Rumor: Apple working with LG on foldable OLED iPhone in 2020, leaving rival Samsung in dar...

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in iPhone
Samsung is believed to be the sole supplier of OLED displays for Apple's forthcoming iPhone X, but in an effort to keep future technology breakthroughs secret from its chief rival, Apple is rumored to have partnered with LG to work on a new, foldable iPhone concept.

A 2014 Samsung concept.
A 2014 Samsung concept.


Citing a report from The Bell, The Korea Herald reported on Wednesday that LG has created a "task force" to build a foldable OLED display for a future iPhone model. In addition, LG Innotek has also reportedly been tasked with creating a "rigid flexible printed circuit board."

Production of the panel could begin in 2020, the report said, suggesting Apple is looking well beyond this fall's iPhone X debut.

Whether or not the report is true, such moves wouldn't be surprising. Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive revealed in an interview last week that Apple was working on the bezel-less iPhone X design for 5 years ahead of its unveiling in September.

Wednesday's report claims that LG created its own foldable OLED prototype two or three years ago. Since then, the company has worked on improving durability and production yields.

An alleged partnership with LG is noteworthy given that Samsung is currently the world's premier OLED maker. Apple's iPhone X is believed to feature displays solely from Samsung, as rival OLED panels from the likes of LG weren't up to snuff.

But Apple is hoping to diversify its supply chain and lessen its dependence on Samsung, leading it to place strategic investments in other display makers.

It was claimed that Apple's work with LG is a direct snub at Samsung, which is believed to be planning its own foldable handset for launch in 2018. The theory is that Apple may have partnered with LG to ensure that Samsung would not be able to get advanced word on future iPhone design changes.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    I want a foldable iPad, so I can read magazines and books the way they should be read, two pages side by side. Make it so, Apple.
    rotateleftbyteschlack
  • Reply 2 of 32
    Coming in 2019, the Galaxy SF (F as in Foldable) just to beat Apple to the market.
    Priced at $1599.

    Just speculating understand!

  • Reply 3 of 32
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 78member
    This has to be Samsung bait.  It’s Apple’s effort to wrong-foot their rival.  Just can’t see the practicality or usability of a foldable screen, at least not as currently imagined by render artists.
    repressthis
  • Reply 4 of 32
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 17,868member
    Why would Apple feel compelled to follow Samsung with their own foldable phone? Have consumer studies found we really WANT foldable phones? 
    repressthis
  • Reply 5 of 32
    JWSC said:
    Just can’t see the practicality or usability of a foldable screen, at least not as currently imagined by render artists.
    Many people (especially younger) consider iPhone to be their main computer, not just a supplemental device.

    For this demographic, a device that's still "pocketable" and yet expandable when you need the extra real estate is interesting.
  • Reply 6 of 32
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,196member
    I think all these these reports of "foldable display/iPhones" are missing the point. I think what we're looking at are displays that can be put into various non-flat surfaces. For example, imagine a windshield with a display that conforms to the curves of wind-breaking material that may or may not be glass and transparent. Or even how the iPhone X already bends the display over so that it can offer the effects that they do while still having the connectors for the display connections… but from LG's factories once they can compete with Samsung. I think we're still a long ways off from an 13" iPad that can be folded half like a textbook.
    repressthis
  • Reply 7 of 32
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 3,907member
    so where do all the hard electronics go, last time I checked I have not seen any bendable electronics the display my bend and twist but the display need the balance of the electronics.
  • Reply 8 of 32
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 3,880member
    gatorguy said:
    Why would Apple feel compelled to follow Samsung with their own foldable phone? Have consumer studies found we really WANT foldable phones? 
    You can't always wait and see what people want because people don't always know what they want. Apple does this all the time. 
    repressthisindyfx
  • Reply 9 of 32
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,196member
    maestro64 said:
    so where do all the hard electronics go, last time I checked I have not seen any bendable electronics the display my bend and twist but the display need the balance of the electronics.
    In the mock up the other components would be on either side of the fold, but, again, I wouldn't look at this technology as being specifically about an iPhone that can fold in half. If you look at the iPhone X you'll already see that the display is folded over, which is the only way to get the display so close to the edge. At least, that's how it looks to me in their mock up from their Jony Ive narrated promotion video from the event.


    edited October 2017
  • Reply 10 of 32
    I want a foldable iPad, so I can read magazines and books the way they should be read, two pages side by side. Make it so, Apple.
    Trivial. When reading print media, like a book, your attention is to one page. Having two pages displayed side by side on an iPad is useless for most use cases. Plus, haven’t we moved passed skeuomorphism with the firing of Scott Forstall waaaay back in 2012?!
    JWSCavon b7
  • Reply 11 of 32
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 17,868member
    JWSC said:
    This has to be Samsung bait.  It’s Apple’s effort to wrong-foot their rival.  Just can’t see the practicality or usability of a foldable screen, at least not as currently imagined by render artists.
    Since Samsung has already said a folding Galaxy is confirmed for this next year (and perhaps relatively early in the year) they wouldn't be "wrong-footing" them. Instead if the Apple/LG rumor is true, and it may not be, it kinda comes across as Apple doing it because Samsung is rather than consumers demand it. Of course it wouldn't be the first time we didn't know we wanted something until someone built it. 
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2017/09/27/samsung-galaxy-x-folding-phone-new-galaxy-galaxy-s9-release-date-price-specs/#129a0a9754e7
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 12 of 32
    a "rigid flexible printed circuit board."

    That, ladies and gentlemen, is an interesting concept.  Rigid and flexible.  

    adm1
  • Reply 13 of 32
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,650member
    Who ever put this rumor out clearly doesn’t understand how Apple works.
  • Reply 14 of 32
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 78member
    Soli said:
    I think all these these reports of "foldable display/iPhones" are missing the point. I think what we're looking at are displays that can be put into various non-flat surfaces. For example, imagine a windshield with a display that conforms to the curves of wind-breaking material that may or may not be glass and transparent. Or even how the iPhone X already bends the display over so that it can offer the effects that they do while still having the connectors for the display connections… but from LG's factories once they can compete with Samsung. I think we're still a long ways off from an 13" iPad that can be folded half like a textbook.
    Bendable and shapable displays are a far more interesting concept than displays that fold like a book.  Imagine the iPhone a few years down the road where the entire surface can light up to communicate various states and events.  And when appropriate the surface could be touch sensitive as well.  Lots of possibilities for Jony and team to explore.
  • Reply 15 of 32
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 1,854member
    I want a foldable iPad, so I can read magazines and books the way they should be read, two pages side by side. Make it so, Apple.
    It seems like perhaps an enterprising person could write an app to do just this with two iPads. Make a nice folio case to hold them. Voila! 

    I'm am positive they would sell dozens of these. Apple would surely notice.
    JWSC
  • Reply 16 of 32
    I want a foldable iPad, so I can read magazines and books the way they should be read, two pages side by side. Make it so, Apple.
    You know you can already do that by turning your iPad sideways, right?
    JWSCwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 32
    After visiting both Samsung and LG factories in Korea I can tell you that it is total bullshit that Samsung make better screens then LG.

    Fact is LG make the screens best in the world, they are way superior to any other screen manufacturer and want their screens in apple products and at a lower cost per unit, my best guess is that they can’t keep up with Apple demand yet
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 18 of 32
    adm1adm1 Posts: 638member
    eightzero said:
    I want a foldable iPad, so I can read magazines and books the way they should be read, two pages side by side. Make it so, Apple.
    It seems like perhaps an enterprising person could write an app to do just this with two iPads. Make a nice folio case to hold them. Voila! 

    I'm am positive they would sell dozens of these. Apple would surely notice.
    Can't believe this hasn't been done already. They could even utilise the Smart Connectors; Left iPad acts as a slave touch-monitor to the Right iPad for example. Flip the device into a laptop layout and the lower iPad becomes an advanced touch keyboard. etc. etc.
    Already apps written to use iPad as a 2nd display connected to a Mac, so it's surely doable.

  • Reply 19 of 32
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,138moderator
    adm1 said:
    eightzero said:
    I want a foldable iPad, so I can read magazines and books the way they should be read, two pages side by side. Make it so, Apple.
    It seems like perhaps an enterprising person could write an app to do just this with two iPads. Make a nice folio case to hold them. Voila! 

    I'm am positive they would sell dozens of these. Apple would surely notice.
    Can't believe this hasn't been done already. They could even utilise the Smart Connectors; Left iPad acts as a slave touch-monitor to the Right iPad for example. Flip the device into a laptop layout and the lower iPad becomes an advanced touch keyboard. etc. etc.
    Already apps written to use iPad as a 2nd display connected to a Mac, so it's surely doable.
    Putting two glass surfaces in contact with each other risks breaking/scratching both of them. They need a separator between them. In the case of a phone, if the display was to fold in on itself, it would need a permanent protruding seal on the front. The following mockups show a display folding inwards:

    Foldable iPhone Concept Image

    https://www.idropnews.com/news/will-apple-release-a-foldable-iphone-mounting-evidence-suggests-so/32622/

    This setup also means you have to open the whole thing up every time you want to use the device like a flip phone.

    Putting the display the other way round with the front and back display always facing outwards means the rear-facing camera has to make a hole in the corner of the rear display or be behind it. If it's behind it, you have to open it to take pictures. If it's part of the rear display, there would be no rear-facing camera when you open it and both cameras would be offset when it's open (notch on the left, massive camera hole on the right).

    If the fold goes length-wise, unfolded it would look like a long strip or it would be unusably small when folded (<3" display). If the fold goes width-wise, unfolded it would be close to a square aspect display and having glass wrap around the edge of the phone is a risk for people who wear rings as it's a contact point when gripping the phone.

    On top of this, when you unfold a surface, the portion over the curved edge is extra. The display at the front and back is fixed so when you move them apart, the portion over the curved edge has to separate from the phone or the back has to be like the Microsoft Surface Book as shown in a Samsung patent for a folding phone:



    https://www.cnet.com/news/maybe-youll-get-a-folding-iphone-or-google-pixel-in-2018/



    The back edge of the curve contracts when it's open.

    Also, the corners of Apple's devices are curved so when you have them next to each other, there would be inward curves at the top and bottom in the middle.

    It's not going to allow for an iPad experience on a phone. Phones don't really need to be more portable than they are, the folding would just make them more cumbersome to use.

    It would make an iPad more portable e.g 12" iPad Pro can fit into a handbag but it still has the above issues. It would allow someone to sit the iPad Pro like a laptop though and type on it with the virtual keyboard at the bottom.

    Apple has a patent dated late 2016 showing a series of hinge designs for a folding device:

    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=34&p=1&f=G&l=50&d=PTXT&S1=(1%2F1.CCLS.+AND+20161122.PD.)

    Images are here:
    http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?docid=09504170&PageNum=1&&IDKey=E21836A921B2&HomeUrl=http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2%2526Sect2=HITOFF%2526u=%25252Fnetahtml%25252FPTO%25252Fsearch-adv.htm%2526r=34%2526p=1%2526f=G%2526l=50%2526d=PTXT%2526S1=(1%25252F1.CCLS.%252BAND%252B20161122.PD.)%2526OS=%2526RS=

    Apple granted patent for flexible OLED smartphone

    Apple granted patent for flexible OLED smartphone

    Apple granted patent for flexible OLED smartphone
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 20 of 32
    The Computers in Westworld use this technology and it looks awesome. I’d love one of these devices. 


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