By Alexandra Burlacu | Jun 23, 2013 08:37 PM EDT
LG Display is ready to take things to the next level and start mass-producing flexible display panels for use in smartphones.
Flexible display technology is much-touted and highly anticipated because it would allow for far more durability, as such displays can bend instead of shattering, breaking or cracking.
According to a new report from The Korea Times, electronics company LG Display plans to supply flexible displays to a slew of major clients by the fourth quarter of this year.
"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 publication. "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 smartphone market is advancing at a very rapid pace, with exciting, high-end handsets flooding the market and boasting all sorts of neat specs and features. A high-end smartphone, however, requires a significant investment and durability is of paramount importance. Many consumers are still reluctant about shelling out several hundreds of dollars on a fragile handset that could easily break upon impact.
The hype about flexible displays comes as the market sees a growing demand for new display technology. According to The Korea Times, LG spokesman Frank Lee acknowledged that one of the reasons LG Display was rushing to mass production was to meet "the rapid need for display advancements."
Flexible displays could be the next big thing for electronics and LG is apparently keen on becoming the first company to mass-produce such display panels for smartphones and other mobile devices.
Back in late April, LG's Vice President of Mobile Yoon Bu-hyun said the company plans to unveil its first flexible smartphone sometime this year. The OLED technology LG used in its bendable display panels is reportedly thinner, lighter and more flexible than traditional LCD displays. Smartphones with flexible displays would not only be unbreakable, but they could also be far more comfortable to fit in a pocket, adapting to the user's position or body movements. Considering the current trend for increasingly bigger smartphones, this could come in handy.
Following the Korea Times report, CNET contacted LG Display as well and received confirmation from a company spokesperson.
"LG Display will start to mass-produce flexible displays in the second half of this year as planned," the spokesperson told CNET in an emailed statement.
Flexible displays appeared in trade shows for years, but so far they seemed to be some futuristic tech that will not see the light of day anytime soon. Other companies including Nokia, Samsung and Apple have reportedly been working on flexible smartphone and tablet screens for years, but nothing hit the market yet. If LG sticks to its plan, however, the technology may finally become available this year.
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