Although Samsung seems to have the lion’s share of the niche foldable phone market, it might not be the only noteworthy game in town soon. A couple of new foldable devices are rumored to be launching within the next 12 or so months, but, ironically and unsurprisingly, Samsung will also benefit from those indirectly. Its display panel business will be the one providing foldable screens for these phones, and those screens might even boast fast refresh rates usually seen on conventional phones.
It’s difficult to make foldable screens, and it’s even more difficult to get them right. In addition to making them more durable, especially if you factor in a stylus, manufacturers will eventually want to add features that are common or trendy in today’s displays. For smartphones, that has boiled down to fast refresh rates of 90Hz or higher.
According to display supply chain consultant Ross Young, that is exactly what Samsung Display will bring to the table this year. Its foldable panel will utilize LTPO or low-temperature polycrystalline oxide for its foldable panels, enabling those to support variable refresh rates and higher power efficiency. Specifically, Young says that the foldable screens will be able to reach 120Hz speeds.
These panels will be the ones used for the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3, but it doesn’t stop there. The tipster says that all foldable phones this year, and perhaps early this year, will be using the same 120Hz LTPO panel, including those from OPPO, Vivo, Xiaomi, and, of course, Google.
This definitely bodes well for the nascent foldable smartphone market that still has to catch up with normal phones in terms of mass appeal. Of course, the reason for that, more than practical considerations, is the price that these expensive phones carry. More players in the market hopefully mean more competitive prices, bringing some of those down to more affordable levels.