IHS: Flexible AMOLED Capacity to Exceed Demand by 44% in 2018


With flexible AMOLED panel fabs building at a quicker pace than global demand, supply capacity of flexible AMOLED panels is forecast to be 44% higher than global demand in 2018, according to IHS Markit.

The net area capacity of flexible AMOLED panels is expected to reach 4.4 million m² in 2018, up 100% from 2017. However, demand for flexible AMOLED panels is increasing more slowly than suppliers’ expectations, at 69.9% to 2.4 million m² in 2018, according to the firm. Jerry Kang, principal analyst of display research at IHS Markit, said:

480474“Panel makers had expected that flexible AMOLED panels would penetrate into the smartphone market fast. But, this year, most smartphone brands have focused on LCD or rigid AMOLED wide-screens with an 18:9 or higher aspect ratio rather than curved screens using flexible AMOLED panels because the price of flexible AMOLED module is still much higher”.

According to the OLED Display Cost Model by IHS Markit, it costs 1.5 times more to produce flexible OLED panels in Gen 6 production lines than to make rigid OLED panels in the same Gen 6 line. Kang continued:

“The wide-screen smartphone is expected to maintain its competiveness against one with curved edge screen for a while”.

Due to the high cost, smartphone brands use the flexible AMOLED panels for their highest-end product segment, making it more difficult for the second-tier flexible AMOLED panel suppliers to meet the product qualification. Kang commented:

“This may result in seriously low fab utilization at the second-tier panel suppliers”.

Analyst Comment

This development will add serious commercial jeopardy to the high technical risk of trying to get into flexible OLED production. How frustrating it would be to get to commercial quality in this difficult technology, only to find that there was a serious oversupply making market entry very difficult. This report is likely to make anybody thinking of trying to help companies such as JDI to get into OLED review their support.(BR)