According to The Elec, Google has asked Samsung to develop a foldable OLED panel with a size of about 7.6 inches. According to reports, Samsung is developing foldable OLED panels for supply to OPPO, Xiaomi and Google. These panels will be used in devices launched later in 2021.
It is reported that as more and more Android smartphone manufacturers launch foldable devices, Apple has also reported that it may launch a foldable iPhone in the future, and Google may launch its first foldable Pixel device as soon as possible this year.
According to documents leaked in August last year, Google plans to release a foldable Pixel phone in the fourth quarter of 2021. Google confirmed in 2019 that the company is developing technology that can be used in foldable devices, but at the time the company said that it “has not seen specific use cases,” which played down the prospect of launching foldable devices.
This report makes the news that Google will launch a foldable device more credible. It is reported that the first foldable Pixel phone will use the now more popular internal folding design. The recently released Huawei Mate X2 uses inward folding technology. According to Huawei, Mate X2 uses innovative materials and hinge technology to achieve seamless folding and eliminate display creases.
It is reported that Samsung is the first manufacturer to launch a foldable device, but the 2019 Galaxy Fold has major design problems, including display creases and panel breakage caused by debris entering the hinge. Samsung learned from the design of the Fold, improved the design, and finally brought the Fold to the market again. Since then, the company has introduced foldable flip phones, such as the recent Galaxy Z Flip.
Market research company Omdia predicts that foldable OLED sales this year will reach 2.1 billion U.S. dollars (approximately 13.56 billion yuan), an increase of 203% over 2020. The foldable panels produced by Samsung are expected to account for most of the sales.
Samsung has always been an important supplier to Apple, providing OLED displays for Apple. It is reported that Samsung intends to lead the foldable display market as a supplier, and is considering increasing production to 10 million units per year based on demand.
Although Apple has not yet made a clear response on whether to launch a foldable phone, there have been rumors that Apple has obtained samples of the foldable display from Samsung for future iPhone testing.
It is reported that Apple has been studying foldable display technology for some time and has applied for a number of patents related to this technology. LG also has similar rumors.
The news of Apple and Samsung’s orders for foldable displays gave us some hints that work on the foldable iPhone is continuing, and there are rumors that the phone will be released in 2023 at the earliest.