LG Thinks Flexible Displays Are the Future, Do You?
LG enjoyed moderate success with its flexible 6-inch G Flex, enough to invest in this year’s successor, the G Flex 2. This confidence has been reflected in the company’s insistence that flexible smartphones will make up 40% of the market share in 2018, and now more firmly in its newly announced flexible display factory.
Despite the phone itself initially suffering from issues with performance due to poorly optimized software and its now infamous processor, the design principles of the Flex 2 are logical and have some distinct advantages. These include ergonomic improvements like making the top of a large display slightly easier to reach and having the phone fit the face and hand more naturally, as well as physical gains in the durability of the screen and handset as a whole (see The State of Smartphone Design for more details). As much as curved screens are becoming more popular however, fully flexible devices are yet to fully hit the mainstream.
LG has made its intentions clear in this respect; they still agree with their previous projections, and have put 1.05 trillion Won ($907 million) towards the construction of a new plant dedicated to the production of flexible displays. This outlay is set to begin in the third quarter of this year, for over two years, and is specifically funded by LG’s ‘LG Display’ off-shoot, who are one of the world’s top two screen manufacturers along with Samsung Display Co. Of course there is more to a flexible phone than the display, like ensuring circuit boards and batteries have room to move over one another, but considering that the average user’s attention is almost wholly focussed on the screen, poor quality in this department can affect the experience hugely and cripple a device’s chance at success.
It looks as if this investment is also geared in the direction of the introduction of foldable (or rollable) displays which is good for driving innovation within the industry as a whole, especially considering that LG Display provides hardware for other OEMS. However, an important part of owning a dedicated production line for flexible displays is increasing the yield and quality of said components. This could contribute greatly to the uptake of this kind of device, as consumers of previous examples have experienced issues in this area, with threads here at XDA dedicated to the evidence. Ultimately though, this move from LG should inspire confidence amongst fans of the form factor, and leaves us hopeful for what we’ll see over the coming years from the South Korean giant.
Do you think flexible displays are the future of the mobile world? Let us know in the comments below.