Flexible and Foldable Panels to Enter the Market Soon, Will Micro LED Follow?

Flexible and foldable panels have created a sensation since Royole and Samsung introduced their foldable phones by the end of 2018. Soon after that, LG revealed a stunning rollable TV at CES 2019. Flexible OLED displays are getting more attentions with products launched in the market in 2019.

Samsung is expected to launch its folding smartphone in February 20 while its rival LG is also set to reveal a foldable smartphone soon. Meanwhile, Chinese smartphone makers including Oppo, Xiaomi and Huawei have all announced their plans of releasing folding phones in this year.

WitsView, a division of TrendForce, forecasts that foldable phones will account for 0.1% of the global smartphone market in 2019. Meanwhile, the penetration rate is estimated to reach 1.5% in 2021.

Apart from smartphones, flexible panels are also adopted in a wide range of applications including automotive displays. At NEPCON Japan 2019, Tienma exhibited a bendable automotive OLED display.

On the other hand, the development of Micro LED is also in progress. Samsung once again revealed its latest technology breakthrough with a 75-inch Micro LED display featuring 4K resolution. Samsung’s Micro LED chip supplier, PlayNitride, also demonstrated small-sized Micro LED displays made by RGB chips that are smaller than 30µm.

Nevertheless, the commercialization of Micro LED is still on its way. As the production cost for Micro LED displays is relatively high, Micro LED is unlikely to enter the market of consumer products such as TVs and smartphones soon. Instead, public information display (PID) and wearable devices might be the first commercialized products.

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