On December 25, 2017, Lianchuang Electronics, which is located in Jiangxi, a large province with touch control, issued two major foreign investment announcements, each with a value of 990 million yuan. Regarding the proposed investment and establishment of Jiangxi Lianchuang Optical Industry Fund Partnership (Limited Partnership) Announcement, and 1.22 billion yuan about the proposed investment and establishment of Jiangxi Lianchuang 3D Glass Industry Fund Partnership (Limited Partnership).
Lianchuang Electronics stated that in order to further expand the main business of Lianchuang Electronics and further implement the company's strategic layout, it plans to initiate investment and establish a sub-fund of the Jiangxi Provincial Development and Upgrade Guidance Fund-Jiangxi Lianchuang Optical Industry Fund Partnership (Limited Partnership) ( (Tentative name), the planned scale of the fund is 990 million yuan, the company, as an inferior partner, intends to invest 309 million yuan, the fund raised is mainly used to develop the company’s optical industry, and the investment project company-Jiangxi Lianchuang Jisheng Optics Co., Ltd., with the help of the company's rich industrial resources and core technology, plans to complete the construction of the "Industrialization Project of Annual Production of 200 Million High-pixel Mobile Phone Lenses" in two years.
It is proposed to initiate investment to establish a sub-fund of the Jiangxi Provincial Development and Upgrade Guidance Fund-Jiangxi Lianchuang 3D Glass Industry Fund Partnership (Limited Partnership) (tentative name). The planned size of the fund is RMB 1.22 billion, and the company acts as an inferior partner , It is planned to invest RMB 365 million. The funds raised by the fund are mainly used to invest in the project company-Jiangxi Lianchuang Hengtai Optoelectronics Co., Ltd. (tentative name). With the help of the company’s rich industrial resources and core technology, it is planned to complete in one year The construction of the “Industrialization Project of Annual Production of 50 Million Pieces of 3D Curved Cover Glass”.
The biggest component changes in the smartphone industry in 2017 are the large-scale popularization of dual-camera phones, full-screen display technology, and the return of glass bodies. The dual camera greatly simplifies the waiting time when taking pictures, and greatly reduces the R&D costs of enterprises without AI algorithm optimization capabilities. It can also accumulate experience in structural design and calibration, and serve the hardware in future AR\VR application scenarios. There is a great opportunity to popularize dual rear cameras to dual front cameras, which will increase the industry's annual demand for mobile phone lenses from nearly 4 billion to more than 5 billion. The industry gap is still relatively large.
Compared with the hot market of mobile phone lenses, the path of the mobile phone industry on the glass body is more tortuous. At the beginning of the year, the industry unanimously expected Apple to use 3D glass in its new models of the year to cater to the market. Many listed companies have issued announcements, and investments ranging from nearly 100 million yuan to more than 10 billion have been smashed into 3D glass cover processing.
Including AAC Technology’s total investment in Changzhou of 12.8 billion yuan, Lens Technology’s South China plant investment of 4.5 billion yuan, Shengli Precision’s total investment in Anhui Shucheng is estimated to be 3.285 billion yuan, and BYD’s investment in Haojiang District, Shantou, is 1.05 billion yuan. Using the existing plant to invest 600 million yuan to build a 3D glass project, Ou Feiguang invested 95 million yuan to account for 95% of the equity in the establishment of a 3D glass joint venture in Nanchang. This does not include the expansion of the original Rapida, KeliTV, Voge and other companies.
Unexpectedly, after many tests, Apple found that 2.5D glass is significantly stronger than 3D glass after polishing. Therefore, whether it is the glass front cover and the back cover, the 2.5D glass cover design is still used. Apple's inaction, Samsung's limited purchases, and the lack of influence of domestic brands have caused the industry to invest in 3D cover glass companies to grow very slowly in production capacity.
In fact, because the 3D glass front cover is related to the display optical quality problem, the processing difficulty has always been relatively large. After 3D glass is subjected to 3D bending and heat treatment, as well as optical coating and appearance decoration processing, how can its optical performance be guaranteed? Deterioration has always been a difficult point for the industry to control. However, Lens and Byrne, who have experience in this area of processing, have to catch up with the double-sided order volume brought by Apple’s double-sided glass body, and do not have more resources to serve other brands, leading the industry to 3D glass processing. The accumulation of technology and experience in the industry has been very slow, and the industry wants to learn from the mature technology of large companies to improve the quality of its products.
Therefore, there were a small number of 3D glass cover orders in the industry in 2017, which were all divided up by several established 3D glass companies such as Rapida and Kristi. Other new companies either grabbed from these established 3D glass companies. When the few orders for the 3D glass battery back cover came in, the project was either slow or the 3D protective film was made.
However, the popularity of 5G high-speed networks is expected, and the cost of non-metalization of smart phones is lower. In the past two years, the 3D glass protective film market has run in a batch of 3D hot bending equipment and a large number of skilled industrial workers, plus 3D glass. The battery back cover is easy to upgrade from the 3D glass protective sheet, and the 3D glass front cover equipment is downgraded for production, so that industry enterprises and industrial capital are still very optimistic about the 3D glass market outlook.
In fact, with manufacturers such as Sino-Ocean Xiangrui that specialize in the production of 3D glass bending equipment, the exploration of equipment and technology becomes more and more mature, and the technical and financial thresholds for the industry to enter 3D glass bending processing will be greatly reduced. Coupled with the mass production experience accumulated by Chinese mobile phone industry chain enterprises over the years, I believe that we will soon find a way to reduce the cost of using 3D glass cover in mobile phone applications.
Lianchuang Electronics is a major touch screen supplier in the industry. It has its own Liansi chip resources and algorithm support, and has huge capacity for expansion. The relationship with upstream panel companies is also very good. The downstream also has a large number of LCD modules. Group production capacity exports, when the smartphone dual-glass body is about to return, the layout of the 3D glass cover business will more or less bring a certain demonstration effect to the industry.
In 2018, the commercial trial of 5G networks will begin. In any case, brand mobile phone companies must add 5G network-supporting functions to their flagship models. Together with industry promotion of wireless charging, 2018 will definitely be a 3D glass cover. Whether to defeat the 2.5D glass cover is a critical year.