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OLED manufacturers' shares shine on foldable phone moves

By Fan Feifei | China Daily | Updated: 2019-02-14 09:46

An exhibition official addresses visitors' queries on foldable phones at a high-tech fair in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

New tech key for companies to expand market presence, gain more customers

Share prices of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) manufacturers have skyrocketed for two consecutive days, after major smartphone vendors announced their plans to unveil foldable phones during the Mobile World Congress 2019, set to be held in Barcelona in late February.

The share price of BOE Technology Group Co Ltd, a Beijing-based supplier of display products and solutions, surged by the 10 percent daily limit to close at 3.31 yuan (50 US cents) on Wednesday, with trading volume surpassing 6 billion yuan on a single day.

Visionox Co Ltd, another OLED-focused high-tech enterprise, also saw its share price hitting the daily increase limit of 10 percent, closing at 11.25 yuan on Wednesday.

The prices of other OLED-related stocks, such as Lingyi iTech, Triumph Science and Technology, Sichuan EM Technology and Irico Display all hit the upper limit from Tuesday to Wednesday.

AMOLED, or active matrix/organic light-emitting diode, technology allows OLED panels to be much more physically flexible than traditional liquid crystal display, or LCD, panels.

Industry insiders said the traditional smartphone market is relatively saturated, so handset manufacturers are trying to give smartphones innovative and eye-catching designs.

Wang Jian, an analyst at Beijing-based market researcher Sigmaintell Consulting, said: "AMOLED technology will be very important for smartphone panels in the next few years, and its future prospects are promising."

CITIC Securities forecast 2019 will mark the first year for the application of foldable and flexible screens, and OLED panel shipments this year will reach more than 1 million units.

Global information provider IHS Markit said it expects shipments of foldable AMOLED panels to reach 50 million in 2025.

Sinolink Securities said that with the mass production of several panel production lines this year, the domestic OLED panel industry will usher in new development opportunities.

Companies across the whole supply chain are expected to benefit from the explosion in demand, as smartphone vendors are stepping up efforts to roll out foldable phones.

South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd announced on Tuesday it will unveil its foldable display phones on Feb 20, four days earlier than its rival Huawei Technologies Co Ltd 5G folding phone debut.

Oppo Electronics Corp will also show off its foldable phone during the MWC 2019.

Royole Corp, a Shenzhen, Guangdong province-based panel manufacturer, announced its first foldable smartphone, the FlexPai, in October. The model features a 7.8-inch AMOLED display.

In January, Xiaomi Corp revealed its new folding phone in a teaser video, but the gadget was just a prototype.

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