Apple could release an iPhone with a foldable OLED display sometime after 2020 thanks to a new partnership with LG Display. According to Korean news outlet The Bell, LG Display has recently set up a task force, dedicated to developing a foldable OLED screen for a future iPhone.
LG Innotek, a sister company, has been tasked with developing foldable circuit boards to work in tandem with the screen.
Unnamed industry sources have said production for Apple's foldable OLED screens will begin in 2020 when the LG Display's new factory, E6 will be finished being built. Apple is thought to be investing in the construction of the factory to speed up the completion time.
LG has been working on folding OLED panels itself for the past three years and has been using the time to improve quality and yield rate. The company has developed and testing large folding screens, likely to be used for TVs and advertising boards, but smaller screens for mobile phones are harder to produce.
Partnering up with LG Display may seem strange, considering Apple has just used Samsung Display OLED panels in the iPhone X and will likely use the same in 2018's successor. However, The Bell says Apple isn't using Samsung Display to develop a foldable screen, because the technology could be leaked to Samsung Electronics, which is working a foldable smartphone of its own, currently called the Galaxy X.
- Samsung Galaxy X foldable smartphone closer to launch following certification
- LG rolls out the world's first 77-inch flexible OLED display
Recent reports suggest Samsung's folding phone could see the light of day first, perhaps as early as 2019.