Entering The IPhone Supply Chain For The First Time, BOE Accelerates The Deployment Of Flexible OLED Folding Screens

- Oct 21, 2020-

This week, BOE entered the Apple iPhone supply chain for the first time, becoming one of the suppliers of the newly released 6.1-inch flexible AMOLED display for the iPhone 12 mobile phone. On October 16, Wei Xing, deputy general manager of the mobile phone business of the BOE Display Division, revealed in a speech at the 2020 China International OLED Industry Conference that BOE's flexible OLED panel business will accelerate the deployment of foldable smartphone screens from 2020 to 2022.

Although BOE's supply of flexible OLED screens for iPhone has been made public in the panel industry, BOE has not made an official statement so far. Qunzhi Consulting Chief Analyst Zhenjun told China Business News that BOE entered the Apple iPhone supply chain for the first time this year, supplying a 6.1-inch flexible OLED screen. It is not certain whether it will be used for iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro. BOE is only one of the suppliers. .

On October 14, Apple released four new 5G mobile phones of the iPhone 12 series, all of which use flexible OLED screens, covering 5.4 inches, 6.1 inches and 6.7 inches. The screen suppliers include Samsung, LGD and BOE. This is also the first time that a Chinese panel manufacturer has entered the iPhone panel supply chain. BOE has also cooperated with Apple in the PC and other fields.

Wei Xing's speech on the 16th was titled "Flexibility in the 5G Era". He predicted that with the acceleration of 5G commercialization, by 2025, 5G communications will penetrate 20% of the world's population. By then, 119 countries will have 5G networks in the world, and smartphones will be one of the important applications. This year's epidemic has caused a decline in the global mobile phone market. 5G is an important factor in stimulating mobile phone demand. The penetration rate is 21% this year and will reach 66% in 2024.

5G mobile phones require more space and lower energy consumption due to factors such as components, antennas, and large batteries. Therefore, mobile phone screens must be upgraded. In terms of size, it will expand from 6.4 to 6.7 inches to 7 to 8 inches; in terms of ultra-thin, it will be reduced from 0.74 mm to 0.33 mm; in terms of low power consumption, it will evolve from screen display to LTPO technology; in terms of high integration, It will develop from under-screen fingerprints to under-screen sound and under-screen cameras.

Flexible OLED screens will also greatly affect terminal morphology changes, from rigid display to foldable, stretchable, and rollable. The market for flexible OLED screens is also growing rapidly. In 2020, global flexible OLED mobile phone screen shipments are expected to increase by 50% year-on-year. In 2018, the flagship model used for more than 5,000 yuan will enter the 3,000 yuan gear this year, and the 2,000 yuan gear next year, with wider coverage.

Foldable mobile phones with flexible OLED screens will double their sales this year, with internal folding, external folding, and up-and-down folding. After 2021, more brands will release foldable mobile phones, and more forms will be launched, and laptops, tablets, and car displays will also have foldable products. These new products will also have bendable and stretchable forms. .

As far as BOE is concerned, in 2020-2022, BOE's flexible OLED business will focus on the smart phone field. It will accelerate the deployment of flexible screens for foldable phones and break through the under-screen camera technology. The form will cover internal folding, external folding, up-and-down folding and surrounding Screen. After 2023, the application field of BOE's flexible OLED screen will be further extended to IT products and vehicles, and the form will develop to Z-shaped and scalable.

Market acceptance and technological maturity are the keys to the promotion of flexible OLED screens. At present, the flexible OLED industry chain is facing big difficulties, and there is still a big gap between upstream key materials and key equipment and the high requirements of downstream applications. Wei Xing said that BOE already has 27,000 patents on OLED, 90% of which are invention patents, and hopes to cooperate with the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain to develop and break the bottleneck of key materials and equipment.

Interestingly, although BOE entered the Apple mobile phone supply chain for the first time, BOE's share price has fallen since October 14. A senior securities analyst analyzed to a reporter from China Business News that from the perspective of the secondary market, many stocks in Apple's industry chain have fallen in share prices. Not only BOE. The possible reasons are: first, from the perspective of the game, expected cash out, short-term funding Profit-taking; secondly, the iPhone 12 has not exceeded expectations and the price lacks surprises. It is $100 more expensive than the iPhone 11. The follow-up needs to observe sales data, and funds tend to be cautious in the short term.