Although flexible screens currently account for only a small portion of the smartphone market, demand for plastic OLED panels across the industry, including mobile phones, tablets and televisions, will usher in a boom. According to IDTechEx Research, the flexible OLED screen market will generate more than $12 billion in revenue this year, with a market capitalization of $57 billion in 2026.
The growth of the market is driven by the renewal of display materials. There are currently a few mobile panel products that are transitioning from glass substrates to plastic materials, such as polyamide materials. Flexible substrate products are currently in the market, such as the Galaxy S7 Edge and Apple Watch.
Mobile phones are expected to continue to be the biggest driver of growth in the display market, and tablet and notebook products are expected to play an important role in 2020. The latest flexible OLED panels are lighter and thinner than previous glass-based panels, so manufacturers can develop more lightweight, aesthetically pleasing devices and more space for battery capacity. When the technology is mature, the automotive industry is also expected to adopt OLED displays in the future.
In addition, IDTechEx also predicts that with the advancement of R&D technology, it will be possible to create truly flexible and collapsible mobile devices in the future. In fact, there are already many prototypes for collapsible devices, such as the OPPO that can be exposed before. The prototype of the phone, as well as Samsung's flexible flexible screen.
It is worth noting that the background of this forecast is that Samsung Display and LG Display's major OLED display manufacturers have announced further investment in OLED product lines to expand production capacity. Among them, Samsung Display plans to invest more than $3 billion between 2015 and 2017 to develop a new product line, while LG Display has invested $9 billion in the new plant.