Samsung’s obsession with perfects its foldable screens for its Galaxy Z series phones may have put it at a disadvantage when it comes to other kinds of flexible displays. Granted, Samsung did reveal prototypes of rollable screens nearly a decade ago but it would be LG, TCL, and, surprisingly, OPPO who would actually put rollable screens under the spotlight in the past few months. Not to be outdone, Samsung’s display-making business is now saying it will also be doing likewise, opening the possibility for Galaxy rollable phones.
Even while most consumers are still coming to terms with the point of a foldable phone, other OEMs are already pushing the idea of ones with rollable or sliding screens. To be fair, these forms do try to offer more flexibility, no pun intended, when it comes to hiding parts of the screen that are not in active use. LG’s rollable TVs, for example, can roll out of sight while the OPPO X1 2021 rollable phone concept can hide the rest of the phone’s screen until it’s needed.
Rollable screens, however, are also harder to pull off and it has become a sort of bragging right for display makers. Given that LG and TCL have been doing that exactly, it’s only natural that Samsung won’t want to be shoved into the background.
This doesn’t mean, of course, that Samsung Electronics, the part of the conglomerate that manufacturers smartphones, will be making rollable phones instantly. Just like with LG, the rollable screens can be put to use in other consumer electronics, like TVs, or in enterprise applications like signages and monitors.
Diversifying its portfolio is also part of its strategy to keep its rising OLED competitors at bay. Samsung Display is also working on adapting variable refresh rates and low power features for OLED screens, the first fruits of which can be seen on the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Samsung also says that it will continue to manufacture LCD screens, though at customers’ request only.