LG says it’s developed a new material that can create displays with “a surface as hard as glass and folding parts as flexible as plastic.”
Called “Real Folding Window,” the new material could revolutionize flexible smartphone displays, paving the way for durable screens that eliminate troubling issues such as creasing. The new technology also enables both inward and outward bending, an exciting prospect that could lead to completely new handset designs.
LG’s description of its newly developed technology is light on detail, saying only that it involves the application of a thin layer of “a new material” to both sides of PET film — a type of thin plastic — which is then placed on a flexible display panel.
A spokesperson for the Korean tech company said that unlike existing solutions, LG’s new coating technologies “will maximize flexibility, while also providing optimized solutions for foldable phones such as making improvements to chronic issues like fold impressions on the connecting part of the screen.”
LG said it plans to launch the product for handset makers in 2023, with tablet and laptop makers offered the same technology a short while later. It added that it’s already received interest from “multiple clients,” though it declined to name any of them.
The new technology could help other phone makers compete with Samsung, the current leader when it comes to foldable phones. Not about to rest on its laurels, Samsung is also keen to improve the display technology for its range of foldable handsets, which includes the recently released Galaxy Z Fold 3, This device, it’s worth noting, has received praise for the durability of its inner display.
While LG has stopped making its own smartphones, the company clearly sees great value in pursuing the development of handset components for others in the game. And with data from research firm Omdia suggesting the global foldable smartphone market will grow from 3.5 million units in 2020 to 50 million by 2026, it could certainly be on to something.
Interested in getting yourself a folding phone? We can throw some light on the best ones currently available.