The proportion of UTG in the foldable phone cover glass market is expected to further increase. Following Samsung, Chinese mobile phone brands also plan to successively launch folding mobile phones using UTG. As a result, the market for transparent PI films as competing materials may be further reduced.
According to The Elec report, the new products of mainstream Chinese mobile phone brands that will be launched in the second half of this year plan to use UTG covers. So far, the only folding mobile phones using UTG are the Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Z Fold 2 launched by Samsung Electronics last year. The cover of Huawei Mate X2 and Xiaomi’s Mix Fold launched in the first half of this year is a transparent PI film.
But starting from the second half of the year, Chinese brands will also launch UTG-based products. Xiaomi plans to use UTG for the first time in the Mi Mix Fold 2 launched in the second half of the year. Samsung Display (SDC below) will produce an 8.01-inch internal screen equipped with UTG, and a 6.52-inch external screen will be produced by CSOT. The internal and external screens of the previous generation Mi Mix Fold were produced by CSOT.
Vivo also plans to launch a folding phone with an 8-inch internal screen and a 6.5-inch external screen in the fourth quarter. UTG is used as the cover plate. The inner screen is produced by SDC, and the outer screen is produced by BOE.
HONOR, which is independent from Huawei, also plans to launch HONOR Magic Fold, a folding mobile phone using UTG. Both the 8.03-inch inner screen and the 6.45-inch outer screen are produced by BOE. If it goes well, it will become BOE’s first folding mobile phone panel using UTG. It is reported that BOE is conducting UTG glass master test.
Google is also preparing a 7.6-inch foldable mobile phone that folds inward, which is expected to be available within the year. It is reported that the product called Pixel Fold will also use UTG, and the panel will be produced by SDC.
OPPO also plans to launch a 7.1-inch internal screen and a 5.45-inch external screen foldable mobile phone, which is more likely to be launched next year. The inner screen using UTG is produced by SDC, and the outer screen is produced by BOE. The panel will also use low-power LTPO TFT. Earlier news said that OPPO plans to launch a 7.1-inch internal screen and 1.5-2 inch external screen clamshell folding mobile phone earlier this year.
With the expansion of the UTG market, whether Corning of the US can catch up with Schott of Germany has also attracted much attention. At present, Samsung Electronics adopts SCHOTT products for its UTG glass masters for folding mobile phones.
Earlier, some media said that Samsung Electronics plans to release not only SCHOTT for the Galaxy Z Flip 3 UTG glass masters that will be released next month, but Corning has also become a new supplier. From SCHOTT’s exclusive supply to SCHOTT and Corning.
However, it is reported that Corning’s glass master yield rate is still not high. Corning calls the folding glass cover Bendable Glass. The UTG glass master produced by Corning has a thickness of 50 microns (um). Although it can be used in mobile phones, it is thicker than SCHOTT’s 30um glass. Samsung Electronics is looking for manufacturers that can etch Corning’s 50um glass.
The price of the folding mobile phone panel is 150-250 US dollars, which is 2 to 3 times higher than the price of the ordinary OLED panel (80 US dollars). In addition to the price, the thickness of the product and the weight of the panel are also the main stumbling blocks to the popularization of folding phones.