BOE has been planning a 8.5-Gen flexible IT AMOLED Line for a couple of years, and in November 2023, following some delays, the company officially announced its plans for the new fab. Now we hear from China that the Chengdu local government, together with Chengdu's Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone, have signed the contact with BOE to build the new plant.
The total investment in the fab is expected to reach 63 billion Yuan (over $8.7 billion USD). The fab will have a capacity of 32,000 monthly substrates (2290x2620 mm), and is expected to begin production by Q4 2026 (total construction time will be 34 months, according to the plan).
TCL CSoT demonstrated several OLED displays at CES 2024. first up we have an automotive 10.1” transparent OLED display, that offers 52% transparency. CSoT says that this is a "Smart Transparent" display, although it's not clear what is meant by that exactly.
The second display is a 14" 2.8K (2880x1800, 240 PPI) inkjet printed hybrid OLED. This is the first time that CSoT has printed a laptop AMOLED display. It uses an IGZO (Oxide-TFT) backplane, and offer a variable refresh rate (30-120Hz) to expand the battery life. This display was first shown last month, when TCL stated it is on track to start mass producing OLEDs using an inkjet printing process in the second half of 2024.
Motorola has demonstrated a new concept phone design, which they refer to as a Adaptive Display Concept. This is a smart bendable phone, that sports a 6.9" FHD+ (2220x1080) flexible AMOLED display produced by LG Display.
The adaptive display concept can be adjusted from a standard Android phone experience in a flat position to being wrapped for a wrist-worn experience or positioned in several stand modes.
DSCC shared their estimation about display fab utilization (LCD and OLEDs), with some interesting comments. The slowdown in the industry, according to DSCC, is effecting all display makers, but the slowdown in demand for OLEDs is more severe and persistent. The industry is starting to recover, but this is a bumpy ride as the total capacity still far outstrips demand, and DSCC sees a slowdown in Q4 2023.
DSCC says that the slowdown for large-screen displays bottomed out towards the end of 2022, the slowdown in mobile devices only hit bottom in early 2023. There is still a weak demand for rigid OLEDs, mostly because of the lower demand for smartphones - but also because China-based flexible OLED makers are lowering prices to make them more competitive with glass-based OLEDs.
DSCC says that OLED smartphone shipments will total 585 million units in 2023, a 0.3% decline from 2023 in terms of shipments. Revenues will total $29 billion, a 11% decline from 2023. The soft demand for smartphones is due to a slow Chinese market, high inventories in the first half of 2023 and the global macroeconomic environment.
For flexible OLEDs, DSCC expects a 14% growth in 2023 (shipments) and a 9% decline in revenues - as average sale price has dropped 20%. The industry saw aggressive price cuts by Chinese phone makers - to the point where a flexible OLED made in China is cheaper than a rigid OLED made in Korea (by SDC). The market share of flexible OLED smartphones will reach 75% in 2023 out of the total OLED smartphone market.
LG Display detailed its latest automotive display strategy. The company is now offering three product family. For luxury flagship cars (over $80,000 in cost), the company is offering its P-OLED flexible panels, that offer high performance coupled with design freedom.
For premium cars ($50,000 - $80,000) the company offers rigid OLEDs, that offer high image quality and a tandem OLED architecture for increased efficiency and lifetime. These displays are lower in cost compared to LG's P-OLEDs, and LG brands these as ATO (Advanced Thin OLEDs) as they adopt TFE encapsulation over a glass substrate. For mass market cars ($30,000 - $50,000) LGD offers LTPS LCDs.
Samsung announced several new devices today, all utilizing AMOLED displays. We'll start with the two new foldable phones, the Galaxy Z Fold5 and Z Flip5. The Fold5 offers a foldable 7.6" 120Hz 1812x2176 foldable AMOLED display, and a 6.2" 120Hz 904x2316 cover AMOLED. The phone has a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, 12 GB of RAM, up to 1TB of storage and a triple camera setup.
Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip5 smartphone offers a foldable 6.7" 120Hz 1080x2640 foldable AMOLED display, and a small 3.4" 720x748 cover Super AMOLED display. The phone has a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, 8 GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage and a dual camera setup.
Three display makers in China (BOE, Tianma and Visionox) reported their preliminary financial results for the first half of 2023. It seems as if all companies are facing a sluggish economy and lower demand for displays - but the OLED business is actually seeing increased demand.
We'll start with BOE, that expects an operating profit of around 700-800 million Yuan ($97-110 million USD) in the first half of 2023, a decrease of around 90% from last year. BOE says that it is starting to see demand increasing as the year progresses.
China-based Visionox demonstrated many OLED displays and new technologies at Display Week 2023.
So first up, we have some rollable and foldable OLEDs. You can see some impressive looking such flexible OLEDs in the video above, and Visionox featured many such displays at their booth.