Article last updated on: Aug 25, 2019

OLED is an emerging display technology that enables beautiful and efficient displays and lighting panels. OLEDs are already being used in many mobile devices and TVs, and the next generation of these panels will be flexible and bendable.

Different kinds of flexibility

When we talk about flexible OLEDs, it's important to understand what that means exactly. A flexible OLED is based on a flexible substrate which can be either plastic, metal or flexible glass. The plastic and metal panels will be light, thin and very durable - in fact they will be virtually shatter-proof.

The first range of devices that use flexible OLED displays are not really flexible from the user perspective. The device maker bends the displays, or curves it - but the final user is not able to actually bend the device. These first-gen flexible OLEDs are adopted many premium smartphones, for example the Samsung edge-type Galaxy phones or Apple's iPhone X and Xs. Besides the beautiful designs, a flexible OLED has several advantages especially in mobile devices - the displays are lighter, thinner and more durable compared to glass based displays.

Second generation flexible OLED displays can be bent by the user - these can be used for example to create foldable smartphones - the first range of which are expected to hit the market by the end of 2019.



The latest flexible OLED news:

NIO introduces its latest EV, the ET7, with a 12.8-inch AMOLED

Chinese EV producer NIO introduced its latest electric car, the ET7, which will come with a 12.8-inch 1728x1888 AMOLED display.

NIO ET7 interior photo

The ET7 includes other innovative technologies, such as AI, over 11 cameras and sensors integrated into the body, advanced driver assistance and autonomous driving platform and a 600 miles driving range. The ET7 will sell in China and Europe.

OLED-Info's transparent, microdisplays, foldable, flexible and automotive OLED market reports updated to January 2021

Today we published new versions of our market reports - that cover the flexible, microdisplays and automotive OLED markets. OLED-Info provides comprehensive niche OLED market reports, and our reports cover everything you need to know about the niche market, and can be useful if you want to understand how the OLED industry works and what this technology can provide for your own industry. The reports are now updated to January 2021.

The OLED and MicroLED Microdisplays Market Report:

  • The advantages of OLED and MicroLED microdisplays
  • Information on all companies involved in this market
  • What kind of displays are available on the market today
  • Future technologies and roadmaps

The report package also provides a complete list of OLED and microLED microdisplays makers and their current (and future) products, and personal contact details into the leading microdisplays makers. Read more here!

LG teases its 2021 rollable OLED smartphone

In July 2020 LG Electronics announced that it aims to be the first company to introduce a rollable OLED smartphone - as early as the beginning of 2021. The company has now released a new teaser, showing the upcoming smartphone in action:

Unlike other rollable smartphone designs, LG's phone opens up on the wide size of the phone, to become an tablet form factor. LG did not give any information, specification or release date on what could be the world's first rollable phone.

LGD announces a higher efficiency WOLED stack, to start producing 42-inch and 83-inch panels

LG Display announced that it has developed and employed new OLED technologies, including new OLED materials and a new OLED device structure (with a new added layer) that enabled it to improve the efficiency of its large-area WOLED panels by around 20%. This enabled LGD to increase the brightness of its OLEDs.

LG GX OLED TV photo

The first display to adopt this new structure and materials is the company's 77-inch OLED panel, but LGD will also apply it to its other panels over 2021. LGD also announced that it will start producing 83-inch and 42-inch OLED TV panels, that will join its existing 48-, 55-, 65-, 77- and 88-inch models.

Mercedes' upcoming EVs to use a 56-inch flexible OLED display

Mercedes announced that its upcoming EQS electric vehicle will adopt a large curved front display, 56-inch in size, called the MBUX Hyperscreen.

Mercedes 56'' MBUX Hyperscreen photo

This is a flexible OLED display, that will stretch over the entire width of the car. Note that the OLED itself is not 56-inch in size, this display embeds what seems to be 3 different OLED displays. The 56-inch glass also includes holes for the air-vents which are integrated into the display. The whole system is powered by 8 CPU cores, 24 GB of RAM and AI software that learns your habits.

LG Display developed a bendable 48-inch OLED gaming monitor

LG Display will demonstrate a 48-inch bendable gaming monitor, at CES 2021 (January 11). The whole panel is just 0.6 mm thick, which enabled LG to embed its Cinematic Sound OLED (CSO) technology in the monitor, which turns it into a large speaker. The monitor offers a response time of 0.1 ms and a refresh rate of 40Hz to 120Hz.

LG Dispaly 48-inch bendable gaming OLED monitor (CES-2021)

The display can bend up to radius of 1,000 mm so it can be used both as a flat TV and a curved screen for immersive gaming. This seems to be a prototype display, it's not clear when we'll see a monitor producer adopting it and bringing it to market.

Notion Systems, MBraun and the Fraunhofer IAP develop a novel display industrial production process based on inkjet printing

Notion Systems, MBraun and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research (Fraunhofer IAP) are co-developing new inkjet production technologies, aimed for the display market - specifically for OLED, QD and microdisplays.

The Fraunhofer IAP OLED production line (Potsdam)

The three partners are combining their respective competencies to present themselves together as a partnership supplier off all-in-one solutions. The Fraunhofer IAP is developing custom-made processes for display manufacturing with tailor-made inks. To achieve an industrial-scale best-in-class process solution, the parties are looking into all major pre-and post-processing steps, the substrate and the production equipment such as the inkjet print head.

ETNEws: Apple aims to start using OLED displays in iPad devices in 2022

Last month we posted that the Korean Elec publication claims that Apple is aiming to adopt OLEDs in its next iPad Pro devices - and as Apple wants extended lifetime from these panels, the Korean panel makers are developing tandem OLED devices (easier for LG as it is already producing such panels for automotive applications).

Today another Korean publication, ETNews, has posted that Apple is aiming to start using OLEDs in its iPads in 2022. According to ETNews, Apple indeed reached out to both LG Display and Samsung Display for these OLEDs.