LG reportedly getting ready to mass-produce foldable displays for an unnamed partner


According to a recent report from South Korea, LG's Display division is getting ready to mass-produce displays that can be folded up to 100,000 times with no physical damage. Unlike Samsung, which is the other tech giant that's actively looking into foldable displays, the report says that LG will not make use of these foldable displays in one of its own smartphones. Instead, the LG is said to provide foldable display panels for another company.

Although the report does not specifically mention the name of this mysterious partner, it does say that it's a global software business with ambitions to compete against Samsung and Apple in the high-end smartphone market. From the looks of it, this partner is not lacking financial resources, as the report also says that LG will split the investment costs, said to rise to hundreds of millions of US dollars, with this unnamed partner. LG is rumored to manufacture these foldable panels at its facility in Gumi, Kyeongbuk.

Microsoft, as the largest software company on the globe by market cap, seems to be our best guess, especially with Windows 10 Mobile right around the corner, although nothing can be confirmed at this point.

Interestingly, the report also notes that LG's partner has also sampled foldable displays from Samsung, but have ultimately decided to go with LG's offering. Just a few days ago, we told you that the first Samsung smartphone with a foldable display might be launched as early as this January.

If it's starting to look like foldable displays will gain significant importance in the near future, you're not alone. According to market research results from HIS, foldable displays will amount to about a quarter of all flexible display sales in 2016. In 2020, that figure is said to cross the 50% line.

What do you guys think? Are foldable smartphones going to take off in 2016?

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32 Comments

1. eman99

Posts: 409; Member since: Aug 03, 2010

for samsung i bet

10. Subie

Posts: 2354; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

The article says it's for a company looking to compete against Samsung and Apple.

14. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

My guess - xiaomi

23. savagx

Posts: 33; Member since: Sep 15, 2015

Good guess, xiaomi new flagishp mi5 will probably have bended screen.

27. BORIS070

Posts: 67; Member since: Aug 13, 2015

chinese crash

26. yann

Posts: 613; Member since: Jul 15, 2010

It is NOKIA. They said that must split investments - Microsoft have enough money and do not need to split with LG. NOKIA from other side is not willing to invest too much. They had such ideas 10 years ago. Prototypes etc. It is my best guess. Nothing more.

29. rishav20193

Posts: 241; Member since: Jul 18, 2015

samsung has a display division.....why would it need lg ??

30. mixedfish

Posts: 1551; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Manufacturing capacity and cost, just because you can make it doesn't you can do it cheaper.

2. Landon

Posts: 1244; Member since: May 07, 2015

I doubt it will take off that much in 2016 but I hope I'm wrong!

3. Iodine

Posts: 1478; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Deffinitelly Apple for their Apple watch. It's the only mass produced device which uses custom flexible oleds build by LG, because flexing supposedly enables Force touch. Apple is investing a lot into displays, maybe it's for the next generation of Apple Watch.

5. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Sure its for a watch.. do you bend your watch? Did you see the news? Samsung is making a smart flip phone with a screen thats bend exactly in the middle. wake up there is more than Apple on this planet!

12. kajam

Posts: 220; Member since: Jun 24, 2015

LMAO i couldn't believe what he just wrote starting with Deffinitelly

19. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

curved screen is enough for a watch.. maybe samsung is the one who need bendable screen (since they cant make bendable superamoled yet)

20. 7a6d3e7

Posts: 22; Member since: Sep 14, 2015

Agree.. If I were a designer I d pick a curved display that would allow me to use strong gorilla glass for protection. LG and Samsung have probably come up with a neat solution for this problem. Other than glass protection the other problem I see is stiffness when using touch (assuming they are big panels)

21. bambamboogy02

Posts: 837; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

No need for strong glass , when the glass itself bends. No real fear of damage.

28. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

uhh? Hard impacts and scratchs? Maybe?

33. kajam

Posts: 220; Member since: Jun 24, 2015

there is no such bendable glass

6. gersont1000

Posts: 473; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

The article clearly states "business with ambitions to compete against Samsung and Apple". So NO, it's not Apple.

7. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Well drinking the Kool-Aid can have some bad effects.

8. Man_Utd

Posts: 176; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

Apple doesn't innovate anymore, hardware-wise. What they do is wait for a technology to mature, then jump onboard.

18. ameran

Posts: 344; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

I have been saying this for years. You are exactly right. Apple always adopts the technology from others, calls it with a fancy name, and then introduces it as new Apple revolution.

4. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Intel or Microsoft.

11. Subie

Posts: 2354; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Is Intel a global software business? Google would make more sense.

16. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Sort of. Tizen. lol Okay my mistake, definitely not intel. I had an ifan moment there.

15. jessyi

Posts: 327; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

Why dont they use it for themselves?Lg needs innovation in design

24. An.Awesome.Guy

Posts: 636; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

Let us say that Microsoft is the company that would buy these stuff. MS may risk and pay 500 million dollar easily for a new Surface or new tech for their Windows devices and then LG would take $500 million without loosing money. On the other hand it is too much money for LG and if people didn't trust and didn't like these devices ,then it would be a big lost for them in which that may force them to leave the business of foldable devices . TL;DR : It is too risky for LG to spend these money and much safer to give it to others.

17. cleatglitch

Posts: 162; Member since: May 25, 2013

i'm all inn

22. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

Foldable smartphone no thanks i prefer the conventional form factor than Curved, Edge or even foldable smartphones. But i'll buy foldable or even rollable tablet & TV with full blown Windows OS.

25. meanestgenius

Posts: 21778; Member since: May 28, 2014

Definitely think this will be for Microsoft. With Windows 10 f Mobile right around the corner, they will be looking to do everything possible to heavily compete with Google/Android and Apple/iOS.

31. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Hmm, I wonder what would be the ideal size... You don't want it too thick. I am guessing probably a 3.5 display sized phone that folds out into a phablet size? So fold a Note 5 or GS6 edge plus in half or something like that. That would be a great size actually. And I guess the phablet fans want a phablet size that can fold out into a 10 inch tablet. I don't think that math works though because 10 inch diagonal is huge. Might have to fold 3 times for that.

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