Flexible OLED Market - Why is it the Next-Generation Display Market?

Published On : Jan 12, 2015

We are moving to a display-centric world and the next wave of evolution is the Plastic and Flexible OLEDs. Flexible OLEDs are lighter, thinner, and furnish better color performances as compared to the backlit liquid crystal displays (LCD). So the battle between the OLED and LCD will continue in the future. However, even though LCD continued to be dominant in the past, the flexible OLED market will continue to grow and gain high market share against LCD technology until 2020.  

The integral role of flexible displays in the electronics industry has emerged greatly to meet the absolute requirements of consumers, as well as advanced chip designs and packaging technologies. As worldwide consumers demand for more user-friendly and lighter functionality devices, the display industry cogitates more innovative ways to design the displays. One of the biggest illustrations is the Flexible OLED. 

More about the Flexible OLED Technology and Market  

With the use of flexible plastic such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), flexible OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diode) emit light due to the presence of organic semiconductors. Most of the OLED devices in the present age use plastic substrates (PET), and are therefore rigid and light-weight by nature.  

The flexible OLED market represents a major segment in the larger flexible display market that would also include liquid-crystal display (LCD) and electronic paper (e-paper) technology in the long run. Although, currently the flexible OLED market is at a very nascent stage but the overall market is expected to rapidly grow in the near future due to the fast growth in the electronics industry. 

The global display market recently witnessed the introduction of flat and curved OLED televisions launched by electronics manufacturing giants Samsung and LG. The global display market also expects Smartphones to hit the maximum share with tablets to follow soon after. Based on this scenario, the market will soon expect its first flagship phone with a flexible OLED and AMOLED display in 2017. Due to such market trends, leading research analysts predicted that the market for flexible OLED will experience strong growth in the next five years. 

Main Drivers of the Flexible OLED Market

The major factors attracting growth into the flexible OLED market are the need for reduction of price, weight, and high power consumption of electronic goods. Another key growth factor is the aggressive competition among the LCD display manufacturers that is giving a strong boost in OLED displays market. This is just to gain competitive advantage and propose product differentiation to global consumers in the market. 
Some of the other key drivers include growing per-capita income and technological advancements in various industries that further encourages customers to buy electronic products based on flexible OLED display technology. Continuous research and development activities have created tremendous market opportunities and irrespective of its expensiveness, the advent of flexible OLED displays has gained momentum worldwide. 

Nevertheless, the market poses a few challenges which include complete breakdown of devices due to the introduction of organic layers and lowering of brightness or efficiency. Flexible encapsulation is another limitation for the flexible OLED market. 

Flexible OLED Market Segmentation

OLED market finds applications in the production of bendable displays or electronic-paper that can be easily integrated into wallpaper, curved surfaces, or clothing. By applications, the market is further segmented into tablets, notebooks, televisions, mobile phones, automotive industrial, micro-displays, aerospace, wearable electronics, and others. Among the many, the automotive and aerospace application segment is growing at the fastest pace, which is followed by televisions segment. 

Amazon - an e-commerce company is popular for its e-paper products, and similarly among wearable electronics, smart watches and fitness bands are increasing using flexible OLEDs. 

Based on materials use, the flexible OLED market is segmented into crystalline and amorphous and solution-castable amorphous. The Crystalline flexible OLEDs are further divided into three categories:

  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
  • Polyethylene Naphthalate (PEN)
  • Poly-Ether-Ether Ketone (PEEK)

Similarly, the Amorphous and solution-castable amorphous are further segmented into two categories namely, Polycarbonate and Polyethersulphone. 

The success of the flexible OLED market will ultimately be determined by the growth and maturity of the above mentioned segmentations that will further enhance large-scale productions at reasonable costs.

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