UBI sees fast growth in Polyimide films and ultra-thin glass for foldable smartphone displays

UBI Research estimates that foldable smartphone display makers will continue to rely on both Ultra-Thin-Glass (UTG) and Colorless Polyimide (CPI) films for at least the next five years.

Foldable UTG and CPI market forecast (2020-2024, UBI)

UBI sees demand for CPI films will reach 4.3 million units in 2020 while demand for UTG will reach 3.5 million units. Demand for both products will grow and by 2024 it will reach 37.1 million units for CPI and 30.5 million for UTG.

Omdia sees 73 million foldable AMOLEDs displays shipped in 2025

Omdia says that the global foldable OLED display market will grow from 700,000 units to 3.9 million in 2020 (a 5X increase) - and will continue its fast growth to reach 73.1 million in 2025.

TCL foldable OLED device prototype, MWC 2019

Omdia says that the main challenge of the foldable OLED market is the reliability of the displays - mainly the cover, the touch sensor and the polarizer films. Display makers will need to adopt new technologies such as ultrathin glass covers (UTG), touch sensors on TFE and color filters on TFE

Samsung Electronics is looking to develop its own ulta-thin glass cover for foldable smartphones

Samsung Electronics's 2nd foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Z Flip, sports an ultra-thin glass cover, which replaced the polyimmide one used in its previous foldable, the Galaxy Fold. The UTG glass cover is produced by Korea-based Dowoo Insys, who processes Schott's ultra thin glass.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip photo

According to a new report from Korea, Samsung Electronics wants to develop its own UTG cover, as it feels the Dowoo Insys UTG is still not robust enough and the company also wants to increase production yields and reduce costs. SE is already in talks with several glass suppliers for this project.

SDC: our ultra-thin glass is more durable than polyimide for foldable OLEDs

Earlier this month Samsung announced the Galaxy Z Flip, its 2nd foldable smartphone - and the 6.7" 1080x2636 inward foldable HDR "Dynamic AMOLED" display uses a flexible glass cover, as opposed to SDC's previous foldable OLEDs that used a flexible polyimide cover.

Samsung UTG logo

Samsung now says that it is branding its ultra-thin-glass foldable OLEDs as Samsung UTG. I'm not sure what to say regarding Samsung's slogan "Tough, yet Tender" which seems to be taken out of a completely different industry.

Samsung launches its second foldable OLED phone, the Galaxy Z Flip

Yesterday Samsung announced the Galaxy Z Flip, its 2nd foldable smartphone, features a 6.7" 1080x2636 inward foldable HDR "Dynamic AMOLED" display. The external display is a small 1.1" 112x300 Super AMOLED. The Galaxy Z Flip will ship on February 14th, starting at $1,380 in the US.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip photo

Besides the new form factor, the Z Flip uses an ultra-thin glass cover - unlike the Galaxy Fold which used a plastic one. At least according to The Verge, this makes for a big improvement - it feels better, can't easily be "marked-up" by a fingernail and there's no visible crease. The Z Flip also feels much more refined - with no creaking and with a solid-feeling hinge.

Will Samsung's next foldable phone use ultra-thin flexible glass?

Samsung is working on its next foldable phone, which according to leaks will be called the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. According to XDA's Max Weinbach, the new phone will be use ultra-thin flexible glass, instead of polyimide.

Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 - leaked photo December 2019

In November 2019 Samsung indeed signed an exclusive deal with Korea's Dowoo Insys to supply ultra-thin glass (UTG) for future foldable OLED devices. Samsung is aiming to switch to glass as its current foldable OLEDs which are protected by a plastic cover are highly prone for scratching and are very fragile.

JOLED to supply AGC with inkjet printed OLED signage displays

Japan-based glass developer Asahi Glass (AGC) is developing new ultra-thin (9 mm) glass signage display, called infoverre, that include OLED displays embedded within the glass which can be used in place where other display monitor installation was impossible - such as hanging ads in trains and buses and door pocket interior panels.

AGC - Glass Signage infoverre photo

JOLED, which recently started sampling inkjet-printed OLED display panels in its 5.5-Gen production line, is providing the OLED panels to AGC. AGC uses JOLED's 21.6" 4K rigid OLEDs - two panels for each display as the signage is double sided.

Will Samsung switch to flexible glass in future foldable OLEDs? Signs exclusive deal with Dowoo Insys

Samsung has reportedly signed an exclusive deal with Korea's Dowoo Insys to supply ultra-thin glass (UTG) to be adopted in future foldable OLED devices. As part of the deal, Samsung Ventures invested 12 billion Won ($10 million USD) in Dowoo, who will only be able to sell its glass to Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy Fold photo



According to reports from Korea, Dowoo can currently produce around 500,000 UTG units per month - which should be enough to support Samsung's foldable OLED needs in 2020. With the new investment, Dowoo plans to increase its production capacity in the future. Dowoo's display glass is less than 100um thick - and can be made thinner up to 30 um.

DSCC lowers its foldable OLED market forecasts - now sees 68 million panels shipped in 2023

DSCC updated its foldable OLED market forecasts, saying that it now expects the market to grow slower than it anticipated earlier this year. In 2019 DSCC sees 360,000 foldable panels produced in 2019, with less than 250,000 actual devices sold. By 2023, the market will grow to over 68 million units (a CAGR of 272%) generating over $8 billion in revenues.

Foldable OLED market forecast (2019-2023, DSCC August 2019)

Smartphones will remain the leading devices to adopt foldable OLEDs throughout the forecast period, and starting in 2020 DSCC sees clamshell designs with at least a 60% unit share. DSCC sees ultra-thin glass as becoming a significant player, with Samsung adopting SCHOTT UTG starting in 2020. Ultra-thin glass enables an aggressive folding radius, scratch resistance, hardness and a similar touch experience to current glass based displays.

INT Tech unveils its ultra-high density OLED display technology

Taiwan-based INT Tech unveiled its proprietary glass-based high pixel density OLED technology, that enables the production of over 2,200 PPI displays on glass. Such high resolution displays can find applications in the visually demanding devices in the medical market, the defense market and also for VR headsets.

INT Tech 2.17-inch 2228 PPI OLED display prototype
INT Tech demonstrated a 2.17” 2,228 PPI prototype (see image above). This technology can compete with OLED microdisplays (Silicon based) for high-end VR solutions for 2 merits: they can be larger than silicon-based OLED microdisplays to achieve higher FOV, and they are at a much lower cost.

Cambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDsCambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDs