Foldable displays are expected to comprise more than half (51 percent) of total display shipments in 2020, according to IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), the leading global source of critical information and insight. Based on the latest information from the IHS Flexible Display Technology and Market Report, global shipments of foldable displays will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 58 percent from 2016 to 2020, reaching 180 million units in 2020.
"Foldable displays are leading to innovative new applications and revolutionizing the flexible display market," said Jerry Kang, principal analyst for IHS Technology. "In fact, we can expect to see foldable tablets and smartphones as early as next year."
The intrinsic benefits of flexible displays -- including ruggedness, lighter weight, decreased thickness, reduced brittleness, and greater portability -- are feeding new applications in the display market. LG and Samsung have already introduced flexible organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays in their flagship premium smartphones, while Apple's Smart Watch, which also boasts a flexible OLED display, has spurred the momentum of flexible displays in the wearable device market. "Flexible displays are receiving a lot of attention, not only from consumer electronics giants like Samsung and Apple, but also from start-up companies experimenting with new and innovative applications," Kang said.