Flexible smartphone displays of up to 6-inches in size are coming fast to smartphones and phablets as LG announced Mass production of the first Flexible OLED panel for smartphones, just ahead of a possible Flexible Galaxy Note 3 announcement from Samsung.
LG is bringing the flexible display technology from HDTVs to smartphones with sizes of up to 6-inches while keeping the display 0.44mm thin and 7.2grams in weight. For comparison, that’s almost 1/4th of the size of the thin and light HD panel LG announced in July.
Rather than glass, the LG flexible display for smartphones uses plastic substrates which allow for a flexible display that should also prove more durable thanks to the ability to flex and bend.
LG’s new display has a radius of 700mm, which means it should bend almost twice as much as the display that Samsung is reportedly working on, which could give LG a lead in designing new devices around flexible displays.
Dr. Sang Deog Yeo, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of LG Display provided a statement about LG’s plans in the announcement, saying, “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.”
While LG Display is talking about 2014 already, rumors suggest LG may be working on the LG Flex, a new smartphone with a 6-inch flexible display. The flexible display on this device will reportedly come fixed to a rigid frame, so while it will likely feature a curve, it isn’t going to roll up or allow the user to pull the ends apart for a larger display like concepts for flexible smartphones may suggest.
Samsung is reportedly close to announcing a new flexible Galaxy Note 3 version which could use the Samsung Youm flexible display technology Samsung showed off at CES 2013 earlier this year. Youm is Samsung’s code name for flexible display technology which it has yet to bring to market on a device. According to the report, Samsung executives are ready to announce a Galaxy Note 3 with a flexible display this week.
Samsung does not have a major event scheduled like it used for the Galaxy Note 3 unveiling, but the company has announced Galaxy flagship devices for smaller markets without a major global event after the Galaxy S4 launch in early 2013.
It will be interesting to see how LG, Samsung and Sharp all work flexible displays into products and if Apple will use the displays from one of these partners in an iWatch or future iPhone. Flexible battery technology is ready to pair up with flexible displays to enable new smartphone designs and wearable technology.