Samsung recently announced the launch of its first folding mobile phone, the Infinity Flex Display, at the Developer Conference, which features a 7.3-inch flat-panel flexible screen.
Samsung pointed out that this is the thinnest flexible screen that has been produced so far. As Samsung's folding mobile phone will be mass-produced next year, it is officially announced that a new trend of mobile phones is coming.
BOE is ready for folding screens
Due to the large decline in panel prices, panel makers are generally facing performance pressures. For example, the gross profit margin of BOE in the first three quarters decreased by about 7 percentage points year-on-year.
However, the emerging flexible OLED field is welcoming technology conversion opportunities. BOE spent 6 years researching its own OLED technology and has bypassed Samsung to realize its own mastery of technology. The company has launched three 6-generation flexible OLED production lines in Chengdu, Mianyang and Chongqing. It will bring a monthly capacity of a total of 144,000 substrates for BOE.
At present, Chengdu's sixth-generation flexible AMOLED production line, which has been mass-produced, has a monthly production capacity of nearly 16,000 substrates and a cut-off of 200 6-inch displays per substrate. In the field of mobile phone products, BOE flexible screens have been mass-produced and supplied as the main supplier to Huawei's flagship product Mate20 Pro.
In addition, the BOE Chengdu production line has also prepared for mass production of folding screen mobile phones. At present, domestic mainstream mobile phone manufacturers have made contact with BOE on this technology, but whether to cooperate with the launch of products is subject to the terminal enterprise information.
Yu Chengdong, chairman of Huawei's terminal, said at a press conference recently that Huawei is already developing the first 5G mobile phone, which will adopt a folding screen design and will be launched next year. GF Securities (Hong Kong) previously released the Greater China smartphone industry chain report, Huawei's foldable screen new machine will be equipped with 8.0-inch BOE display.
Taiwanese manufacturers have not kept up with the progress
Fan Bozhen, senior research manager of Jibang Technology Optoelectronics Division, said that for Taiwan panel makers, he did not see any development on folding screens. Strictly speaking, Taiwan's panel makers have not kept up in this field, the most critical. There are no words on the panel, let alone eat this business opportunity.
In addition, Fan Bozhen also pointed out that so far, the Taiwan panel factory is also very conservative in the strategy of investing in OLED. Everyone is betting on the display technology of MicroLED or MiniLED. Even if it is too late to join the OLED battle, it is now too late. If the OLED panel factory is built, it will take at least two years before mass production. At that time, new capacity of OLED panels on the market has emerged.
Although there is no ambition in the folding mobile phone market from the Taiwan panel industry, from the material point of view, the TPK-KY Chenhong action of the touch panel factory is the most active, especially the nano silver that has been silently laid out. I hope that I can grab the opportunity to fold the screen.
In addition, manufacturers such as soft board manufacturers and soft copper foil substrates, including Taijun, Jialianyi, Yuding-KY, Taihong, and Yadian, have the opportunity to share a piece of the pie.
TPK-KY Chen Hong Chairman Jiang Chaorui is optimistic that the future flexible display will become the mainstream of the market, so the company will concentrate more resources on the development of flexible related touch materials and processes, for which the nano silver technology has been laid for 5 years, providing upstream Nano silver material, coating, pattern, and fit to modular one-stop production, the company is currently leading the way in technology development.
Jiang Chaorui analyzed that at this stage, the use of mobile phones is mainly based on telephone calls and information. When the 5G era is approaching, the screen will move to a large size, such as 6 to 7 inches, possibly to 10 inches. At that time, folding the mobile phone screen will have a chance to rise, but the technical development bottleneck is to protect the panel material, in the end, to use glass or film.
Jiang Chaorui believes that in the future, when the mobile phone panel is becoming more flexible and flexible, ITO (Indium Tin Oxide) technology will be replaced by metal mesh (metal network) and nano silver technology due to impedance problems.