LG Display is working on developing foldable devices with Chinese partners in smartphone and PC. LG Electronics, its parent company, has immediately entered into an alliance with Chinese vendors even without carrying out any project on foldable devices. This is in contrast to Samsung Display’s collaboration with Samsung Electronics’ Wireless Business division on initiating foldable devices years ago.
According to reliable sources on 19 Nov, LG Display has come to the decision to develope foldable panels to Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo, on a joint-effort.
It is predicted that LG Display’s foldable panel will be equipped with major materials like Transparent Polyimide (PI) cover window, Optical Clear Adhesive (OCA) and PI varnish / substrate. For this, LG Chem has ironed out a plan to scheme an investment in its Cheongju plant early next year. (Reference: Article LG Chem, All-In for Foldable Display Upon Appointment of New CEO)
LG Display is now developing a 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600 resolution QXGA foldable panel and expects to go into production by Q3 of 2019. Lenovo will be establishing a foldable tablet once the panel is received. Release of this product is scheduled to be Q4 next year. It will be designed to fold inward, without outer display that when folded, parts of the display will be visible showing date, time, weather alongside other notifications.
Huawei on the other hand will be concentrating on 6-inch display that folds outward, in which both sides of the screen will be seen. As for Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display, separate panels are furnished to display the screen, when folded.
Outward folding will have a larger curve than the inward method as the stress on the folding parts will increase. It is claimed to be challenge to the durability. Huawei is reportedly banding on this with not just LG Display, but also BOE, a Chinese supplier of display products and solutions. Besides Lenovo and Huawei, LG Display is carrying out similar project with Xiaomi.
Samsung Display will be providing samples of the foldable panels to foreign customers besides Samsung Electronics. “Foldable phones or tablets won’t be made available simply by having a panel. Other aspects of the end product, like the user interface and design, need to be looked into seriously”, said an insider. Reason for the fold, should first be unfolded.