ETNews reports that Samsung Display has signed a deal to supply foldable displays select smartphone makers in China. The plan is to start shipping the displays in the third quarter and to deliver 1 million units before the end of the year.
This will lead to several foldable phones being announced in the second half of 2021. According to insiders, Oppo and vivo will be launching phones, other companies may be involved as well. The company will be supplying both large horizontal folding screens (like on the Z Fold) and smaller vertical folding screens (Z Flip).
So far the only buyer of Samsung Display’s foldable panels has been Samsung Electronics (which uses them in the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip phones). SD has been trying to sign on other buyers for the last few years, but things didn’t go as planned.
Huawei was lined up to make a purchase, however the US sanctions against the company threw a wrench in those plans. Instead, Huawei has been using foldable displays from BOE. Another company in China that is making foldable displays is CSOT.
Samsung Display is currently the only one using Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) in its foldable displays, which gives it the edge. However, reports from November indicate that BOE plans to launch panels with UTG as well.
|Number of panels||for Samsung Electronics||for Chinese makers|
|Vertical folding screens||7,845,000||800,000|
|Horizontal folding screens||3,155,000||260,000|
Anyway, Samsung Display is forecasted to produce over 10 million foldable panels this year. Only 1 million of those is headed for China, the rest are going to Samsung Electronics. The table above shows shipment predictions for panels of each type.