Emerging Technology

LG puts flexible displays into mass production, Samsung set to announce flexible smartphone

Andrew Sadauskas /

LG has announced that it is putting flexible display technology into mass production, as reports surface Samsung is considering announcing a flexible display smartphone as soon as the end of this month.

In its official statement, LG revealed that they are opting for plastic substrates for their display, rather than a flexible glass technology such as Corning’s Willow Glass.

“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,” LG stated.

“And only 0.44mm [thick], 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.”

According to Reuters, LG is planning to launch a 6-inch smartphone using the technology in November.

Not to be outdone, reports surfaced in Korean language publication Korean IT News that Samsung currently has a pilot production line.

Samsung’s panels are 5.7-inch in size, weigh 5.2g and are just 0.12 mm thick.

In July, reports surfaced Samsung was considering using a flexible display for its galaxy note 3.

As of August, Samsung Display had a production line serving both rigid and flexible displays capable of handling 8000 1300x1500mm sheets per month, although even with an unrealistically high yield of 100%, this would only produce between 1 million and 1.5 million 5 to 6-inch panels per month.

LG’s capacity was even lower, with its plants currently handling 12,000 730×920 sheets per month, meaning less than 500,000 panels per month with an unrealistically high yield of 100%.

Samsung has also had difficulty putting the technology into mass production, with low yields causing over a year of delays in its attempts to mass produce flexible displays.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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