It’s been a long time coming, but LG’s foray into elastic smartphone displays is finally going mainstream. The company has confirmed that it will begin mass-producing a new lightweight 6-inch panel that, it claims, is the world’s first flexible OLED panel for smartphones.
The display is built from plastic substrates that give it bendable properties, allowing it to be fixed inside devices with curved (but likely rigid) designs. Reports suggest LG could include its first flexible screen inside the G Flex, a new 6-inch smartphone set to be announced next month, but the company points to new products with “enhanced performance and differentiated designs” coming next year.
Something tells us LG may move quickly to announce its first such product, with Samsung strongly tipped to unveil its own exotically-shaped smartphone next month. It’s probable that both devices will be artistically bent to achieve their form, so we’ll probably have to wait a little longer for something that actually bends into our jean pockets.
Full Press Release
LG Display Mass-Produces World’s First Flexible OLED Panel for Smartphones
LG Display, the world’s leading innovator of display technologies, today announced that it will start mass-production of the world’s first flexible OLED panel for smartphones. This state-of-the-art panel represents another milestone following the company’s commercial rollout of the world’s first 55-inch OLED TV display earlier this year.
“LG Display is launching a new era of flexible displays for smartphones with its industry-leading technology,” said Dr. Sang Deog Yeo, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of LG Display. “The flexible display market is expected to grow quickly as this technology is expected to expand further into diverse applications including automotive displays, tablets and wearable devices. Our goal is to take an early lead in the flexible display market by introducing new products with enhanced performance and differentiated designs next year.”
LG Display’s flexible OLED panel is built on plastic substrates instead of glass. By applying film-type encapsulation technology and attaching the protection film to the back of the panel, LG Display made the panel bendable and unbreakable. The new display is vertically concave from top to bottom with a radius of 700mm, opening up a world of design innovations in the smartphone market. And only 0.44mm thin, LG Display’s flexible OLED panel is the world’s slimmest among existing mobile device panels. What’s more, it is also the world’s lightest, weighing a mere 7.2g even with a 6-inch screen, the largest among current smartphone OLED displays.
In March 2012 LG Display developed the world’s first 6-inch Electronic Paper Display (EPD) based on e-ink which utilizes a plastic backplane. Having previously showcased the world’s first curved 55-inch OLED TV panel at CES 2013, today’s announcement highlights the company’s leading position in advanced flexible display technologies.
According to research firm IHS Display Bank, the global flexible display industry will see dramatic growth and become a USD 1.5 billion market by 2016, exceeding USD 10 billion by 2019. LG Display plans to advance flexible display technologies and bring innovation to consumers’ daily lives with the introduction of rollable and foldable displays in various sizes.
By Matt Brian