In a flexible display, the backplane, frontplane, and any encapsulants are all made from flexible materials. To date, such displays have been used primarily because they are thinner, lighter, and more durable than comparable rigid displays, and to a lesser extent because they are conformable to rigid but non-flat surfaces in devices such as mobile phone handsets, automobile dashboards, and appliance control panels.
In 2017, key flexible display components achieved cost and performance parity with their rigid counterparts for the first time, thus removing a key market barrier and opening the door to rapid adoption in a variety of otherwise-rigid devices such as e-readers and wearables. Such displays may also be incorporated into truly flexible devices such as credit cards, shelving labels, and smart signage, and in the near future they may form the basis of rollable and foldable devices that define entirely new market categories.
According to a new report from Tractica, the four leading technologies in flexible displays are LED, LCD, OLED, and e-paper, and the main applications for these technologies are phones and tablets, wearables, shelving labels, signage, automotive dashboards, appliance control panels, TV and video displays, smart cards, e-writers, and e-readers. The market intelligence firm forecasts that flexible display shipments will increase from 169.9 million units in 2017 to 642.6 million units annually by 2022.
“The effect of flexible and conformable displays will be transformational,” says senior analyst Wil McCarthy. “They will literally change the appearance and function of our personal devices, our vehicles, our homes, and the built environment.”
Tractica’s report, “Flexible Displays”, examines the market trends and technology issues surrounding flexible displays and presents 6-year market forecasts, segmented by world region, for flexible display unit shipments, square meters, device pricing and revenue, and software applications during the period from 2017 through 2022. Flexible display applications are analyzed in depth, and the report also includes detailed profiles of 13 key industry players. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.