LG Display recently showed off their latest technology, a six-inch flexible OLED display that may be arriving to next generation smartphones as early as Q4, November 2013.
Samsung Electronics Co. has been rumored to be working on a flexible display technology, but LG may have beaten them to the punch. In LG Display's press release, Dr. Sang Deog Yeo, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of LG Display, predicts the flexible display market:
[...]to grow quickly as this technology is expected to expand further into diverse applications including automotive displays, tablets and wearable devices. 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.
Continuing, the OLED panel is to be built on plastic instead of glass. LG claims that this bendable panel will be unbreakable due to the film-type encapsulation technology and attachment of a protection film to the back of the panel.
Too good to be true? LG Electronics Inc's display unit said on Monday that it will begin mass production soon and will be equipped with launch of a new smartphone later this year. This will challenge rival phone maker Samsung Electronics Co., providing individuals an opportunity to see this for themselves.
However, this bendable panel still puzzles many tech firms as to figuring out how to cheaply mass produce the display as well as remain thin and heat-resistant at the same time. While curved devices such as the curved OLED TVs are out, they are being sold at around $9,000 per unit, so it raises the question as to what the actual phone price will be if equipped with a bendable panel.
The earliest market release projection is November 2013 by Reuters to even late 2014 by many other speculators. Research firm IHS Display predicts a growth to $1.5 billion by 2016 and over $10 billion by 2019. With Samsung Electronics Co. close at their heels with the Galaxy Round, LG will most likely release a new smartphone featuring the flexible panel as soon as possible.