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REPORT # Nano-709 PUBLISHED March 17, 2014
Flexible Glass Markets, 2014 and Beyond
  • Glass and Glazing
  • Advanced Materials

    Flexible glass as originally promoted seemed to be a miracle material; one that combined the virtues of glass and the virtues of plastic.  However, during 2013, flexible glass seems to have stumbled. Ambitious talk of millions of flexible mobile displays based on flexible glass substrates and cover glass have given way to more restrained projections in which initial uses for flexible glass are more niche-like; batteries, capacitors and sensors, for example. Corning’s recent announcement of shaped Gorilla Glass, seems a recognition that the cover glass requirements for next-generation displays may be more curved than flexible.

    This report provides a market assessment and eight-year forecast of flexible glass, given the new business environment in which flexible glass providers find themselves.  The report examines (1) the traditional markets into which flexible glass was supposed to be sold and when they might become a reality and (2) the revenue potential for flexible glass in some of the newer applications for which it is now being proposed. 

    In addition to the likely trends in applications, this report also discusses the product strategies of the leading glass companies offering flexible glass and also includes detailed eight-year forecasts of flexible glass with breakouts by applications.  The report is the third dedicated analysis from NanoMarkets and updates previously issued reports and forecasts.

    Executive Summary    
    E.1 Flexible Glass Loses its Shine    
    E.1.1 Corning Deemphasizes “Willow”    
    E.1.2 Other Strategies in the Flexible Glass Market    
    E.2 Shifts in End Applications    
    E.2.1 Apple Rumors Affect the Flexible Glass Market    
    E.2.2 Heading Away from Displays: Emerging Applications for Flexible Glass    
    E.2.3 When Will the Mainstream Cell Phone and Tablet Market Need Flexible Glass?    
    E.3 Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts for Flexible Glass    

    Chapter One: Introduction  
    1.1 What’s New Since NanoMarkets' Previous Report on Flexible Glass?    
    1.2 Objectives and Scope of this Report    
    1.3 Methodology of this Report    
    1.4 Plan of this Report  
    Chapter Two:  Alternative Applications 
    2.1 Displays No Longer Leading the Way    
    2.1.1 Mobile Displays    
    2.1.2 What’s Wrong with Flexible Glass    
    2.1.3 The Future of Flexible Glass in the Display Sector    
    2.2 Semiconductor Packaging – A Long Shot or a Good Idea?    
    2.2.1 Interposers Today    
    2.2.2 The Role of Glass in Interposers    
    2.2.3 Groups Working with Thin Glass Interposers    
    2.2.4 The Future of Thin Glass Interposers    
    2.3 Smaller Glass: Batteries and Supercapacitors    
    2.3.1 Target Markets for Flexible Glass    
    2.3.2 What Good Is Flexible Glass in the Battery/Supercap Segment?    
    2.3.3 The Future of Flexible Glass in the Battery/Supercap Segment    
    2.4 Larger Glass: OLED Lighting and Solar Panels    
    2.4.1 Prospects for Flexible Glass in OLED Lighting
    2.4.2 Flexible Glass in PV:  Does It Stand A Chance?    
    2.5 What Application Will be Just Right?    
    2.6 Key Points from This Chapter  
    Chapter Three:  Suppliers Adapt to the Changing Fortunes of Flexible Glass    
    3.1 Challenges to the Adoption of Flexible Glass    
    3.1.1 The High-Cost of Flexible Glass    
    3.1.2 Flexible Glass:  Performance Today    
    3.1.3 Manufacturing Infrastructure for Flexible Glass    
    3.1.4 Materials Competition for Flexible Glass    
    3.2 Corning Changes Its Tune    
    3.2.1 History and Retreat    
    3.2.2 Willow:  The Future    
    3.3 Schott Looks to the Future    
    3.3.1 Production Quantities Today    
    3.3.2 Schott’s Thin Glass Applications Development    
    3.3.3 Manufacturing Strategies for Thin Glass at Schott    
    3.4 Asahi Glass Company (AGC) Takes a Different Approach    
    3.4.1 Thin Glass Product Strategies at AGC    
    3.4.2 Manufacturing and Applications Strategies:    
    3.5 Nippon Electric Glass Focuses on Coatings    
    3.5.1 NEG Flexible Glass Product Strategy    
    3.5.2 Possible Applications for Ultrathin Glass    
    3.6 Key Points from This Chapter 
    Chapter Four:  Eight-Year Forecasts for Flexible Glass    
    4.1 Forecasting Methodology    
    4.1.1 Addressable Markets for Flexible Glass    
    4.1.2 Penetration Rates for Flexible Glass    
    4.1.3 Sources of Data    
    4.1.4 Pricing Assumptions for Flexible Glass    
    4.1.5 General Economic and Technology Assumptions    
    4.1.6 Assumptions About Encapsulation    
    4.2 Eight-Year Forecast of Flexible Glass In Displays    
    4.2.1 Flexible Glass for Cell Phones    
    4.2.2 Flexible Glass for Other Computer Displays–Including Tablets    
    4.2.3 Flexible Glass for OLED versus LCD Displays    
    4.3 Eight-Year Forecast of Flexible Glass In OLED Lighting    
    4.4 Eight-Year Forecast of Flexible Glass In Solar Panels    
    4.5 Eight-Year Forecast of Flexible Glass In Batteries and Capacitors    
    4.6 Eight-Year Forecast of Flexible Glass In Semiconductor Interposers    
    4.7 Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts of Flexible Glass    
    Acronyms and Abbreviations Used In this Report    
    About the Authors 
    List of Exhibits

    Exhibit E-1: Potential Value of Flexible Glass in Cell Phones and Tablets    
    Exhibit E-2: Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts of Flexible Glass ($Millions)    
    Exhibit 2-1: Comparison of Silicon and Glass as Interposers    
    Exhibit 2-2: Moisture Sensitivity of Various PV Technologies    
    Exhibit 2-3: Analysis of Market Opportunities for Flexible Glass    
    Exhibit 4-1: Market for Flexible Glass in Cell Phones:  2014-2021    
    Exhibit 4-2: Market for Flexible Glass in Computer Displays:  2014-2021 (Tablets, Laptops, Notebooks, Monitors)    
    Exhibit 4-3: Market for Flexible Glass in Displays:  Summary ($ Millions)    
    Exhibit 4-4: Market for Flexible Glass in OLED Lighting: 2014-2021    
    Exhibit 4-5: Market for Flexible Glass in PV: 2014-2021    
    Exhibit 4-6: Market for Flexible Glass for Battery and Capacitor Applications: 2014-2021    
    Exhibit 4-7: Market for Flexible Glass as Interposers: 2014-2021
    Exhibit 4-8: Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts of Flexible Glass ($Millions)


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