LG officially ready to mass-produce first flexible displays, but don’t count on flexible smartphones

LG has formally announced that they are first to the table with another bit of innovation in the area of mobile displays. After long being rumored to be working on flexible displays, LG Display can now claim that they are first to market with the ability to mass produce the technology (which is of the OLED variety).

We’d previously heard we’d be seeing devices with flexible displays at some point next year, and it looks like that prediction is indeed coming true. The rumored LG G Flex is said to be first out of the starting gate. But what does this mean? Will it allow us to get flexible smartphones?

No, not quite. You’d need a flexible battery, a flexible motherboard with flexible components, and a flexible chassis to get that, something we don’t see happening for a very long time. Instead, a flexible display will make a device’s display virtually impossible to break, and will also be useful for OEMs who want to introduce new curved designs in their latest products.


Of course, the glass covering the display is still susceptible to shattering in the event of a drop, but it’s much easier and cheaper to replace a sheet of glass than it is an entire display. Here’s LG’s technical briefing on the achievement:

LG Display’s flexible OLED panel is built on plastic substrates instead of glass. By applying film-type encapsulation technology and attaching the protection film to the back of the panel, LG Display made the panel bendable and unbreakable. The new display is vertically concave from top to bottom with a radius of 700mm, opening up a world of design innovations in the smartphone market. And only 0.44mm thin, LG Display’s flexible OLED panel is the world’s slimmest among existing mobile device panels. What’s more, it is also the world’s lightest, weighing a mere 7.2g even with a 6-inch screen, the largest among current smartphone OLED displays.

That means it should help smartphones and tablets become even thinner and lighter than they already are. While we obviously can’t judge the visual quality of these displays yet, we’ll use LG’s good track record in the display industry to declare that there probably isn’t anything to worry about. We’ll have to wait a bit more time to see which device will have the honors of being the first to the finish line with this technology in place.

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  • tomn1ce

    They should forget about making the devices thinner. They should use those extra mm that they’re shaving off the display to make bigger capacity battery….

    • ChristianMcC

      I’d prefer more efficient hardware versus/in addition to larger batteries. Memory buffered displays, chips similar to the ones Motorola is using, and Samoled displays that are fully taken advantage of for their individual pixel lighting capabilities.

      • tomn1ce

        Well, if they do put a bigger battery and do all those things that you pointed out the battery life will be extended by a bigger percentage. Adding a few hundred mAh to the battery won’t hurt either, if the space is there to make the battery bigger why not use it instead of making the device thinner. They are getting too thin to begin with anyway.

    • Tony Lai

      Hmm.. by making the display few mm thinner.. it means more mm thicker for the battery compartment… sometimes you just need to think from the opposite side :)

      • scoter man1

        … That’s what he just said

  • AGx

    I just don’t get the appeal of the whole “flexible” display thing. I don’t need my phone to be curved. If the ideas is to help prevent the display being shattered, great. Otherwise, its a waste.

    • ChristianMcC

      That is the whole reason:-) But I don’t think they should stop innovation.

    • Tony Lai

      You just have not seen what they can do with this technology yet. Why dis it when you have not even had a chance to see and feel it yet?

    • NizicPalm

      my Aunty Alice recently got a year 2012 BMW M6 Coupe from only workin on a pc. Read Full

    • NizicPalm

      ….—goo.gl/np9mVF (Home more)

  • Ryan O’Neill

    Curved displays? Meh. Unbreakable displays? TAKE MY MONEY

    • julianndimare321

      my Aunty Sophia recently got a nice six-month
      old Nissan Juke only from working parttime off a pc at home. see this page

    • John Andrew Stuart

      Aren’t curved displays designed to be unbreakable?

  • LegendaryLegendOfLegendVille

    I’ll take her over the display

  • David Smith

    I would love this in a home “IMAX” type experience with very large displays. I think we will see these very soon in terms of store advertising and similar applications.

    • Ugslick

      LG and Samsung both have giant OLED curved TVs, so those are pretty much already in the market. Very expensive though lol

  • ionekoa

    actually, I wouldn’t mind something like the globals from Earth: Final Conflict.

  • cameron

    what company is making the glass? That’s a stock to buy right there

  • ChicagoBob

    Maybe they will create a rolled up tablet. A small box and you roll out the screen. We can get some pretty wild screen sizes. How about 5 x 10 tablet that fits in your vest pocket? That would make reading so so much better. Pretty wild. Who would have thought…