Flexible AMOLED display shipments will equal more than 11% of rigid AMOLED shipments this year, according to IHS. The market is growing as vendors shift from rigid display production. Samsung Display and LG Display, in particular, are pursuing technological differentiation from rigid LCD and AMOLED panels.
Rigid AMOLED panels lost their competitive edge when the smartphone market began to slow in 2013. At this time, smartphone vendors began to adopt low-cost but high-quality panels, including LTPS LCD displays, which were sharper than the pentile-pixel AMOLED units.
Panel makers are now developing flexible units – which are especially useful for wearables – to differentiate their products. New form factors such as curved, bendable and edge AMOLED displays differ strongly from earlier rigid devices. However, these form factors have not been actively used to offer new functions or an extended user experience, notes IHS.
Analyst Jerry Kang writes, “Flexible OLED panels are used to add value, and as a way to differentiate products from traditional rigid panels… Flexible OLED panel makers should now focus on providing a more advanced form factor – and a better user experience – than what is available in current products”.