THOUGHTS

Unbreakable: Examination of the Pain Points in the Global Flexible Glass Industry

Jul 11, 2017

The worldwide market for flexible glass is still in its nascent stage. Challenges galore, and the inscribed technology demands a heavy impetus of research and development. Mostly, whilst trying to keep up with the fast-evolving platforms wherein flexible glass finds an application.

As a vendor, have you taken a step back recently and skimmed the market before you,

  • Think glass, the first image that conjures up is that of smartphone displays. Each new year brings forth a number of contenders who are perfecting the quality of the display glass. The competition is intense here with Corning’s signature Gorilla glass 5 ruling the roost currently.
  • Emergence of new technologies such as that concerning plastic substrates and metal substrates, for example Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), may emerge as cost-effective and popular replacement for flexible glass. This could morph into a case of the total abandonment of a technology in favor of a more durable and cheaper alternative.
  • Consumer electronics, the medium that makes copious use of flexible glass, is getting smaller, faster and more integrated. Can the global flexible glass industry keep pace with the blistering speed set by the consumer electronics industry?

The aforementioned concerns need an immediate resolution from the industry’s perspective. How can flexible glass fight back? Are there other avenues, still unearthed, wherein glass of this specialty may find a specialist usage?

Smartphones equal limitless opportunities

The single biggest market for flexible glass is the smartphone industry. The demand for smartphones is on the rise and the same hasn’t slacked even when markets have been hit by recessions and economic uncertainties. Currently, smartphone manufacturers are concerned with the cutting-edge AMOLED technology and talks are rife about foldable smartphones available for retail as soon as 2018. Innovation, combined with an expert understanding of the competitive landscape will ensure that the vendor stays relevant and carves out a solid and reliable slice of the market.

Shifting gears: Low cost solutions reflect maximum potential

Until recently, flexible glass was the holy grail of the glass manufacturing industry, thanks to its sensitivity and mass producing the same was an enormous challenge. Currently, the reliable roll-to-roll process is utilized to manufacture the same, while additive and substrate process is employed to fabricate flexible glass in a continuous fashion. The latter is cited for its cost effectiveness and propensity for a higher output, thereby feeding the colossal demand for flexible glass. Low cost manufacturing aided by increased durability looks like the ideal equation to beat the competition.

One thing that is certain though is that the market is shifting gears constantly and the prudent move in such a fast-paced environment is to- a) Access loads of current and predictive industry information that will help the resourceful vendor predict the shifts and turns of the market and roll accordingly, and b) Realign, quickly, the company’s business objectives in line with the changing ground conditions.

Infiniti Research is an experienced campaigner when it comes to helping companies be competitive in a rapidly morphing market. Actionable insights ensure that your setup is properly acclimatized with the available competition and your business leaders are executing timely, informed and profitable decisions.

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