Panel maker con­fi­dent on fold­able screens

Global Times US Edition - - BIZ UPDATE - By Chu Daye in Mianyang Page Ed­i­tor: [email protected]­al­times.com.cn

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.

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