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LG Display Ready to Mass Produce Flexible OLED Panels for Smartphones, to Introduce Products Next Year

lg flexible display oled

Flexible displays are all the rage these days for smartphones, with Samsung and LG battling to get theirs to market first and then onto devices. LG, as of late last night, is claiming that their flexible OLED is the first to be ready for mass production. In a press release, LG says that they already have a 6-inch flexible OLED that weighs just 7.2g and is only 0.44mm thick. 

Typically when LG announces a new panel or technology that is made for smartphones or tablets, we tend to see an announcement of a product that uses the tech within a couple of weeks, sometimes days. With that said, LG did specifically mention that they expect flexible OLED displays to show up in automotive displays, and on tablets and wearable devices in the very near future. Their goal is to take an early lead in this market by introducing new products and enhanced performance and differentiated designs “next year.” That sounds to me like a flexible product isn’t coming until 2014.

Update:  Reuters is reporting that LG could announce a phone with a flexible display as early as next month. The press release clearly states “next year,” but hey, stranger things have happened. Who wants to start the Nexus 5 flexible display hypebeast story?

Should they announce something new, we’ll be sure to pass it along.

LG Display Mass-Produce World’s First Flexible OLED Panel for Smartphones

LG Display brings innovation to the smartphone market with cutting-edge panel

Seoul, Korea (Oct. 7, 2013) – LG Display [NYSE: LPL, KRX: 034220], the world’s leading innovator of display technologies, today announced that it will start mass-production of the world’s first flexible OLED panel for smartphones. This state-of-the-art panel represents another milestone following the company’s commercial rollout of the world’s first 55-inch OLED TV display earlier this year.

“LG Display is launching a new era of flexible displays for smartphones with its industry-leading technology,” said Dr. Sang Deog Yeo, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of LG Display. “The flexible display market is expected 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.”

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.

In March 2012 LG Display developed the world’s first 6-inch Electronic Paper Display (EPD) based on e-ink which utilizes a plastic backplane. Having previously showcased the world’s first curved 55-inch OLED TV panel at CES 2013, today’s announcement highlights the company’s leading position in advanced flexible display technologies.

According to research firm IHS Display Bank, the global flexible display industry will see dramatic growth and become a USD 1.5 billion market by 2016, exceeding USD 10 billion by 2019. LG Display plans to advance flexible display technologies and bring innovation to consumers’ daily lives with the introduction of rollable and foldable displays in various sizes.

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 About LG Display

LG Display Co., Ltd. [NYSE: LPL, KRX: 034220] is a leading manufacturer and supplier of thin-film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panels, OLEDs and flexible displays. The company provides TFT-LCD panels in a wide range of sizes and specifications for use in TVs, monitors, notebook PCs, mobile products and other various applications. LG Display currently operates nine fabrication facilities and seven back-end assembly facilities in Korea, China, Poland, and Mexico. The company has a total of 56,000 employees operating worldwide. For more news and information about LG Display, please visit www.lgdnewsroom.com.

  • http://www.controlrooms.at/ Erich Strasser

    Samsung Display is also ready to mass produce flexible OLEDs in 2014, there are rumors that Galaxy S5 will be bendable!

  • guy

    The girl in the picture makes my OLED completely inflexible.

  • schoat333

    Samsung…. oh wait LG? What the?

  • Josh Fischer

    I don’t see this as practical in the idea of a truly flexible phone. Depending on the scratch resistance of the screen, it’ll still use some sort of protective film, likely forcing it to be rigid. To add to that, the frames, batteries, other components of a phone won’t allow for a truly flexible phone. However, where I think you will see this used is to create new unique designs for wearable tech such as watches. Also, this tech will likely be scaled up to be used to wrap things with digital displays that otherwise couldn’t be done due to unique shapes.

    BTW – wasn’t their recently some news regarding LG and a curved display? Something like the galaxy nexus but with a truely curved panel as well could be neat. Not game changing though.

    • Patrick Bateman

      I am from the future… You are wrong…

  • duke69111

    Instead of messing around with the displays, focus on making batteries last forever in a compact design.

    • zurginator

      They’re doing that too – the issue is these things don’t just happen faster when you throw money at them, the idea has to be formed first.

      You have to realize everyone and their mother’s brother’s cousin twice removed are researching batteries. Whoever makes the breakthrough is going to be rich. So Energizer, Duracell, Samsung, LG, Motorola, and everyone else ARE focusing on it.

  • Orion Pax

    Nexus 6 phone with flexible display.
    Nexus 7 (2014) with flexible display.
    1st or 2nd gen Nexus smartwatch with flexible display.

  • jszklany

    The worst part is it takes that whole black box to operate the screen – heading back to the suitcase phones!

  • http://www.ashevilletechnologyservices.com Dan Brown

    LG Optimus Prime Max G2 Smartwatch!!!

  • James Hill

    Gotta love thinking about 20/20.

  • Chris Wallace

    Blur the display instead of the hot Korean girl next time.

  • AndroidUser00110001

    I would like to see how flexible something else in that picture is :-D

    • StuckOnVerizonForever

      Like a zipper….i mean what are we talking about?

  • Derrick Jefferson

    I assume that the main benefit of a flexible display is that it is harder to break, right?

  • flosserelli

    *yawn*
    Wake me up when they have flexible frames & batteries to match.

    • Jeremy Alajajian

      And CPUs, GPUs, batteries…etc…

      • StuckOnVerizonForever

        Yeah if my sh×t dont flex dont bother. Might as well make invisible phones.

        • Jonathan Williams

          Or phones that make me invisible.

    • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

      Seems like this has other great benefits..

      “LG Display made the panel bendable and unbreakable.”

      • Jason

        Sweet – i’m tired of buying digitizers

      • zurginator

        The screen isn’t what breaks 99% of the time – it’s the glass on top of it.

        • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

          Looks like they might not have to use glass anymore:

          “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.”

          • zurginator

            The catch being that almost everything scratches plastic.

          • michael arazan

            I wonder if Humidity and or condensation would play a factor with something that thin especially taking it inside from one temperature environment to another, or accidentally leaving it in the sun

    • zurginator

      Problem with that is how would you use it?

      1-handed operation goes completely out the window when you start using a flexible object.