TrendForce’s latest insights reveal that by 2023, shipments of foldable smartphones could skyrocket to an impressive 18.3 million units, marking a 43% YoY surge. However, this only captures a slim 1.6% of the year’s total smartphone market.
According to TrendForce's latest panel price report, TV panel pricing is expected to arrest its fall in October after five consecutive quarters of decline and the prices of certain panel sizes may even be poised to move up. The price decline of IT panels, whether notebook panels or LCD monitor panels, has also begun showing signs of easing and overall pricing of large-size panels is developing towards bottoming out.
As the COVID-19 pandemic caused flagship smartphones to turn in lower-than-expected sales performances in 1H20, the market share of AMOLED phones fell short of forecasts made in early 2020, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. The market share of AMOLED phones for 2020 is expected to reach 33%, a 2% increase YoY, thanks to the release of Apple’s new iPhone 12 models in 2H20. LTPS LCD smartphones are likewise undergoing sluggish demand this year; their market share is projected to reach 38%, a 2% decrease YoY. On the other hand, the majority of smartphone market demand has reemerged for the entry-level and mid-range segments, thereby lending support to the demand for a-Si LCD smartphones, some of which are now in short supply. The market share of smartphones with a-Si displays is estimated to reach 29% this year, remaining relatively unchanged from 2019.
Given the high demand for display panels, a tight supply situation for DDI has begun to surface in 2H20, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. As prices of foundry services rose due to the tight supply of foundry capacity, IC suppliers’ DDI quotes to panel makers in turn also began rising in 3Q20. This uptrend in DDI quotes will potentially continue in 4Q20.
According to the latest investigations by the WitsView research division of TrendForce, foundries have maintained a high level of capacity utilization in 1H20 in spite of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the node capacities of mainstream process technologies used for DDI production are showing a tight supply situation that is unlikely to be alleviated even in 2H20. There is a high possibility for foundry capacities allocated for DDI production to be compressed by other applications in 2H20, in turn potentially resulting in a price hike for DDIs.
According to the latest investigations by the WitsView research division of TrendForce, the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has diminished the global production of smartphones and also affected the market shares of different display panel technologies used in smartphones. As smartphone brands are proactive in adopting AMOLED panels for their phones, the penetration rate of AMOLED phones in the overall smartphone market is still projected to increase from 31.0% in 2019 to 35.6% in 2020. On the other hand, the penetration rate of TFT-LCD phones (including those with LTPS or a-Si panels) is projected to undergo a yearly decrease.
According to the latest analysis from the WitsView research division of TrendForce, as electronic device manufacturers start to develop product strategies for the 2020 market driven by the commercialization of 5G technology, foundries are likewise raising their capacity utilization rates. Specifically, 8-inch and 12-inch wafer fabs of large foundries are estimated to reach near-maximum production capacities in 4Q19, thus compressing the supply of large-sized DDI and small-sized TDDI.
According to the latest analysis from the WitsView research division of TrendForce, the share of devices featuring AMOLED panels is expected to grow from 32.8% in 2019 to 38.0% in 2020 in the global smartphone marketplace, in response to an ever-increasing production capacity and smartphone makers’ willingness to adopt the technology. In contrast, the market share of LTPS-equipped devices is expected to drop from 41.3% down to 38.6%. The market shares for AMOLED- and LTPS-equipped devices are roughly even, with the former possibly taking the lead in the future.
As smartphone markets become saturated, suppliers look to foldable phones as a potential demand-stimulating design. Samsung and Huawei etc. have put several concept phones on display in MWC 2019. WitsView, a division of TrendForce, holds that foldable phones are still in the stages of market-response observation and product-design adjustment, and predicts for them a meager smartphone market penetration rate of 0.1% in 2019. Foldable phones penetration rates will have to wait until more panel providers join the game and panel costs see significant improvements for a chance to rise above 1% in 2021, and accelerate past 3.4% in 2022.