Smartphones based on foldable display technology are expected to become the next big thing in the mobile world, and by the year 2022, the global foldable display market is likely to register revenues of $8.9 billion, according to a recent report from The Korea Herald citing a research paper published by the US-based firm Display Supply Chain Consultants. The source suggests that in 2022, the market will be supplied with roughly 63 million foldable display units for various applications, while several OEMs including Samsung Electronics will play a pivotal role in the segment's growth over the next few years.
Smartphones equipped with foldable screens are expected to reach consumers next year, with companies like Huawei and Samsung Electronics expected to be among the first OEMs to open the doors for this new technology. According to DSCC, display manufacturers are likely to supply the market with around 3.1 million foldable panels next year, most of which will be put to use by smartphone makers who are preparing to bring this new technology into the hands of the general public. The research firm then predicts that the foldable display market will experience a compound annual growth rate of 173 percent by 2022, while revenue will top $8.9 billion in the same year, following a 151 percent growth from 2019. However, the end results will very much depend on how the first mobile devices based on foldable display technology will be perceived by consumers. These gadgets are expected to have a higher price tag compared to ongoing, non-foldable premium devices, and as yet, it's unclear whether consumers will be willing to pay extra for the privilege of becoming early adopters for the new technology. Nevertheless, if the foldable screen market continues to grow in popularity, production costs will inevitably drop over the coming years and as a result, their presence will continue to expand.
DSCC also reveals that the firm met with display suppliers and smartphone makers to discuss their roadmaps, and most brands involved in the technology's development are "quite excited" for to the potential long-term benefits brought along by foldable displays. The growth rate in the smartphone segment continued to drop over the past few years and could drop another 2.8 percent this year, according to a previous TrendForce report. Having said that, foldable display technology allows for new form factors to be created as well as new applications, and these panels can lead to the development of multi-purpose mobile devices, such as smartphones that can transform into larger tablets. All of these changes combined could potentially revitalize the mobile market in the coming years. The current positions occupied by smartphone manufacturers in the global market could also be reshuffled to an extent, as their future success or decline might be largely dictated by their ability to adapt to a new market.