AU Optronics (AUO) is moving at full throttle to build up its production capacity for flexible OLED displays and will see its flexible panels used in new foldable smartphones launched by handset brands in 2019, according to company chairman Paul Peng.

Peng's remarks come after leading smartphone brands, Samsung Electronics and Huawei, unveiled recently their foldable models, the Galaxy Fold and Mate X, respectively.

Other smartphone vendors, including Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and Lenovo, are expected to follow suit to roll out their respective foldable models in 2019, according to industry sources.

Unlike Huawei's out-folding displays, which are developed by BOE Technology, AUO has been focusing on the development of in-folding flexible displays, which have higher technological barriers, Peng noted.

AUO is currently utilizing its 4.5G OLED line in Singapore to produce flexible displays mainly for AV/VR devices and smartwatches.

The company is expanding its production capacity for flexible panels and is able to cope with clients' demand to develop related flexible applications based AUO's capability in terms of manufacturing process, materials and display design, Peng claimed.

However, the company declined to confirm recent market speculations indicating that Motorola (Lenovo) is ready to roll out its RAZR foldable smartphones built using flexible displays from AUO.

Global shipments of foldable smartphones will not be too high in 2019, with industry watchers expecting shipments of the Galaxy Fold to top one million units and the Mate X to reach 200,000 units in the year.