LG showed an interesting solution for smartphone foldable: a foldable display covered in plastic capable of flexing in both directions, without showing creases. The solution is thinner than tempered glass but promises to be just as tough. And it could arrive on smartphones as early as 2023.
LG presents a foldable display made of plastic
At the moment, the foldable smartphone market is still a niche market. A niche dominated by Samsung, which uses glass screens with a protective film that ensures they don’t break. LG instead proposes a different solution, using a super resistant plastic display.
LG no longer builds smartphones, so the product will arrive on phones built by other companies. In fact it comes from the LG Chem division, which claims to use a Polyester film (PET) to completely cover the glass inside. A coating that promises “maximum flexibility”, as hard as glass but less “prone to crack the screen”.
The system is called Real Folding Window and it has “a few dozen micrometers” of this coating, which should also help resist the heat that smartphones are often subjected to. But the real benefit is the ability to bend in both directions. Something that smartphone manufacturers could use for even more innovative solutions.
The LG display is also suitable for use on tablets and laptops. But it seems clear that LG is targeting the growing foldable smartphone market. In particular, in 2023 it seems that even one could be released foldable version of iPhone. If LG were to persuade Apple to buy its screen, it would have a major competitive advantage over the competition.
For applications of this foldable display in two directions we will have to wait a couple of years. But it might be worth it.