While we are still awaiting Apple’s tenth-anniversary phone iPhone X — with significant design changes for Apple, including Face ID, OLED display, and a new bezel-less screen — to ship in less than a month, Apple could be making another dramatic change to the design of the iPhone in a few years.
If a new report from South Korea turns out to be true, Apple is reportedly working with LG Display, a display solutions arm of LG, on a foldable iPhone. Citing a report from The Bell (via The Investor), The Korea Herald reported on Wednesday that LG has created a “task force” to build a foldable OLED display for a future iPhone model.
LG has been working on its own foldable OLED panels for years; it completed its first such prototype two to three years ago and has reportedly been improving the durability and yield rate ever since.
Not only is LG’s screen-making subsidiary working alongside Apple on the project, but the parts-making LG Innotek is also working on developing a “rigid flexible printed circuit board” or RFPCB for such a device. The handset could go on sale in 2020.
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Samsung, however, seems to have the edge over Apple when it comes to foldable smartphones. The company has been working on flexible screens for years, and the rumored Galaxy X featuring a foldable display is said to launch next year (2018). The company currently supplies the first batch of foldable panels to some Chinese handset makers and its parent company.
The new iPhone X represents the most significant design shift in Apple’s iPhone lineup since the original model was released a decade ago. The iPhone X is the first iPhone to use an OLED screen. For those unaware, Samsung is currently the sole supplier of OLED panels for the iPhone X. According to The Bell, Apple going with LG instead of Samsung for flexible displays could be an attempt to distance itself from its competitor.