 45,000 monthly 6-Gen substrates, or about 90 million smartphone OLEDs

BOE Flexible AMOLED prototype photo

In addition to the B7 fab in Chengdu, in October 2016 BOE announced another 6-Gen OLED fab, in Mianyang, with a similar capacity. In March 2018, BOE announced plans for a third 6-Gen OLED fab, this one in Chongqing.

BOE's latest OLED prototypes and panels

In May 2018 BOE demonstrated its latest flexible and foldable OLEDs at SID 2018. BOE's foldable prototype was a 6.2" WQHD (1440x3008, 538 PPI) panel that features a fold-radius of 1R and include a touch layer. BOE also demonstrated a foldable tablet (which they call a Phonblet, I am not sure if this term will catch), which includes a larger 7.56" foldable OLED. This panel features a resolution of 2048x1535 (338 PPI).

BOE also demonstrated ultra-thin (0.03 mm) flexible OLEDs, large 12.3" FHD (167 PPI) automotive-grade OLEDs, and its first ink-jet printed OLED and a new 0.39" FHD OLED microdisplay.



The latest OLED news from BOE:

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).

South Korea company charged with leaking SDC's flexible OLEDs secret to Chinese display makers

South Korean prosecutors indicted a group of 11 executives and employees of Korea-based Toptec, a Samsung Electronics supplier, accusing them with leaking Samsung's flexible OLED technology to Chinese display makers. The group includes Toptec's president and managing director.

According to Nikkei Asian Review, the Toptec's executives supplied the stolen information to four companies in China - including BOE and CSoT. The cost of the information was 15.5 billion Won - or almost $14 million USD. Toptec produces display production automated equipment.

OLED Automotive Market Report

CLSA lowers its china smartphone OLED production and adoption forecasts

CLSA says that as OLED displays are too expensive for many smartphone makers and lack enough differentiation to LCDs, the company is lowering its OLED adoption forecasts. CLSA now expects China's OLED smartphone shipments to total 116 million in 2018, 143 million in 2019 and 168 million in 2020. CLSA lowered its forecasts by 12-21%. In terms of penetration into the total Chinese smartphone market, CLSA sees 14% in 2018, 18% in 2019 and 21% in 2020.

Huawei Mate 20 X photo
Looking at the OLED makers, side, CLSA sees ample OLED supply in coming years, which means that expansion is likely to slow. CLSA assumed that OLED makers will achieve 70% yields and a utilization rate of 90%, which will bring all OLED makers to have a combined production capacity of around 288 million 6" panels in 2020. As demand will be only 168 million by Chinese phone makers (and remember there's also Samsung and LGD of course), this will create quite an oversupply situation in China. CLSA cuts its China OLED production forecasts by BOE, Tianma, Visionox, CSoT and Everdisplay by 23% to 26% in coming years.

BOE demonstrates its first ink-jet printed OLED TV prototype

BOE is hosting its Global Innovation Partner Conference 2018 (BOE IPC-2018, which invited experts from all over the world to see BOE's latest technology and future trends.

BOE 55'' printed OLED TV prototype (IPC-2018)

During the event, BOE unveiled an ink-jet printed 55" UHD OLED TV prototype. This is the first time that BOE demonstrated an ink-jet printed TV (in May 2018 BOE unveiled 5.5" FHD flexible AMOLED which was also produced using a printing process).

The problematic AMOLEDs in Huawei's Mate 20 Pro are actually made by LGD, not BOE

Last week we reported that some Huawei Mate 20 Pro complain about a green tint in the smartphone's 6.39" 1440x3120 AMOLED display.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Green Tint photo

In our original post we reported that these displays are produced by BOE. However, according to Hernán Castañón (@hema), Huawei actually uses OLEDs produced by both LG Display and BOE - and all the faulty phones are one that use LGD made panels.

CLSA: BOE plans to produce 3 million AMOLED panels in the second half of 2018

BOE is ramping up its AMOLED production, and according to CLSA its target for the second half of 2018 is to produce 3 million panels. BOE is reportedly the supplier of AMOLED panels to Huawei's Mate 20 Pro smartphone, but CLSA says that the company is struggling to find customers from other smartphone makers.

BOE Flexible AMOLED prototype photo

According to CINNO, BOE produced around 1.7 million panels in the first half of 2018 - which means that it plans to almost double its shipments in the second half of the year.

Huawei launches four new AMOLED smartphones and wearables

Huawei launched several new devices yesterday, including four new AMOLED ones. The top of the line is the Mate 20 X, a large smartphone that features several high-end technologies - a 7.2" 1080x2244 (346 PPI) AMOLED display, a triple Leica cameras setup, a GoodixTech under-the-display fingerprint sensor, a 5000 mAh battery and a graphene thermal management film.

Huawei Mate 20 X photo
Huawei also launched the smaller Mate 20 Pro - another high-end smartphone that features a 6.39" 1440x3120 (538 PPI) AMOLED display (reportedly produced by BOE), an Octa-Core Kirin 980 (7 nm) chipet, 6GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, an NM card slot and a triple Leica optics camera setup. The Mate 20 Pro is the first smartphone to adopt Synaptics' complete display system solution - which includes Synaptics’ flexible chip-on-film (COF) ClearView display driver and the company's ClearPad touch controllers.

Who will win the foldable smartphone race?

In 2013, Samsung announced its YOUM flexible OLED brand, showing off several flexible OLED prototypes - including a foldable phone/tablet. Samsung never used the YOUM brand name again, but the foldable smartphone concept presented in 2013 (see image below) is still exciting consumers - and many of them are still waiting for Samsung to commercialize the technology.

Fast forward to 2015, and the first reports of Samsung's Project Valley started to surface. Samsung started to actually develop a foldable phone, with plans to release its first device in 2016. Samsung faced many challenges - and delays - in its foldable smartphone project (which was recently renamed to Project Winner) - including problems with the substrate and the software and user interface.