LG to mass-produce flexible displays for smartphones

Looking to get a leg-up in the bendable display market, LG Display is going full throttle ahead with production of the new technology for mobile devices.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read
A flexible OLED display inside a protective covering. James Martin/CNET

LG Display is about to embark on the mass production of smartphone display panels that reportedly don't break, crack, or shatter -- because they can bend.

By the fourth quarter of this year, the electronics company plans to be supplying the flexible displays to a host of major clients, according to The Korea Times.

"We have completed the development of our first flexible displays. We will mass produce flexible displays from the fourth quarter of this year," the company told The Korea Times. "We will apply a 4.5th generation glass-cutting technology for the OLED flexible displays. Monthly capacity for the line was set as 12,000 sheets."

The push for flexible displays comes at a time of growing demand for new screen technology. LG spokesman Frank Lee told The Korea Times that one of the reasons the company was heading toward mass production was to meet "the rapid need for display advancements."

Flexible displays could be the new frontier for electronics; and, it appears that LG wants to get a leg-up on the market and become the first company to mass-produce the display panels for mobile devices. In April, LG Electronics (a stakeholder of LG Display) announced its plans to debut its first flexible smartphone sometime this year.

The OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology used in the LG bendable display screens is apparently thinner, lighter, and more flexible than conventional LCD displays. And, besides being unbreakable, bendable smartphones could curve with a user's body movements so that the devices sit more comfortably in a pocket or pack into any number of compartments.

LG isn't the only company working on the bendable displays. Samsung, Nokia, and even Apple have been working on flexible smartphone and tablet screens for years.

When contacted by CNET, a LG Display spokesperson confirmed that the company is going ahead with mass production. "LG Display will start to mass-produce flexible displays in the second half of this year as planned," the spokesperson wrote in an e-mail.

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