The news is interesting even if you ignore the whole ‘I've got a phone that can go round corners' thing. Mobile phone screens have been dominated by its rival Samsung Display. That's been changing with the likes of the LG V30 and Google Pixel 2, both with LGD OLED displays.
Samsung is Apple's biggest challenger in smartphones, but Cupertino still had to go to Samsung Display for the OLED on the iPhone X. Choosing LG instead could be a way for Apple to distance itself from its rival, avoiding technology leakage and keeping money out of Samsung Group.
Samsung Display's been showing a foldable small OLED behind closed doors (the worst-kept secret in the industry) for years, and is set to launch a phone with the tech next year. A foldable screen is only the first step - all of the electronics and chassis need to bend as well, which is more difficult.
The Bell says that LGD has set up a task force to develop the foldable screen, while its component-making sister company LG Innotek has started a team to develop the ‘rigid flexible (yeah, we know…) printed circuit board', or RFPCB.
Sources say that panel production could start in 2020, meaning any sort of foldable iPhone could be launched the same year. The Investor notes, though, that LGD is expected to begin OLED iPhone screen production at its E6 plant in Paju in 2019. Apple is rumoured to be considering investing in this plant, but a deal hasn't been finalised. µ
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