Future Apple products ranging from an iPhone to an iPod touch to a wristband wearable computer have been shown to incorporate displays with a slight curve right through to full wraparound designs. Apple even has a few patent pending battery designs on the books to support possible devices with cool curves. Today we learned that Apple has willing partners in both LG Display and LG Chem that are ready to assist them should they decide to revamp their current handset designs and/or introduce a new curvaceous wearable computer in the months or years ahead.
Today we learned that LG Chem had been producing curved batteries since July at its plant in the Chinese city of Nanjing.
Kwon Young-soo, president of LG Chem's battery division stated today that they've "successfully developed batteries that haven't existed before with our own patents. This is one of the greatest achievements for us. LG Chem will expand our leadership in small-sized batteries as well as continue our expansion in being the ongoing leader in car batteries and those for energy storage solutions."
The firm said these curved batteries are already being used to power G2 smartphones manufactured by LG Electronics, the group's consumer electronics affiliate.
LG Electronics isn't the only one that has shown interest in adopting curved batteries for upcoming flagship models as LG Chem is preparing to sell the products to other smartphone vendors, said a company spokesman Owen Sung.
"As curved batteries are totally new but strongly required for the lucrative flexible smartphones, we will have a lot of business opportunities," said the spokesman refusing to name its potential clients for the batteries.
LG's future batteries are categorized as stepped battery, curved battery and cable battery, it said in a press release.
By adopting LG's "stack and folding technology," it can build batteries that will fit inside phones, watches and glasses for smart devices.
The announcement came a day after the group's display unit confirmed it will start production of curved OLED display for future smartphones. The LG Display-manufactured panels are built using plastic instead of glass. They are bendable and unbreakable displays.
A company official pointed out that "because the cable battery has been designed to use less electricity, the battery does not heat up although the user may operate the device for a long time. Moreover, the waterproof features of the battery allow it to be used in wearable gadgets regardless of flexible figures, from necklace types to smart watches."
Market analysts are saying that the curved battery and flexible display market will grow quickly as these technologies expand further into diverse applications including automotive displays, tablets and wearable devices.
LG Display is the primary display supplier for Apple. LG Chem is also selling its small-sized batteries for the iPhone as well as leading vendors for smartphones and PCs.
While we don't have a crystal ball that will allow us to forecast when or if Apple will take advantage of LG's new capabilities, we at least know that Apple has a partner willing and able to assist them with prototypes through to volume production should the need arise.