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Flexible screens set to take off

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As demand for the flexible AMOLED display continues to sharply increase, its revenues are expected to reach $3,2-billion in the third quarter of 2017, exceeding that of rigid AMOLED panels at $3-billion, according to IHS Markit .
With many smartphone brands planning to apply flexible AMOLED displays to their high-end product lines, revenues for flexible AMOLED panels are expected to grow over 150% compared to 2016. On the other hand, rigid AMOLED panels, now mainly used for mid-range smartphones, are forecast to decline 2% in revenues from 2016.
“Smartphone brands believe using flexible AMOLED panels in their latest high-end products will differentiate themselves from competitors still using rigid AMOLED displays or liquid crystal displays,” says Jerry Kang, principal analyst of display research at IHS Markit.
“Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics have launched some of their flagship smartphones with flexible AMOLED displays since 2013, but have yet to become mainstream products given there was limited panel supply,” Kang says. “Since 2016, however, many more panel makers have focused their efforts on increasing their supply capacity for flexible AMOLED displays.
“They have also tried to optimize the manufacturing process and design better structure of these panels, making flexible AMOLED display a favored choice for smartphones makers.”
According to “AMOLED & Flexible Display Intelligence Servic” by IHS Markit, most smartphone makers are aiming to apply flexible AMOLED displays to their products in 2017, but some of them would still find it difficult due to the higher price tag.
“Currently, the cost to make flexible AMOLED panels is much higher than that of rigid AMOLED, but it is possible that costs will fall below that of rigid panels in the future as manufacturing yield rates improve,” Kang says.