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LG Phone With Flexible OLED Screen Arriving 4Q13

By - Source: OLED-Info | B 10 comments

Feeling the heat from Samsung, LG will intro a smartphone with a flexible OLED screen in 4Q13.

On Wednesday LG vice president of mobile Yoon Bu-hyun told paywall giant The Wall Street Journal that the company plans to launch a smartphone with a flexible plastic-based OLED screen in the fourth quarter of this year. The LG exec did not say where this device will be offered, and what features it will have outside the unique screen offering.

A flexible OLED screen will give device makers more breathing room in their designs, allowing them to create form factors that break away from the traditional flat rectangle. Samsung revealed such a design back at CES 2013 which featured a flexible OLED screen that bent around one sloped side of a phone. This allowed the user to see notifications on the side of the phone as well as on the face.

LG's flexible OLED screens will be manufactured by LG Display who said during CES 2013 that the company was on track to start mass production in the second half of 2013. The capacity will be very limited, LG Display said, meaning that the company will only be able to handle one or two customers. These screens will consist of a polyimide coated substrate and direct-emission RGB sub-pixels.

News of LG's plans follows the OLED Association's announcement earlier this month that Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Note 3 will sport a YOUM display, or rather an unbreakable plastic substrate with an LTPS active matrix and RGB patterned OLED. The phone will be on exhibit at IFA 2013 in September and will be launched in 4Q13.

"Compared to glass substrate type AMOLEDs, the flexible display features a thinner and lighter form factor, resulting in smaller size and higher mobility," the Association said. "The display size is also expected to range from 5.5-inch up to 6.x-inch."

For example, an LCD screen of a specific size could measure 3.2-mm in thickness and weigh 160g. A glass-based OLED screen on the same size would measure 1.5-mm and weigh 100g whereas the new "UBP" OLED screen would measure 0.5-mm and weigh a mere 50g. That means more space under the hood for components like a larger battery.

"UBP OLED is built using thin film encapsulation and a PI (polyimide) backplane whereas glass substrate OLED employees glass encapsulation and cover glass," the Association explained.

Given that Samsung will showcase its Galaxy Note 3 in September, LG will likely do the same with its own flexible display solution, if not sooner. Nokia may also reveal a product sometime this year given its previous interest in flexible displays. How device prices will be affected due to the new screens is unknown at this point.

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  • 8 Hide
    randomoneh , April 25, 2013 11:35 AM
    I'd much rather have a curved PC display.
  • -4 Hide
    Mike Webb , April 25, 2013 11:41 AM
    Do We really need phones with Curved Display? The idea is itself rubbish..
  • 0 Hide
    macpeteo , April 25, 2013 11:55 AM
    Its not so much that a cell curved cell phone is "rubbish" it's just to show the flexibility of using the new type of screens. I for one like the rectangular form factor but would love to have a OLED screen JUST SO I CAN SEE THE DARN INFO ON THE SCREEN IN SUNLIGHT!
  • 1 Hide
    NeeKo , April 25, 2013 11:58 AM
    Looks nice, but still useless for a Smartphone I have to say. Would be nice to see this technology implemented in other things though.
  • 0 Hide
    dalethepcman , April 25, 2013 12:12 PM
    I would love to have one of these, not so much for the possibility of a curved display, more so for the "doesn't have glass that will break when you drop it 12"" feature.
    I can see this tech completely replacing traditional LCD/OLED displays in portable devices due to this alone.
  • 4 Hide
    toadboy , April 25, 2013 12:34 PM
    Can't wait for curved panoramic desktop monitors for full immersion. Bendy phones, meh...
  • 0 Hide
    hannibal , April 25, 2013 1:11 PM
    This could be actually guite usefull for example in sport phones. You could wrap around your wrist when running and fold it open when messaging or keep it folded while ansvering voice call. It would sit very nicely around your belt when working and you could open it when you need more space for reading blueprints etc. There are a whole a lot possibilities in there!
  • 0 Hide
    randomoneh , April 25, 2013 2:08 PM
    Can't wait for curved panoramic desktop monitors for full immersion. Bendy phones, meh...

    But you have to support it with the right software projection. Currently it's rectilinear (for flat displays). For curved displays, it'll have to be rectilinear vertically and cylindrical horizontally.

    iRacing, Digital Combat Simulator, Outerra, Unigine engine and some other games / simulators / engines support it already :love: 
  • 0 Hide
    slomo4sho , April 25, 2013 4:33 PM
    Let me know when the CPU and ram become flexible.
  • 0 Hide
    cmpmoab , April 25, 2013 8:23 PM
    Flexability for the screen enhances the options for portability, where, how, the end product can be used. example: wrist wrap, contoured for upper arm panel, steering wheel in car, over-head visor in car. etc etc, so many different directions to go. so..... saying the idea is rubbish is a bit obtuse and short-sighted.