The global 3D glass market has been enlarging over the recent years amid demetallization of smartphone back covers and popularity of smart wearables, to approximately $2.86 billion in 2019 and to an estimated $8.15 billion in 2026 with more use in downstream sectors, according to a recent report by ResearchandMarkets.
In China, 3D glass penetration remains well below the global average and market size is small, leaving much room for growth. China's 3D glass market was worth roughly RMB3.523 billion in 2019, a figure projected to soar to RMB18.356 billion in 2026.
Nowadays, 3D glass mainly finds application in smartphones (65.9% in 2019) and wearable devices (28.8% in 2019) whilst it gets increasingly utilized for automotive touch displays and the demand for 3D curved glass soars. Conceivably, the automotive market will be a key stimulant for 3D glass.
In the past two years, the global smartphone market where 3D glass gets most used has been heading downhill. The smartphone design trend involved with curved screens, full screens, folding screens, front and rear dual 3D glass, however, will push the demand for 3D glass stably. In addition, the launch of 5G mobile phones will encourage consumers to buy new phones, which is a real boon for the 3D glass market. 3D glass penetration in the global smartphone market was 17.5% in 2019 and will be 52.8% as expected by 2026.
AMOLED has been the first choice for smartwatches and bracelet panels. Most of the displays are produced by G3-G5.5 AMOLED production lines which have just transferred from mobile phones where they are not competitive to wearable products. In 2019, the global AMOLED panel shipments to wearable devices were approximately 98 million pieces, with a penetration rate of 50.3% herein, the demand for 3D glass reached virtually 105 million pieces.
The global 3D glass market is ruled by Chinese companies including Biel Crystal, BYD Electronics, Lens Technology, Dongxu Optoelectronic, Triumph Science & Technology, Holitech Technology, O-Film Tech, G-Tech Optoelectronics, RBD Technology, etc.
As it finds ever wider application, the 3D glass market enjoys a rosy outlook into which the companies made forays such as BOE, WG Tech, Jiangxi Lianchuang Electronic and the typical 3D glass producers like BYD Electronics and Lens Technology are expanding capacities vigorously.
BOE, the global leader in semiconductor display, has established a joint venture - BJN with JNTC which acts as one of Samsung's main 3D cover glass suppliers to develop the 3D glass cover business. The move not only reduces the procurement cost of the internal AMOLED production line but also fully leverages BOE's technology resources, in a bid to form a business model of "main screen material production, display technology application, autarky & sale of products" and to have a strong presence in the 3D glass market.