LONDON – The market for flexible organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays is set to climb to $94.8 million in 2014 from $21.9 million in 2013, according to market research firm IHS. This is essentially the beginning of the market for flexible displays, IHS said, asserting that the market would continue to grow strongly from 2015.
However, full flexibility and rollable displays must still wait for progress in materials and manufacturing processes, according to IHS.
OLEDs represent a major proportion of the existing small flexible display market although they will begin to see competition from flexible LCD and e-paper style displays.
"The buzz about flexible displays has been growing louder ever since Samsung Display demonstrated its Youm line of bendable OLED products at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Samsung is expected to begin shipping its first flexible OLED display, a 5-inch screen, in the second half of this year," said Vinita Jakhanwal, a mobile and emerging display market researcher at IHS, in a press release.
However, Samsung's initial display product is expected to bring the benefits over displays with glass substrates without providing full flexibility. A non-glass substrate allows a lighter display and one that is more rugged and less likely to break but will initially be flat and while able to flex it will only be able to do so on a large radius of curvature.
Flexible displays are only expected to evolve into rollable and foldable OLED screens sometime after 2016, IHS said.