Following numerous leaks and rumours, LG has officially announced its 6-inch flexible OLED panels have entered mass-production.
Production starting now means the panels will be ready for the launch of a smartphone carrying the tech to arrive in November, according to Reuters’ source “familiar with the matter”.
If previous rumours are accurate, that device could be the LG G Flex or LG Z, fitted with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor.
The new display will, as per rumours, be implemented as a curved panel with a concave curvature from top-to-bottom, it could be similar therefore, to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus curved display but the flexible screen technology is bound to make things easier.
Samsung is also known to be prepping a flexible display phone, dubbed the Galaxy Round, for October, though sources say its curved panel will curve from side-to-side. We’re yet to see evidence of these curved panels being anything more than a novelty at this point.
The true potential for flexible OLEDs which has analysts excited is for future implementations in genuinely bendable, foldable and retractable devices with completely new form factors. The first devices coming from both LG and Samsung simply exhibit more durable touch displays using conventional fixed chassis construction and the screens with a fixed curvature.
There are potentially other advantages to flexible OLED, however. According to reports, once all the kinks are ironed out the manufacture of flexible OLED plastic substrate is supposed to be cheaper and easier than the current glass substrate. At the moment it’s a bit expensive and tricky though, so both LG and Samsung’s handsets are expected to be limited-run products and it’s uncertain what the availability will be like outside of Korea.
Another key advantage is that the flexible OLED tech allows for overall thinner display panels. While that does mean we could see thinner devices, what’s more interesting is it could mean manufacturers could fit larger capacity battery packs into handsets which are the same thickness as current smartphones.