At present, the most eye-catching market for AMOLED and flexible display technology in China is the smartphone field. Compared with the first half of 2018, the shipment of smartphone in the first half of 2019 decreased, but the shipment of AMOLED screen increased instead of decreased, and is expected to reach 30% in the second quarter of this year. This is mainly due to the decline in the price of AMOLED and the wide acceptance of off screen fingerprint recognition in the market. With the continuation of fierce competition in the mobile phone market, the market will also have further demand for the development of AMOLED technology. Therefore, in the first half of this year, ltpo, under screen camera, 3.5D cover glass and other technologies received extensive attention.
Ltpo can take advantage of both LTPS and oxide semiconductor driver to effectively reduce screen power consumption while ensuring display effect, but the development speed of this technology will be delayed.
At present, many manufacturers have invested resources in the development of off screen cameras, but due to the inherent characteristics of AMOLED screens, it will take some time for such products to achieve better performance.
Under the current technical level, 3.5D cover glass can indeed form obvious visual differences, and there will be some differences in materials, product design and equipment. Therefore, the changes in yield and cost are also noteworthy.
Different from the above deep excavation performance on traditional mobile phones, folding screen related technology is undoubtedly a more pioneering application. Although Samsung Galaxy fold and Huawei mate x announced delayed product launch in the first half of this year, we still have a positive attitude towards the future folding display market.
One of the reasons, as mentioned above, as the smartphone market is shrinking and the first-line smartphone brands are struggling in the fierce homogenization competition, the product differentiation brought by the foldable display is one of the most deterministic solutions.
Another reason is that small and medium-sized flexible AMOLED screen manufacturers are facing serious oversupply. They are eager to find applications with larger screens to consume their capacity.
The last and most important reason is that consumers are becoming more and more aesthetic tired of the current smart phone appearance design, and then hope to see a breakthrough design.
These three forces will find a new balance in price. At present, according to the news released one after another, screen manufacturers and mobile phone brands gradually lock in the price, and whether consumers will pay in the future will finally determine the value of this market. At present, IHS Markit predicts that the shipment of folding screens will reach 50 million units by 2024.
Due to the potential of AMOLED flexible products in product differentiation, the demand and investment for flexible modules will gradually increase in 2020. At the same time, different forms of products will bring different combinations of materials and equipment. What kind of product shape mobile phone manufacturers choose and how screen manufacturers choose materials and equipment will become an important issue for the whole industry in the next step.