Omdia: Cover market will experience shrinking shipments for the first time in 2022

Omdia's latest report shows that due to the impact of various factors such as inventory clearance, inflation, and geopolitics on the consumer electronic equipment market, cover shipments are expected to decline from 6.36 billion in 2021. 6.08 billion pieces by 2022, a year-on-year decrease of 4.5%.

Omdia said that this is the first time it has seen cover shipments shrink. Shipments will rebound slightly in 2023 if the above-mentioned factors can be alleviated by the end of 2022 . In terms of long-term forecasts, the slight contraction in shipments will continue for several years, mainly due to market saturation and weaker demand in the IT and CE fields.

The report pointed out that mobile phone applications accounted for the bulk of shipments, accounting for 48.7% in 2021. The cover glass is alkali-containing glass, mainly including soda-lime glass, aluminosilicate glass, and lithium-aluminosilicate glass, which occupies a dominant position in mobile phone applications. Lithium aluminosilicate glass (37.7%) overtook aluminosilicate glass (33.6%) to account for the largest share of shipments in 2021.

In addition, glass-ceramic will also have a 3.1% share in 2021 due to Apple's adoption on the iPhone . In contrast, the adoption rate of glass-ceramic by Android manufacturers is low, mainly due to limited production capacity. The adoption of composite panels is on the rise due to the fact that the material is more cost-effective in 3D molding compared to glass, resulting in more composite panels for back covers. Shipments of ceramic back covers peaked in 2020, but are expected to continue to decline due to higher costs and limited suppliers.

On the other hand, CPI (Colorless Polyimide) and UTG (Ultra Thin Glass) are widely used in smartphones with foldable AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) displays, including Samsung Galaxy Z Fold series, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip series, Huawei Mate X series, Xiaomi Fold series, OPPO Find N series, Motorola Razr series, Honor Magic V series and Vivo X-Fold series, etc. At present, the proportion of foldable screen mobile phones in the overall smartphone shipments is still limited, but Omdia expects that its shipments will gradually increase with the further reduction of costs and the further improvement of crease, impact resistance, scratch resistance and other issues.

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