Build­ing boom will help boost over­all ca­pac­ity

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSI­NESS - By FAN FEIFEI and CHENG YU

A con­struc­tion boom is un­der­way as ma­jor com­pa­nies in the flat screen sec­tor in­crease pro­duc­tion in high­tech AMOLED dis­play units.

In­dus­try in­sid­ers point out that the surge in up­grad­ing and build­ing new fac­to­ries has been fu­eled by the grow­ing use of ac­tive ma­trix/or­ganic light-emit­ting diode tech­nol­ogy, or AMOLED, pan­els in smart­phones and tele­vi­sions.

China, Ja­pan and South Korea plan to build the equiv­a­lent of 46 new fab­ri­ca­tion plants, known as “fabs” in the sec­tor, to pro­duce 30,000 plas­tic sub­strates.

Th­ese are the build­ing blocks of cut­ting-edge screens, ac­cord­ing to mar­ket re­search com­pany IHS Markit.

The new man­u­fac­tur­ing lines will pro­duce 18.6 mil­lion square me­ters of the new ma­te­rial or 13 times more than the in­dus­try’s cur­rent level.

“The new ca­pac­ity will rapidly in­crease the adop­tion of AMOLED pan­els in smart­phones,” said Charles An­nis, se­nior direc­tor at IHS Markit.

Fig­ures re­leased from the re­search group showed that the global AMOLED panel mar­ket is ex­pected to surge 63 per­cent this year to $25.2 bil­lion com­pared to the same pe­riod in 2016.

Man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­ity in the pan­els will also grow at a com­pound an­nual rate of 91 per­cent un­til 2020 from 1.5 mil­lion sq m to 20.1 mil­lion sq m, IHS Mar­ket re­ported.

“The dis­plays will of­fer ex­cel­lent im­age qual­ity and be a key fac­tor in sales of high-end phones,” An­nis said.

High costs might re­strict smart­phone man­u­fac­tur­ers from us­ing the tech­nol­ogy in the low-end sec­tor of the mar­ket. But flex­i­ble AMOLED dis­plays are al­ready trans­form­ing the in­dus­try in the de­sign of new, sleeker and thin­ner mod­els.

“The ap­pli­ca­tion, in fact, of th­ese pan­els can be ex­panded from smart­phones to tablets and note­books, as well as new prod­ucts, be­cause of their flex­i­ble prop­er­ties,” IHS Markit stated.

Sta­tis­tics re­leased from Sig­main­tell Con­sult­ing Co Ltd, a panel in­dus­try spe­cial­ist, showed that to­tal ship­ments of AMOLED smart­phones reached 350 mil­lion last year.

Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics Co Ltd dom­i­nated the mar­ket, while Oppo Elec­tron­ics Corp and Vivo Mo­bile Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Tech­nol­ogy Co were the best of the rest.

Other brands such as Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co, Xiaomi Corp, Gionee Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Equip­ment Co and Meizu Tech­nol­ogy Co have also launched smart­phones equipped with the screens.

“Al­though the AMOLED in­dus­try is de­vel­op­ing fast, we should keep en­hanc­ing the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the cur­rently pre­dom­i­nant LCD (liq­uid-crys­tal dis­play) tech­nol­ogy,” said Chen Li­juan, an an­a­lyst at Sig­main­tell.

“More­over, we should not just in­vest in pro­duc­tion lines, but also pay more at­ten­tion to the es­tab­lish­ment of the whole in­dus­try chain, in­clud­ing raw ma­te­rial, equip­ment and tech­nol­ogy,” Chen added.

Con­tact the writer at cheng yu@chi­

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