Samsung has confirmed it will be beginning mass-production of flexible AMOLED panels in 2012, with a new 5.5Gen plant opening in Q2. The smartphone-scale displays are expected to show up in Samsung devices next year, likely using the same WVGA resolution 4.5-inch panel as the company demonstrated in prototype form last year.
However, Samsung also envisages the flexible AMOLED technology being applied to smaller devices, like watches, and larger ones, like tablets and MIDs; there’s also the potential for lighting and other applications around the home and office. The screens use a polyimide plastic substrate rather than the more traditional glass substrate, which allows them to be furled around a 2cm diameter cylinder.
Since they use AMOLED technology, power consumption is lower and there’s no tricky backlight to handle. Samsung is even going so far as to describe the displays as “unbreakable” though that seems like a promise almost guaranteed to backfire.
More recently, Samsung showed off a prototype foldable AMOLED display with no seam that could be used to make a reasonably-sized tablet that collapses down to something little larger than a phone. However, it’s unclear when this panel will go into production.