Samsung and LG reportedly ramp up foldable smartphone display development
Will 2016 finally be the year of fully flexible smartphones? It’s still hard to anticipate, as Samsung teased the looming materialization of the groundbreaking technology a while back, then insiders hinted at a “Project Valley” January ETA, but certain major hurdles remain tricky to clear.
You have to keep in mind that, in order to bend without hindrance, a phone needs a slew of malleable components, not just the foldable screens Samsung and LG are reportedly very close to begin mass-manufacturing.
There’s also the delicate issue of the ensemble’s endurance under repeated folding and unfolding, assuming the two Korean tech giants can solve the elastic battery, motherboard and various chips puzzle.
But at least the displays are coming together nicely, according to local media. Apparently, a foldable two-part 11-inch tablet panel has already been patented by Samsung, and this could be used as a starting point for the Valley handheld’s futuristic realization.
Meanwhile, LG is rumored to have succeeded in the production of a similarly limber display earlier this year too, though we’re short on specifics. What’s obvious is if Apple will want to join the party in the near future, a partnership with one or both these companies has to be arranged.
Reportedly, the 2018 iPhone (8?) might be capable of curling up in a ball to better fit in your trouser pockets and withstand contacts against hard surfaces sans bruising. But if that’s the case, the technology must reach maturity by then, meaning experimental Galaxy and G-series devices could well see daylight next year. Finally, true, non-gimmicky mobile innovation on the horizon!