Folding, Bending Mobile Devices Might Be Coming In 2018
According to a report published by South Korean tech news website Electronic Times, LG Electronics, which produces display for mobile devices, will be supplying the folding screens for powerhouse phone makers such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft. The report says that LG Electronics will begin mass producing the folding screens in 2018.
Apart from the coolness factor, foldable mobile devices actually pose some advantages for consumers. For one, a folding screen allows for more generous real estate on displays. Basically, you can fit more content, or even allow for bigger text or bigger images. But obviously, making foldable display screens work in real life is far easier said than done.
But that has not stop a few of the world’s foremost phone makers to give it a shot. Back in June earlier this year, Lenovo showcased a smartphone called the CPlus, which can be wrapped around the user’s wrist. Sure, the CPlus was only a prototype, but conventional thinking dictates that if you can build a working prototype, you will eventually figure out how to mass produce a model for end users. Also, the past few months also saw Samsung, the world’s biggest seller of smartphone devices, submit a patent application for a foldable handset. Going back to Lenovo, the China based tech giant is also reportedly developing a tablet that can be folded to a smaller size for easy handling and operation (collapsible tablets, anyone?).
Still, even though there is significant progress, it might be best for everybody to manage their expectations. Folding and bendable mobile devices are cool and all, but they are not sure blockbusters yet. And phone makers are generally wary of adopting new technologies, preferring instead to test the waters (like, forever) before taking a dive.
But on the other hand, the global smartphone industry usually rewards the phone maker who gets to make it first, or more accurately, the first phone maker who releases a product that actually sells. It is likely that one of the bigs will be able to pioneer folding and bendable handsets, but that is not a guarantee, especially considering how aggressive Chinese phone makers are becoming within the last half decade.
Looking at the bigger picture, if the smartphone industry can offer a hit folding or bendable smartphone to the market, then who knows what other breakthroughs they can achieve after that. After all, if they can make a smartphone fold, they surely are able to accomplish far more complicated things that we could only imagine for now.