Samsung could be the first to launch a foldable smartphone next year but, according to some rumors, it won't be the only one. Apple is also interested
New rumors say that several giants have models with a foldable display in the pipeline, including Apple, and these innovative devices could see the light in the coming years. Will Apple be able to release its first foldable iPhone model by 2018?
To make a foldable smartphone, you need a display with a type of flexible glass. OLED is foldable, while LCD is not. Will it be a coincidence that, again according to rumors, Apple will launch its first iPhone with a curved OLED screen next year? There is only one company in the world - at least according to information from the Korea Herald - that is able to produce in large quantities colorless polyimide, i.e. the glass to protect foldable OLED screens, and that is Kolon Industries. The company, at the moment, seems to supply this type of material to Samsung, LG and BOE. But Apple may also be interested in this special glass.
Kang Chung-Seok of Kolon Industries - who heads the division that produces the colorless polyimide - says that "3 to 5 companies are expected to start mass-producing foldable phones in 2018 globally. And that these will soon capture about 20% of the market share." Kolon estimates that the first foldable devices could have a 5-millimeter radius of curvature, rather than a single millimeter that would allow the two pieces of glass to close like a wallet. But that's still the goal.
What will Apple do?
Apple has always been very cautious about adopting certain technologies, always choosing to bring only those that met its high standards in both performance and quality to the iPhone. It will be interesting to find out how long it will take before we see a foldable iPhone - an iPad - on the market. Although it should not be forgotten that Apple already has several patents for devices of this type.