Panel maker confident on foldable screens
Leading Chinese semiconductor display panel producer BOE Technology has expressed optimism over the future of foldable flexible screens despite disappointing market developments in the year.
“This is year one for foldable phones. In 2021, we expect a burst of explosive growth in the market,” said Chang Cheng, a vice president of BOE Technology Group.
The comments were made during a plant visit in Mianyang, Southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Thursday. The company just announced that its Mianyang plant, which produces activematrix organic light emitting diode (AMOLED) displays, achieved mass production in mid-july.
The AMOLED is thinner than thin-film transistor liquid crystal displays (LCD) and has better display capacity. The two traits offer cellphone makers more possibilities in product development. On smartphones, the display makes curved, bending and even foldable models available.
The Mianyang plant has a designed capacity of 48,000 glass substrates per month. Production now stands at 16,000 a month and the company is ratcheting up output.
The Mate X, Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s first foldable mobile phone and its second 5G handset, has received a network access license and is expected to be on sale by the end of this month, according to media reports.
“There will be new models using flexible AMOLEDS hitting the market in the latter half of this year, including models using the undercut technology for the face camera that does not hinder full screen display and foldable models,” Cheng told reporters.
Li Yaqin, a deputy general manager at industry portal sigmaintell.com, said gadgets with foldable screens will only take off when there are apps tapping the special traits of the displays and improved technology that can further improve product performance.