Foldable OLEDs: introduction and market status

Foldable OLED displays can be bent by the user. These innovative displays enable new form factors, such as - such as phones that open into tablets, smart bands that open into smartphones and laptops with large displays. In 2019 the first foldable smartphones were launched, and after a rocky start, device markers are now introducing new devices to market as analysts expect increased adoption in the future.

Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold photo

Foldable smartphones

In 2019 Samsung finally introduced the first device, the Galaxy Fold - which had a problematic launch. Since then Samsung followed up with several new foldable phones, for example the Galaxy Z Fold 2 which sports an internal foldable display at 7.6" 1768x2208 HDR10+ 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED and also a larger 6.23" 816x2260 Super AMOLED cover display. Samsung also launched the clamshell-style Galaxy Z Flip.

Several companies offer foldable phones besides Samsung, including Motorola, Huawei and others. Huawei for example launched the Mate X2 in 2021, which features an inside-folding AMOLED display, a 8-inch 90Hz 2480 x 2200 one. There is also an external 6.45-inch 1160 x 2700 90Hz (240Hz touch sampling rate) AMOLED display.

Huawei Mate X2 photo

Foldable OLED laptops

Foldable OLED laptops is another promising market segment. In 2021 Lenovo started shipping the $2,499 foldable ThinkPad X1 Fold laptop, with its 13.3" 2048x1536 foldable OLED display (produced by LG Display). Hopefully more companies will follow suit and we'll see more such devices on the market soon. In 2023, HP announced the Spectre Foldable PC, based on a 17" 2560x1920 foldable OLED display.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold photo

UTG glass developer Dowoo Insys plans to IPO in 2025

A report from Korea suggests that Dowoo Insys is planning to IPO in 2025. The company will list on the Korean Exchange, and it plans to file the preliminary information and documents by the end of the summer.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 phone

Dowoo Insys was established in 2010, to develop glass products for the display industry. The company's main product is thin flexible glass covers for foldable displays - UTG glass - which it supplies to Samsung Display (its main customer). Dowoo does not produce its own glass - it buys flexible glass from Schott and then treats it in its own facilities. 

Read the full story Posted: Jun 17,2024

DSCC sees 9.25 million foldable OLED panels shipped in Q2 2024, with Samsung returning to a dominant position

DSCC says that foldable OLED shipments increased 46% in the first quarter of 2024 compared to last year, to reach almost 4 million units. 

BOE was leading the market in Q1 2024, with a market share of 48% (up from 43% in Q1 2023). The two leading foldable smartphone models were Huawei's Mate X5 and Pocket 2, using panels supplied by BOE. In fact Huawei had a market share of 55% in the foldable smartphone market.

Read the full story Posted: Jun 07,2024

Omdia estimates that China's foldable OLED panel production will surpass Korea's in H1 2024

Omdia says that China's OLED makers have been making rapid progress with their foldable OLED capabilities, to the point that in the first half of 2024, China's production of foldable OLED panels will surpass Korea's.

Omdia predicts that in the first half of 2024, Samsung Display will produce 5.7 million panels, while China's producers will produce 6.4 million panels. The market is set to grow quickly, from 10.7 million units in 2021 to 30 million panels in 2024. The market leader remains Samsung (47% in 2024H1), followed by BOE (40%), Visionox (9%) and TCL CSoT (4%).

Read the full story Posted: May 29,2024

Samsung Display increases focus on small and medium AMOLED production

A report from Korea suggests that SDC has transferred around 500 of its engineers from its large-area OLED development division, or about 30% of them, to its divisions that focus on small and medium-sized AMOLED development.

Samsung Display S-Foldalbe AMOLED smartphone prototype (SID DIsplayweek 2021)

Samsung tri-folding AMOLED prototype

According to the report, the main reason for SDC's change of priorities is due to the need to remain competitive with Chinese-based OLED makers that are offering OLED panels at low costs. Samsung estimates that it is ahead of its Chinese competitors by only a year or a year and half, and it is just a matter of time until Chinese companies catch up with South Korea makers (SDC and LGD).

Read the full story Posted: Apr 06,2024

UBI: the foldable OLED market will grow to 52.7 million units in 2028, Samsung Display to remain the market leader

UBI Research released its latest foldable OLED shipments forecast, saying that it expects the market to grow from 27.4 million units in 2024 to 52.7 million 2028.

The market is dominated by Samsung Display, which shipped 13.4 million foldable OLEDs in 2023, and holds a 61% market. Samsung is followed by BOE (6.2 million, growing 3X from 2022), TCL CSOT (1.1 million) and Visionox (1.1 million). UBI expects Samsung Display to remain the clear leader in this market as it is the sole supplier to Samsung Electronics - and it is also expected that Samsung will be the exclusive supplier to Apple's future foldable iPhones.

Read the full story Posted: Apr 03,2024

Samsung shows its latest flexible, foldable and rollable OLED prototypes

Last week Samsung Display showed its latest flexible OLED prototypes, with some impressive new displays. We'll start with the OLED Cling Band, a sort of wrist smartwach that wraps around your hand.

Samsung also showed a 17.3" foldable laptop display, a rollable and foldable device (Rollable Flex) that is 12.4" when fully opened, tri-folded displays and more. These are not new displays, but it is clear that Samsung is pushing forward with its flexible display technology to new designs.

Read the full story Posted: Mar 01,2024

Rumors say Huawei is readying a tri-folding OLED smartphone, and Samsung may respond with its first rollable phone

Interesting rumors from China suggest that Huawei is planning to release the industry's first smartphone that sports a tri-foldable OLED. When fully open, the device will sport a 10" display, which means it will double as a full tablet and a smartphone. Huawei's plan is to release it in the first half of 2024.

Samsung Display S-Foldalbe AMOLED smartphone prototype (SID DIsplayweek 2021)

Samsung tri-folding AMOLED prototype

The rumors continue to suggest that Samsung Electronics noticed Huawei's plan, and the Korean smartphone maker may decide to be the first on the market with a novel device, launching its own tri-folding phone - or perhaps even the first rollable phone

Read the full story Posted: Feb 15,2024

DSCC: 2023 is a mixed year for foldable smartphone, shipments to reach 15.8 million units

DSCC estimates that foldable smartphone shipments reached 7 million units in Q3 2023, up 16% from last year and 215% from last quarter, as Samsung successfully launched the ` and Z Fold 5 phones, and other smartphone brands from China also ramped up their foldable smartphone sales.

Samsung's market share in the smartphone market was 72%, followed by Huawei (9%) and Honor (8%). DSCC expects foldable smartphone sales to fall 35% in the next quarter (but rise 47% compared to last year) on lower Samsung shipments and delays in new product announcements. In 2023, DSCC sees foldable smartphone shipments to reach 15.8 million units in total.

Read the full story Posted: Dec 08,2023