Samsung Privately Showed Off its 7.3″ OLED Foldable Smartphone Prototype at CES
Foldable displays have been a mainstay of science fiction films for decades, and Samsung might make them a reality pretty soon. A select group of VIPs was reportedly shown the company’s prototype with a foldable display at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, according to ETNews.
Samsung’s foldable smartphone is said to have a 7.3-inch OLED display that can be folded inward at a curvature of 0.1mm and outward at a curvature of 0.5 mm. The engineering required to make the display bend outward is said to have been more complex and time-consuming than the inward bend. Samsung Display, the company’s panel-producing sub-division, has been bending the display a dozen times a day to ensure that it can withstand as many as 200,000 folds, but it was apparently worth the effort. At a curvature of 0.1 mm, the Samsung’s prototype can almost fold like paper.
Samsung is usually the first to market with new display tech. The company perfected OLED displays over several years to such an extent that Apple chose it to supply the iPhone X’s screen, the first OLED screen in iPhone history. Considering Samsung’s proven track record at mass-producing new display tech, it seems plausible that the electronics giant can deliver on a foldable, flexible smartphone.
Foldable devices were one of the biggest themes of CES this year. LG unveiled a TV that could fold up like paper, and ZTE exhibited the ZTE Axon M, the foldable smartphone it announced late last year. As display metrics like color accuracy, screen-to-bezel ratio, and others start to approach perfection, it’s only natural that the industry is searching for the next big thing, and foldable displays might be it.
The biggest issue with foldable displays, of course, is their durability, and it’s going to be interesting to see how the smartphone and tech industry tackles the issue.