According to IDTechEx Research's latest report, OLED Display Forecasts 2016-2026: The Rise of Plastic and Flexible Displays, the plastic and flexible displays market will reach nearly $2 billion this year and will grow to $18 billion by 2020.
The two main manufacturers of OLED displays have both announced large investment to expand their production capacities. Samsung Display has plans to spend more than $3 billion between 2015 and 2017 to build a new production line. Its rival LG Display is trying to lead the industry by committing over $9 billion for two new manufacturing plants.
OLED displays that are manufactured on flexible substrates have been successfully introduced on the market, featuring in consumer devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge or the Apple Watch. Compared to conventional glass-based displays, plastic OLED displays are much thinner and lighter, enabling slimmer devices or bigger batteries. Future flexible displays will also make foldable mobile devices a reality, observes Dr Guillaume Chansin, senior technology analyst at IDTechEx.
The rise of plastic and flexible displays is the most important trend in the industry and is offering opportunities in the supply chain, notes the analyst. Recently, Kateeva raised another $88m to accelerate its growth. The company supplies the mass production equipment to deposit thin film encapsulation on flexible OLED displays. All the new investors are located in China and include BOE and TCL Capital.
"We now expect the market for plastic and flexible OLED displays will reach $18 billion by 2020. The two main segments are currently smart phones and smart watches. Once the technology becomes more mature it will be possible to see larger sizes and applications in automotive displays", writes Chansin.
New applications in wearable devices such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are also coming to market and provide new opportunities for suppliers of OLED displays. Sony, Oculus, and HTC have already announced new VR headsets based on OLED. In AR glasses, OLED microdisplays could replace LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon) as the main display technology.
The report OLED Display Forecasts 2016-2026: The Rise of Plastic and Flexible Displays gives a unique perspective on the OLED display market, leveraging the full expertise of our analysts and the direct interviews with companies in the value chain.
Based on a deep understanding of the technology roadmap and the existing bottlenecks, IDTechEx has forecasted the OLED display market in eight segments:
- Mobile phone displays
- Tablet and notebook displays
- TV panels
- Automotive and aerospace
- Wearable electronics
- Industrial and professional displays
- Other applications
Article originally posted on EE Times Europe.