As some of you know, I've been following OLEDs for over 15 years (OLED-Info itself is over 10 years old) - and the promise of flexible displays has always been there. In fact most people believe this is the true major benefit of OLED displays.
In 2013, both Samsung and LG started to produce flexible AMOLED displays. This was a watershed moment for the OLED industry - but only for people in the know. The production capacity was small, the adoption was limited and most people never heard of the G Flex, the Galaxy Round or the numerous Samsung wearable devices that used flexible OLEDs.
But in the past weeks, it seems as it flexible OLEDs are finally coming to the mainstream. Let's review some recent news. First of all, LG Display announced their second curved phone, the G Flex 2 - with a flexible 5.5" Full-HD plastic-based OLED display. Reviews has been very positive - and it seems that this time LG is actually marketing this phone - check out those billboards which you can spot in many places in Tel-Aviv:
LG Display is also reportedly supplying flexible OLEDs to Apple's Watch. LGD may be suffering from low yields, but they more than doubled their flexible OLED capacity compared to last year, and the Korean display giant won't stop there.
Samsung Display's flexible OLED business is even more impressive. Reportedly, the Galaxy S6 Edge, with its 5.1" curved flexible OLED, looks great - and reportedly orders for this phone may match the orders of its cheaper, rigid sibling. First of all, it shows us that people are willing to pay more for a radical new design. Second, it may signal the world's first true mass market flexible OLED device.
SDC is in the final stages of its Gen-6 A3 flexible OLED line. This new line will take some time to reach high yields - but when it does it will dramatically increase Samsung's flexible OLED capacity.
But the most important thing - people are interested and excited about flexible displays. Samsung recently sent me a Note 4 Edge device for a review here on OLED-Info. I can already say this - most reactions I get are very positive. While some may say that the "edge" bit of the screen is not very useful, it sure looks great and gets people's attention. I'm sure that if Samsung can indeed produce all those flexible OLEDs, the Galaxy S6 Edge may truly sell very well.
And this is just the beginning of course. Next flexible OLED iterations will mean even more interesting displays and hopefully within the year we will see the first foldable phone/tablet on the market, and later on we'll even have rollable and stretchable OLED displays.
Maybe it's just me - but it feels as if the market is finally emerging. It feels as if there was not much smartphone innovation for years now, but if Samsung and LG get it right, they may have the game changing technology that will enable them to truly revolutionize many markets. This will accelerate all flexible OLED plans - by LG and Samsung and other OLED producers. These are going to be exciting times for the OLED industry!