In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

Apple’s folding screen is set!? Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi: Are you going to teach me how to do things?

Apple really wants to make a folding screen iPhone, and the time is basically set in 2023.

That’s right, it’s the foldable phone that has been criticized as “too expensive, too heavy, and impractical”.

Recently, the supply chain also exposed a picture of a magically revised folding screen iPhone. Of course, the original intention of the manufacturer may just be to show its own screen technology, and it just happens that the interface “hit the face” with iOS.

In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

▲The iPhone technology demonstration machine of the magical transformation of the online supply chain

After more than two years of development, both Samsung and Huawei ’s folding screen mobile phones have been iterated for two generations. Xiaomi ran into the market this year, but the folding screen mobile phone market seems to have been stunned.

Recently, news broke the news about Samsung’s new generation of folding screen Galaxy Z Fold3, claiming that it will not only use the under-screen camera technology, but also make the surface of the screen “completely free of creases.” On the other hand, OPPO and vivo’s new folding screens are also in the pipeline, with a high probability that they will be released in the second half of this year.

In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

▲Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 exposure map, image source: evleaks

2021 will be a year of concentrated outbreak of folding screen mobile phones, and everyone is increasingly looking forward to the new folding screen phones that Apple may release so far. According to the report released by Guo Mingqi, Apple will most likely release a “folding screen iPhone” in 2023.

A folding screen market is “exponential” growth point of view, 2023 folding screen mobile phone shipments may reach 3500-4000 million units per unit 20,000 if calculated yuan , folding screen mobile phone global market size will be close. ” Trillion level”, it is not to be underestimated.

Why did Apple enter the game at this point in time? Has the industry chain ecology behind the folding screen mobile phone ushered in the eve of heavy volume? Whether Apple can really disrupt the folding screen mobile phone market, become a dark horse , and even change the way of playing folding screen mobile phones, is worthy of in-depth discussion.

In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

▲Unofficial Folding Screen iPhone Concept Map

The benefits of this article: China’s smartphone shipments continue to decline, and mobile phone manufacturers are gradually joining the camp of folding screen phones to expand into new markets. The recommended boutique report “Overview of China’s Folding Screen Mobile Phone Industry” can be obtained by replying to the keyword [Smart Things 200] in the chat bar of the official account.

01 The screen was “rounded” by Samsung again. Why did the domestic screen get stuck?

Folding screen mobile phone, as the name suggests, the core of its hardware is this screen. Of course, the screen module is also composed of many parts, such as a protective layer, a panel, a driver IC, and so on.

Samsung has always been one of the core suppliers of Apple iPhone screens, and some of Apple’s high-end models are exclusively supplied with screens by Samsung. This time, Samsung has a high probability of winning the big order of Apple’s folding screen iPhone again.

Guo Mingqi said that Samsung will exclusively supply the screen used by Apple’s folding screen iPhone, and the display driver IC for this screen is also provided by Samsung.

The screen size of the folding screen iPhone is expected to be 8 inches. The current Huawei Mate X2 is 8.01 inches, and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 is 7.6 inches. The sizes of the three are relatively close.

In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

From the overall appearance, Samsung’s folding screen mobile phone is more “thin” and Huawei is more “square”. The folding screen mobile phone MIX FOLD launched by Xiaomi not long ago has a screen ratio closer to that of Samsung.

In terms of screen resolution, Huawei has reached 2480×2200, which is about 2K+. The screen resolution of Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 is 2208×1768. The refresh rates of the two are 90Hz and 120Hz. It has generally entered the era of “high score + high brush”.

According to the report, Apple’s folding screen phones are expected to adopt QHD+ resolution, which is what we often call 2K+. Since the screen size of the folding screen mobile phone is large after unfolding, the improvement of the resolution is very important, and the pixel density directly affects the fineness of the screen look and feel.

At present, the screens of domestic suppliers and Samsung screens are not far from the display parameters, whether it is resolution, refresh rate, color accuracy, color gamut coverage, color depth, and even screen color management, they can all be comparable.

However, domestic manufacturers still have a certain gap in parts and materials such as screen driver IC and UTG (Ultra Thin Glass) necessary for the surface of the folding screen screen. This is also where Samsung’s advantage lies.

In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

▲Samsung folding screen mobile phone screen structure

For example, to obtain the UTG glass required for a folding screen mobile phone, a glass substrate from Corning in the United States and Schott in Germany is required, and then the substrate is processed in depth and then laminated with the panel.

At present, making toughened glass with strong bending is a worldwide problem. Corning is still investing a lot of money and manpower in research and development. The only energy-produced products in the initial stage are also very scarce, and they are basically income from Samsung. In the bag.

In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

▲ Corning UTG Glass

TCL Huaxing R & D engineer told Chi things, domestic panel makers Samsung gap mainly in the upstream and downstream supply chain resources, but these resources are now the trend unbundling, with new supply chain also continues to mature, the gap is shrinking.

China’s catch-up in the field of screen technology is somewhat similar to that of chip semiconductors. They are all caught in key materials, parts, and equipment.

Of course, opportunities and challenges coexist. Relying on the monopoly of upstream suppliers to realize the advantages of materials and equipment, Samsung seems to be a little bit susceptible to “paying the old”. For domestic players, the late start brings some convenience.

For example, domestic manufacturers’ factories and production lines are relatively new, and they have strong capabilities in space utilization and capacity expansion. The screen industry has also accelerated technological iterations in recent years, and the ability to quickly adapt to market demand and technological changes is also the advantage of domestic manufacturers.

02 Taiwanese enterprises will grab the Samsung cake, nano silver touch technology may be the key

However, in addition to South Korea’s Samsung, there is also a Taiwanese supplier that also plays a vital role in the supply chain of Apple’s folding screen mobile phone. It is Chen Hong Technology (TPK), and nano silver touch technology is its housekeeper. One of the skills.

The screen of a folding screen mobile phone can be easily understood with three very key parts: the protective layer, the touch layer, and the display layer.

Compared with traditional mobile phone screens, folding screen mobile phones need to do a lot of technological innovation in these three parts, in order to achieve “folding” while the daily experience is not compromised.

TPK’s nano-silver touch technology is a solution to the touch control of folding screen mobile phones. TPK has been developing this technology for more than 10 years, has nearly 200 patents, and has vertically integrated materials, sensors and molds. The ability of the group.

In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

▲Nano silver touch technology (SNW) and other touch technology characteristics comparison

Behind the nano-silver touch technology, it includes the key flexible screen conductive material nano-silver wire, and the nano-silver wire material itself is basically monopolized by the American Cambrios company.

In fact, Samsung has its own flexible touch technology, called Y-OCTA. In short, it integrates the touch layer directly into the display panel. The benefits of this are obvious: the thickness of the touch screen is reduced, the bending is better, the display effect is better, and the touch is more sensitive.

In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

▲Smart phone screen structure layer adopting Y-OCTA method is simpler (left)

However, in the future, folding screen devices may not be limited to “single fold” (folding once), and devices with multiple folds and rollable forms are under development. In these scenarios, TPK’s nano silver touch technology is superior to Samsung’s Y-OCTA.

Guo Mingqi also judged that nano-silver touch technology will become one of Apple’s long-term competitive advantages in the folding screen mobile phone market. At the same time, Apple’s adoption of a second supplier can also reduce its excessive dependence on Samsung and reduce supply risks and costs.

03 Folding screen mobile phone shipments have doubled and skyrocketed. Can Apple “eat melon” counterattack and become a big winner?

At the end of March this year, Xiaomi’s folding screen mobile phone was long overdue, and MIX FOLD is equipped with its own surging C1 ISP chip and liquid lens. The sincerity is not small, but the market feedback is relatively average.

Originally, everyone thought that Xiaomi entered the game later and the price was relatively lower. It may become “the first folding screen for young people” and the experience will be more mature. But it turns out that this is still a product with a lot of room for improvement.

In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

▲Xiaomi MIX FOLD

The folding screen mobile phone market is still Samsung’s world. According to statistics from Tianfeng Securities , Samsung has a market share of more than 90% in the folding screen mobile phone market.

Originally, the Huawei Mate X series would become Samsung’s main rival in the domestic folding screen market. However, as Huawei’s mobile phone chips are restricted, the shipments of the Huawei Mate X series are also slightly weak. Both official and third-party channels are out of stock for a long time. , Samsung folding screen obviously has a better development opportunity.

Although the old player Rouyu Technology is the first to make a commercial mass-produced folding screen mobile phone, its product sales have been stunned.

At present, the global folding screen mobile phone market as a whole is still small. The shipment volume in 2020 will be between 3.2 million and 3.5 million units. However, in 2019, the folding screen market will only have a shipment scale of 200,000 units. Therefore, the folding screen The mobile phone market is growing very fast.

Tianfeng Securities predicts that global shipments of folding screen mobile phones will be about 7.5 million or more in 2021, and it will even reach 17 million in 2022, which is almost a double growth. Of course, the premise is that the supply chain is guaranteed and various types of chips are in short supply. The problem will not cause much impact.

In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

▲Data source: Tianfeng Securities

Folding screen mobile phone market growth but also to separate ways manufacturers have yet to incoming jump jump To test, according to the current exposure information point of view, OPPO, vivo, glory will launch its own folding screen flagship phone in the second half of this year to early next year .

The old players, the three- star action for the fastest, Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy Z Flip3 expected to be released in late July or early August, and according to the latest revelations information display, Samsung’s new folding screen will be the first time the camera under the screen, and After the screen is unfolded, “no creases” can be achieved.

Last year, Samsung directly cut off the Note series product line and focused on the development of flagship S series and folding screen mobile phones. This year, Samsung has set a sales target of 7 million units for two new folding screen phones.

In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

▲Image source: evleaks

Obviously, if Samsung can accomplish this goal, the forecast of 7.5 million global folding screen mobile phone shipments given by Tianfeng Securities in 2021 will be somewhat conservative.

The global smartphone market has been declining in the past two years, because the mobile phone market is close to saturation. Obviously, even elderly people in their 70s or 80s may begin to gradually integrate into the Internet, use Douyin, and even shop on Pinduoduo. .

There are not so many “blanks” in the mobile phone market that can be filled, and with the improvement of mobile phone quality, Android phones may not have obvious lag after two years or more of use, and the rigid demand for consumers to change phones has decreased.

Therefore, hitting the high-end market has become the choice of many manufacturers. Folding screens are undoubtedly the “high-end” among high-end phones. Almost all folding screen phones are “10,000 yuan phones”, while the average price of domestic smart phones is only about 2,000 yuan. There are still opportunities in the smart phone market, so the high-end phone market is definitely a potential stock.

The outbreak of folding screen mobile phones is expected to lead to a new replacement cycle for high-end smartphones. Whether it is Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi OV, Honor or Apple, they will all benefit from it.

Apple’s choice to enter the game around 2023 may also be based on its own judgment of the market. However, whether it is a smartphone, a tablet or an all-in-one PC, Apple has entered the game as a pioneer and leader. Today, Apple is in the era of folding screens. More conservative, I don’t know if it is “holding a big move”.

In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

▲Unofficial Folding Screen iPhone Concept Map

Samsung strives to promote its own folding screen mobile phones, and together with Huawei, Xiaomi, and Rouyu, they have carried out rounds of education on the market, under the pressure of the initial poor sales. Apple’s “eating melons” on the surface, but in fact it is secretly making efforts to advance its layout in the technology supply chain, which means that it will “seize the profit of the fisherman”.

If calculated according to the exponential growth of folding screen mobile phones within three years, the folding screen mobile phone market may reach 35-40 million units in 2023.

If calculated at the price of 20,000 yuan per folding screen mobile phone, the global folding screen mobile phone market will reach a “trillion level.”

Guo Mingqi predicts that the shipments of Apple’s folding screen iPhone will be between 15-20 million units, which is about half of the folding screen mobile phone market.

Good guy, when Apple makes a move, it is the rhythm of “the first battle is the end”?

In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

▲Unofficial Folding Screen iPhone Concept Map

04 Apple makes folding screens, and getting “ecology” is the key

Although the current information on Apple’s folding screen mobile phones is still at the predictive level, Apple’s entry into the folding screen mobile phone market is bound to bring about some changes in gameplay and market structure.

Smartphones are mainly divided into two camps: Android and iOS. Judging from the several Android folding screen mobile phones that have been on the market, their positioning is still limited to a “super-large screen” mobile phone, which can play a role in replacing tablet computers in some scenarios.

For example, the video playback area is larger, and the video viewing experience is better; some innovative functions are to present the two different levels of the APP on the left and right screens, which Huawei calls “parallel horizons”, and Xiaomi , Samsung also has similar functions.

In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

▲Huawei Mate X2 parallel vision

In addition, two or three applications can be presented on the screen at the same time. But in general, the idea is to use a larger screen to show more content.

The current development of folding screen mobile phones is actually only in its infancy, and there is still no “killer application”. However, the perception is not strong and the price is high, which raises the threshold for users to try new things.

So what is Apple good at? What Apple is best at and unique is the ecological interconnection between mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, and this ecology is built on the advantages of software and hardware integration. Now only Apple has truly realized the connection from the chip to the operating system, and it is between different hardware devices.

And will this be a key breakthrough for Apple to make folding screen phones? In the future, whether Apple’s folding screen phones can truly blur the distinction between mobile phones, tablets and PCs, reduce physical differences through folding screens, and achieve ecological integration through system integration.

In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

▲Multi-device collaborative operation function (Universal Control) displayed on Apple WWDC 2021

Since the Android system itself supports the “zoom in” display of applications, many applications on folding screen phones are actually simply “bigger”, and there may even be large blanks.

This is actually a problem of application adaptation, because most applications do not adapt to the folding screen, or just slightly optimize the zoomed effect, instead of redesigning the layout, layout, functions, etc. of the application for the folding screen. .

The construction of the application ecology is Apple’s strengths. Just as the reason why the iPad has become the king of tablet computers is not only because the hardware is better, but because the perfect application ecology possessed by iPadOS is not available in Android tablets.

Apple still has a great opportunity for folding screens.

However, Apple has to accelerate, because Samsung, as a leader in the folding screen market, has also begun to look for disruptive breakthroughs in the software experience. Samsung recently announced a new UI designed for folding screen devices on the developer website, called Split UI.

In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

▲Split UI

According to some exposed moving pictures, Split UI can adjust the interactive interface layout of APP in a more targeted manner according to the display area, even taking into account the double-folding three-screen device.

In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

▲Split UI

Obviously, such a UI design makes full use of large screens of different sizes and shapes, and is more user-friendly. It also directly raises the level of interactive experience of APP on the large screen.

In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

▲Split UI

In the trillion-dollar foldable screen mobile phone market, can Apple make a move?

▲Split UI

It can be said that Apple and Samsung can be the first to get the folding screen software ecology, which has become a key competition between the two in the folding screen mobile phone market in the next stage.

05 Conclusion: Apple becomes the biggest variable in the folding screen mobile phone market

Since the first mass-produced commercial folding screen mobile phone came out in 2019, it has been two years, and the information of Apple folding screen mobile phones has become more and more dense. What is certain is that Apple has accelerated its pace in the layout of the industrial chain.

The development of folding screen mobile phones requires breakthroughs in many hardware technologies on the one hand, but the improvement of the software ecology and the education of the user market are equally important. Will the addition of Apple become a catalyst, bringing new breakthroughs or gameplay, and triggering a large-scale explosion in the folding screen market?

In the future, it is an inevitable trend that the boundaries between mobile phones, tablets, and PCs will gradually blur, and what role folding screen mobile phones will play in it is undoubtedly very much anticipated.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/in-the-trillion-dollar-foldable-screen-mobile-phone-market-can-apple-make-a-move/
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