LG announces new foldable screen tech, hopes to beat Samsung at game of foldable phones

LG might have quit the smartphone business, but it is a tech giant that has no plans to stop making the technology that goes into smartphones. One of the LG companies, LG Chem, has now come up with a new type of foldable screen that may power smartphones in the future. This new type of foldable screen from LG hopes to fix many of the problems that currently affect foldable technology used by Samsung in its exorbitantly priced Galaxy Fold 3 and Galaxy Fold 2 phones.

LG Chem says that it has come up with a new bendable material that folds like plastic but has the strength, durability and feel of glass. The screen is called the Real Folding Window and is made up of specially developed coatings. In its note, LG compares this material to tempered glass.

Even though LG killed its plans to launch the LG Rollable phone earlier this year when it announced its exit from the smartphone business, the company is moving ahead in the foldable material industry, likely hoping to supply its screens to smartphone makers like Google, Apple, Xiaomi, OnePlus and others.

Sooner or later, almost all major smartphone makers will make phones with foldable screens. However, unlike Samsung, which has rushed into the market with its Galaxy Fold 3 and the Galaxy Flip 2, the other phone companies seem to be waiting for the technology to mature.

It is possible that these phone companies may use foldable screens supplied by LG, hoping to make their foldable phones feel and work as well as the phones with glass screens.

Samsung launched its foldable phones a few years ago, but even now, after three-generation of iterations, its foldable phones have certain issues that make them inferior to regular high-end phones. The two most highlighted issues with the Galaxy Fold series have been the display crease and less durability.

LG Chem’s new material is only a few millimetres thick but the company claims it can be folded more than 200,000 times before it suffers any durability issues. To give you a practical angle of this statistic, LG says you can fold the display a hundred times a day for five years and still never reach that number.

LG says that the Real Folding Window — which is actually the protective element over the screen and digitizer — can be folded both inwards and outwards, so there are multiple ways this material could be used on a phone.

LG Chem is hoping to start mass production of the Real Folding Window next year while full-scale production is slated to begin in 2023, around the same time when some major smartphone makers are expected to launch their foldable phones. Chang Do Ki, VP and Division Leader of Advanced Materials at LG Chem, says the Real Folding Window is a step towards resolving the issues customers find in today’s foldable phones.