— Displays based on flexible OLEDs will enable a tidal wave of new, innovative smartphone products within the next 3 years and will come to dominate within 10 years
BOSTON, Sept. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The launch of the innovative Samsung Note Edge last week and the Samsung Round and the LG G-Flex a few months ago took the hype surrounding flexible displays one step closer to reality. However, despite being made from flexible OLED materials, these first-generation phones offer limited new functionality and in fact have curved rigid screens, rather than flexible screens.
The Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies (HCT) service report, "Flexible OLED Displays: A New Wave of Technological Innovation in Smartphone Design," details recent technological advancements and profiles the leading suppliers.
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The Note Edge features an innovative edge screen which can be used independently of the main screen for notifications during video playback or while the main screen is off. Curved OLED screens offer a number of benefits over rigid LCD screens including being lighter, thinner and supposedly more durable. In addition, the curved form factor of the screens may offer a more comfortable user experience. Nevertheless looking to the longer term truly disruptive impact these developments will have, they are a huge leap forward in display technology and are the pre-cursors to truly flexible second-generation products. In the future, leveraging the OLED material’s flexibility will enable a host of completely new designs and form factors to be developed such as smartphones with tablet-sized foldable screens.
"However, a number of challenges will need to be overcome before truly flexible and foldable devices become commercially available. More of the phone’s components need to be flexible to make a truly flexible phone, not just the display," according to Stuart Robinson, Director of the Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies service. "This includes the cover material, the batteries as well as the semiconductors and other components. In addition, new tools and processes will need to be developed for cost-effective volume production," he added.
"Once these manufacturing challenges are overcome, a range of new, innovative smartphone products will be launched, probably within the next 3 years," said Stephen Entwistle, Strategic Technologies VP at Strategy Analytics. "It is likely that flexible OLED displays will become the preferred display technology in mass consumer products within the next 10 years," he added.
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Main contact: Stuart Robinson, +44(0) 1908 423 637, email@example.com
Additional contact: Stephen Entwistle, +44(0) 1908 423 636, firstname.lastname@example.org