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China’s BOE beats Samsung Display in foldable display sales

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Last updated: February 2nd, 2024 at 12:41 UTC+01:00

Samsung Display has enjoyed complete dominance as the leading supplier for foldable display panels over the past few years. Its biggest customer is Samsung Electronics that's aggressively pushing the Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Z Fold devices.

Even as they might have been among the first foldable phones on the market, there's been a big influx of Chinese foldable phones since the last couple of years. That has enabled BOE, a leading Chinese display manufacturer, to overtake Samsung as the leading supplier of foldable display panels.

BOE sold more foldable panels due to Huawei

The data from DSCC, a supply chain consulting firm, shows that BOE overtook Samsung Display as the leading supplier of foldable display panels in Q4 2023. This coincided with Huawei overtaking Samsung Electronics as the leading buyer of foldable display panels, as its panel purchases surged by 122% compared to Q3 2023

Samsung Display's share in foldable panel shipments declined 40 percentage points, from 76% in Q3 2023 to 36% in Q4 2023. Meanwhile, BOE accounted for 42% of all foldable panel shipments in the fourth quarter of last year. This might seem like BOE's starting to hurt Samsung Display, but there's more here than meets the eye.

BOE's shipments are up in Q4 2023 likely because Huawei and other Chinese manufacturers will be releasing new foldable phones in the first quarter of 2024. Meanwhile, Samsung's new Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 won't arrive until the second half of this year. The initial sales rush for the existing models has also subsided, so Samsung Electronics didn't really need to purchase as many panels in Q4 2023.

We'll likely see this trend reversing by Q2 2024 as Samsung Electronics ramps up purchases of foldable panels for its 2024 lineup of foldable phones. As the company pushes for double digit sales growth with every new iteration of foldables, it goes without saying that Samsung SDI will continue to be the largest supplier of foldable display panels for the foreseeable future when you consider the full-year data.

General Galaxy Z Flip 6Galaxy Z Fold 6Samsung DisplaySamsung Electronics
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