Not to be confused with the [chocolate] chip-on-flax (CCOF) industry, research company Technavio’s recent report sees the global chip-on-flex (COF) market is expanding at a CAGR greater than 4% from 2017-2021. The report categorizes the market into single-sided COF and others, of which the single-sided COF segment dominates the market with more than 94% of the overall market share in 2016.
Technavio segments the global COF market into the following regions: APAC, Americas, and EMEA
Reportedly, APAC is a hub for TV, smartphone, tablet, and wearable device manufacturers. Most of these manufacturers are based in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China. Samsung and LG are the major vendors in the market and have introduced curved panel smartphones. China is emerging as a leading hub for large area display manufacturers. This is mainly attributed to the availability of abundant resources, proximity to customer locations, increased demand in the domestic market, and availability of low-cost labor in the country. With an increase in the demand for display devices from China and India, the demand for flexible displays will increase significantly during the forecast period.
There are a few companies in the Americas that develop flexible display devices. Some of the customers for flexible displays are educational institutions involved in the development of conceptual devices. There are also companies in the region that design and develop flexible smartwatches and e-readers.
The US is the leading place for manufacturing flexible electronics and most of the revenue in the Americas comes from the US. In addition, the Americas, especially the US, is an early adopter of technology. The growth of flexible displays in this region will be driven by the increasing adoption of smartwatches, RFID tags, micro sensors, fitness bands, cosmetic and medical patches, and implants that use flexible displays, thereby leading to the growth of COF market in the Americas.
The contribution from this region is the least because of the limited presence of electronic device manufacturers in this region. The major growth in EMEA comes from countries like the UK, Germany, France, South Africa and Italy due to the early adoption of electronic devices such as smartwatches and wearable fitness devices and medical implants in these countries.
Many OEMs have been shifting their production facilities from Europe to APAC because of cheaper resources, such as low-cost labor. However, the presence of several leading automobile manufacturers and high consumption of LED-based lighting system will sustain the market. These LEDs provide more brightness in comparison to 2D LEDs at same electricity consumption. However, reducing manufacturing cost in countries in APAC will result in a declining market in EMEA in the forecast period.
The report cites these top vendors in the global COF:
- FLEXCEED Co., Ltd.
- SHENZHEN DANBOND TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
- AKM Industrial