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Curved glass has become the mainstream of the mobile phone cover market

Curved glass has become the mainstream of the mobile phone cover market

Curved glass has become the mainstream of the mobile phone cover market

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       With the advent of the 5G boom, smartphones have become increasingly demanding for signal transmission. In addition, the rapid penetration of technologies such as wireless charging in the mobile phone market has made the metal casing that has served the smartphone industry for many years is gradually exiting the historical stage. And ceramics and other non-metal materials began to rise. Among them, curved glass has gradually become the trend of the mid-to-high-end smartphone cover market due to its multiple advantages such as excellent characteristics, beautiful appearance, mature technology, and low cost. It has been adopted by more and more mainstream smartphone manufacturers. Today, glass covers with “double-sided 2.5D” and “front 2.5D + back 3D” styles have gradually occupied nearly half of the global smartphone market, and with the continuous increase in 3D curved glass covers this year, mobile phone curved surfaces The transition trend of the glass cover market from 2.5D to 3D is also beginning to emerge.

  Today, it is an indisputable fact that curved glass has become the trend of the smart phone cover market. Globally, Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, and mainstream mobile phone manufacturers such as Oppo and Vivo have adopted a large number of front and rear covers. 2.5 5D curved glass solution. In addition, among the new products released by major domestic mobile phone OEMs this year, Xiaomi 8, OnePlus 6, OPPO R15 Dream Edition, vivo X21, Honor 10, Huawei MateRS, Moto Green Pomelo 1s, Hammer Nut R1, Nubia Z18 mini Many other mobile phones are also equipped with more eye-catching 3D curved glass as the main material of the back cover of the mobile phone. As more new models from more manufacturers are launched in the second half of this year, the trend of "curved glass" of mobile phone covers will also intensify.

  From a data perspective, according to statistics from industry authorities, in the first half of this year, about 400 to 500 million mobile phones used a "2.5D + 3D" glass cover configuration. Among them, more than 200 million have used 3D curved glass, which has shown a large increase compared with last year. In the domestic market, the shipment of 3D curved glass cover plates for mobile phones has currently exceeded 100 million pieces, and the overall shipment has reached about 120 to 140 million pieces. The penetration rate in the domestic smartphone market has also increased from last year. 15% to 30%. As the response of the subsequent supply chain accelerates, it is expected that annual shipments will likely exceed 300 million units, and the market volume will also reach 26.732 billion yuan.

       曲面玻璃盖板市场渗透率的快速提升,得益于智能手机功能应用创新需求的驱动(比如5G和无线充电等),加之手机玻璃制造厂商在工艺及技术层面上的快速突破和手机终端厂商们的积极响应。首先,手机功能应用创新方面,5G热潮的来袭,使得新一代手机在天线设计的复杂度和数量上都发生了根本性变化,尤其是5G高频领域,单个天线几毫米,比如4*4 MiMo的天线阵列大小为10mm*10mm,如果放在手机厚度方向显然不符合手机轻薄的设计潮流,因此背面是必然选择,且由于5G走的是毫米波,背面天线信号传输对金属会非常敏感,如果业内厂商仍然使用金属机壳设计,则会直接屏蔽5G信号,对手机通信性能将造成巨大的影响,因此手机及供应链厂商急需在5G真正到来之前将曲面玻璃市场推向高潮,加速技术及市场转化以尽快降低应用成本;另一方面,在苹果等厂商的带动下,无线充电技术也正快速渗透手机市场,而无线充电需要依靠电磁波来传递能量,电磁波在传输过程中不能够有金属,外加无线充电线圈的体积也比较大,因此非金属盖板也成为当下唯一的选择。

  当然,非金属盖板领域还有陶瓷方案,它在力学性能、热导率以及信号传输等多项指标上都比玻璃材质更具优势,典型的比如手机大厂小米曾在小米5尊享版、小米6尊享版、小米MIX、小米MIX 2标准版及尊享版等多款机型中都采用了陶瓷盖板,好评如潮。不过,陶瓷方案也存在着诸多难以逾越的瓶颈,业内普遍认为该方案在智能手机盖板市场“难成大器”,某业内人士对记者表示:“陶瓷现在基本上都是高端中的高端才敢用,因为价格太高,普通的基本上一块都200多元以上,如果要更好一点的比如需要做一些装蚀和着色的可能还会更贵一些。而且,现阶段也没多少手机厂商敢用,所以一般供货商的量也不太敢做多,主要还是聚焦于一些较小批量的高端旗舰机市场。”

  产业资深人士林麟也认为:“虽然陶瓷能够让手机具备高颜值等外在气质,但陶瓷的缺陷也非常多,典型的比如太重、不耐摔、不透明(难以做到像玻璃一样具备炫彩的Coating表现),而且它的抗跌落强度非常差,在应用上并不能像玻璃那样做到前后盖板市场双向渗透;其他方面的话,陶瓷的加工工艺难度也很高(通常需要16道工序进行精工制造)、制备难度高、成本昂贵以及良率低下(现阶段良品率只有5%)都是难以攻克的瓶颈。因此,陶瓷手机后盖成品率一般都非常低,即便是采用了陶瓷后盖,对手机厂商来说,量产也需要付出很高的成本代价。现在越来越多的厂商都不怎么去琢磨陶瓷盖板了,总体来看只能算是一个锦上添花的应用,但不可能成为主流。”

  相比之下,曲面玻璃盖板的2.5D类产品目前已在不少量产手机上大规模使用,同时经过一年多的摸索,今年年初手机玻璃制造商们也在3D曲面玻璃盖板生产工艺和良品率等方面有了不小的突破,加之不少手机厂商的积极响应,使得近段时间3D类产品的发展也势头正猛。

  Lin Lin said that, in fact, 3D glass is not much different from 2D or 2.5D in terms of technology. It is mainly a process of hot bending, but the low yield is precisely reflected in this process. Because of the yield of this process, the stacking will affect the difficulty of the subsequent process production and the improvement of the yield, which will seriously affect the capacity of the 3D curved glass market. However, at the beginning of this year, the industry has made significant improvements in the 3D hot bending process. In the past, the low yield was mainly due to the pursuit of extreme benefits by many manufacturers. They wanted to heat the entire glass to a temperature of about 720 softening point in one minute. Cool down in 20 to 30 seconds, and many equipment manufacturers also design the hot bending process according to a production cycle desired by the glass factory. This allows rapid heating and cooling and rapid cooling, but if the temperature is changed rapidly, the inside of the glass There will also be a lot of stresses that are difficult to release, and the yield of the curved glass will naturally be poor. After exploring for the past year, manufacturers gradually realized this problem, and they found that they couldn't take it too fast, so they also began to make the bending time or the heating curve smoother, so that the yield rate was also improved. Obviously, the yield of mainstream manufacturers in the industry is about 55% -65%. At the same time, the cost of 3D glass bending is also gradually being diluted by the cost of other processes, and the cost ratio in the entire finished 3D bending glass cover has become lower and lower. Therefore, it is also officially adopted by more and more mainstream mobile phone manufacturers in the first half of this year.

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