LG will begin mass producing flexible OLED displays for smartphones in Q4 2013, the company has confirmed, though while it has teased “major clients” it won’t confirm which manufacturers may offer handsets using the screen tech. LG Display expects to produce 12,000 sheets of flexible OLED every month, the company told The Korea Times, with the first device from LG itself to use the flexible screens also due later this year.
“We have completed the development of our first flexible displays” LG Display said in a statement. “We will mass produce flexible displays from the fourth quarter of this year.”
LG itself had already confirmed its flexible phone plans, saying back in April that it would have a model using bendable OLED on the market before the year is out. The company declined to give specifics on hardware, however, and it’s unclear what sort of resolution the AMOLED screen will run at.
Also uncertain is to what extent the panel will actually bend. Although concept devices which can physical flex and move in the user’s hands have been shown by LG Display and others, they may remain the stuff of science fiction for some time.
Instead, LG may choose to wrap the flexible OLED around one or more sides of its phone, extending the panel so that it can be seen from more than one angle. Samsung Mobile Display showed off how such a device might work back at CES; the company wrapped one of its own bendable OLEDs around the side edge of a smartphone mockup, creating a status and notification display that could be seen even when the bulk of the handset was in a case or pocket.
Since OLED supports individual portions of the display being powered up without necessarily activating the entire panel, that means such a phone could use significantly less power when showing information that does not demand the whole screen.
Whatever the implementation, it’s a race to see whether LG or Samsung can commercialize the technology first. Samsung was forced to push back its own production plans until this year, having originally hoped to have the bendy screens rolling off production lines sometime in 2012.
VIA Unwired View