Apple orders mystery folding displays from LG

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LG-flexible-OLED
LG's flexible OLED displays.
Photo: LG DIsplay

LG Display is to start mass-producing folding OLED displays in 2018, and new reports claim Apple is one of the first companies to have already placed an order. The displays pave the way for smarter flip phones that can be folded in the middle.

Apple has a series of patents for smartphones and other gadgets that can be folded up. Some of its designs help ensure that the device’s display is protected while the phone isn’t in use, while in others, the display remains on the outside of the phone so it can still be used.

Now Apple, along with Google and Microsoft, is working with LG Display to turn those ideas into a reality, according to a report from ET NewsThe tech giants are said to be the first to have placed orders for LG’s new display technology.

LG has already developed prototype folding displays, which are thought to be very impressive. The panels were created with help from third-party companies, but it is claimed LG manufactured the “major parts” for the prototypes.

Samsung has been ahead of the competition in flexible and folding display technology until now, while LG has been quiet about its own efforts. But now that it has perfected its design, it is ready to start mass-production in 2018.

Recent rumors have claimed that Apple will adopt flexible OLED displays next year that will allow the iPhone to come with curved glass panels like those found on the Galaxy S7 edge. ET News’ report suggests folding iPhones could come later.

We should bear in mind, however, that Apple could have other plans for these displays — if indeed it really has placed any orders with LG.