LG partnering with Apple, Google & Microsoft on foldable OLED displays - report

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LG Display has picked up Apple, Google, and Microsoft as some of the first customers for foldable OLED displays it plans to put into mass production in 2018, a Korean report claimed on Friday.

An early LG prototype, dating back to 2013.
An early LG prototype, dating back to 2013.


The company has already produced a prototype of an "out-foldable" panel, ETNews said. The technology is expected to make its way into smartphones, possibly even into devices that can serve as both phones and tablets, since by its nature foldable OLED can allow a device to expand like a book or map.

The report didn't elaborate on further details, but noted that LG Electronics was actually late to signing on as a buyer, despite being a connected company.

Apple has applied for multiple patents on foldable devices, but nothing has come to market, in part because the technology is still in its infancy. Even simple curved OLED displays are rare -- Apple is rumored to be putting out its first iPhone model with one in 2017.

If Apple is already placing orders, that would suggest it already has product designs in mind, though likely just tentative ones. One possibility is a new Apple Watch, since foldable OLED could make it more comfortable to wear and/or offer a bigger display. Apple is also rumored to be working on augmented reality technology, and even iPhones and iPads could benefit, taking on new shapes.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    I just can't believe that it can be made durable enough, if it truly folds.  I'd buy one, maybe, just to see it work.  

    I'd sooner buy an Apple Toothbrush 
  • Reply 2 of 10
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,462member
    It will b darn interesting to see what use those companies make with it, if they use it all anytime soon. 
  • Reply 3 of 10
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,656member
    Still sounds like a "because we can" technology, with the added issue of "actually, we can't yet". It reminds me of pathological technology and technofantasy. Why are people pursuing what is likely to be compromising engineering with easily broken parts?
  • Reply 4 of 10
    gatorguy said:
    It will b darn interesting to see what use those companies make with it, if they use it all anytime soon. 
    And in a few years we'll be discussing how Apple/Ive will be using graphene... it/both will happen and we'll buy it, for sure.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    Can't see it happening for current phones or iPads, but could be an idea worth investigating for larger displays?
  • Reply 6 of 10
    Better off for an iPad then an iPhone. When my phone rings, I don't want to go through an extra step of unfolding it. And with the gorgeous redesign of the 2017 iPhone, I want to enjoy its beauty. A foldable iPad makes a lot of sense in terms of size and convenience.

    ration al
  • Reply 7 of 10
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,814member
    bluefire1 said:
    Better off for an iPad then an iPhone. When my phone rings, I don't want to go through an extra step of unfolding it. And with the gorgeous redesign of the 2017 iPhone, I want to enjoy its beauty. A foldable iPad makes a lot of sense in terms of size and convenience.

    Agree. Foldable phone is gimmick and stupid!
  • Reply 8 of 10
    Reminds me of the 'tablets' they used on Westworld.  They all were walking around with slim folded up tablets which tri-unfolded into 3 panel screens.  Very cool tech that looks like it could be on the horizon.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    I cannot really see the use for this other than "cool, someone figured out how to make a foldable screen!"

    Even curved screens are inferior to flat ones. But people can get sucked into gimmicks.

    The foldable part is concerning. If you fold a paper enough times, it will break down. Same thing with cardboard, plastic, metal, etc.

    It might not actually fold as much as roll. And that sounds more cumbersome than anything.

    No thanks. 

    The one thing that could be kind of neat is the use for advertising. Wrapping the display around pillars, etc.

  • Reply 10 of 10
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,563member
    The one thing that could be kind of neat is the use for advertising. Wrapping the display around pillars, etc.

    Yes we need displays everywhere! Let's make the entire planet look like Time Square.

    Hey, I have an idea. Let's turn the Earth's Exosphere into a giant curved display so on a clear night we could look up and see advertising.
    edited December 2016
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