It's been known for some time now that LG Electronics, the major stakeholder of LG Display, plans to release its first flexible smartphone later this year. Where the news gets a little interesting is that company officials are hinted at selling the screens to other major mobile producers because the company predicts its flexible displays will become the latest mobile trend. Could Apple be one of these major mobile producers?
At the moment, Apple has a patent pending concept on record for a possible future flexible display based iPhone. Shown below is an artist's rendition of what it could actually look like in the real world and it does possess a show stopping form factor.
Of course there's no guarantee that Apple is one of the "major mobile producers" that LG is hinting at, but they sure know that framing their statement that way is going to get some buzz from the Apple community.
On paper, there's one drawback to LG's smartphone flexible displays that would be unappealing to Apple. LG's flexible displays are based on OLED technology and Apple's CEO Tim Cook has an unflattering view of this technology. During the Goldman Sachs conference earlier this year Cook stated the following:
"Some people use displays—like OLED displays, the color saturation is awful. If you ever buy anything online, and you want to really know what the color is, as many people do, you should really think twice before you depend on the color of the OLED display. The Retina display is twice as bright as an OLED display."
However, to counter that position, LG is on record stating that their new OLED flexible display will support ultra-high definition panels (UHD) which greatly enhances brightness. In March, Korea IT News reported that LG Chem would produce "the world's best luminance" using 80ml/W OLED light which is twice the brightness of their previous generation. These panels are aimed for the second half of the year which is in sync with LG Display's latest announcements.
In today's report, LG spokesman Frank Lee added that his company is looking to meet "the rapid need for display advancements," which also includes the fact that the displays are unbreakable.
Considering that this is a new developing technology, Apple is likely to delay the adoption of the new flexible displays until LG could build up production levels to meet the demand for such a future iPhone. That could translate to sometime in 2014 or beyond.
On the flip side, Apple's CEO stated during his recent D11 Conference interview that Apple believes "very much in the element of surprise. We think customers love surprises." So who knows if the time is right for an iPhone with a flexible display? It's highly unlikely that we'll see this unfold in September, but not impossible. And with LG playing up the "major mobile producers" marketing angle, it sure fires up the imagination of possibilities.
What are your thoughts on Apple adopting a flexible display for a future iPhone? Send in your comments.
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