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Foldable displays

Global folding screen market to explode as Samsung set to supply to China

By Feb 15, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Global folding screen market to explode as Samsung set to supply to China

Samsung Display Co., a leading South Korean display panel maker, will supply foldable displays to select smartphone makers in China amid industry forecasts that the global folding screen market will expand rapidly in the coming years.

According to industry sources on Feb. 15, Samsung Display will supply two types of folding screens – horizontal and vertical – to unidentified Chinese handset makers from the third quarter of this year. Initial shipments of the displays will amount to around 1 million units, the sources said.

“Foldable smartphones made by local companies are very popular in China. Samsung Display will be one of big beneficiaries,” said an industry official.

Currently, Samsung Electronics Co. is the only buyer of Samsung Display’s foldable panels, which the tech giant uses for its Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip phones.

Samsung Display, the dominant foldable display maker with a global market share of 95% in terms of shipments, is also the only company that uses Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG) in foldable displays, giving it the competitive edge.

Global folding screen market to explode as Samsung set to supply to China

SAMSUNG’S SUPPLY TO CHINA TO BOOST GLOBAL SHIPMENTS

Boosted by Samsung Display’s supply to Chinese handset makers, the global folding screen market is expected to grow rapidly, with shipments increasing by 10 million units every year until 2023 at least.

According to market researcher Omdia, global foldable display shipments are forecast to rise from 4.18 million units in 2020 to 12.64 million this year, 20.11 million in 2022 and 32.17 million in 2023.

The global market for small, bendable panels took off with the launch of Samsung Electronics’ inward folding phone, the Galaxy Z Fold, in February 2019.

Global folding screen market to explode as Samsung set to supply to China

Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest maker of smartphones, said during its fourth-quarter earnings conference call in January that it will strengthen its Galaxy Z Fold and Flip lineups, signaling a bigger market for display makers such as Samsung Display.

In the third quarter of 2020, Samsung Display shipped 950,000 folding screens, compared to its smaller rivals such as BOE Technology Group, which sold a mere 20,000 units.

Write to Hyung-Suk Song at click@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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