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.
LG seems to be progressing in this project, and the company released this teaser that shows what could be the next Explorer Project smartphone - and the one with the rollable OLED as the video shows a sliding-extending design.
Interestingly, according to reports the supplier of the rollable panel is BOE, and not LG Display.
BOE has been showing its first rollable OLED prototypes in 2019. LG Display, of course, is already producing rollable OLED TV panels - these use different technology (WRGB) though.
A few weeks ago IHS Markit stated that the rollable OLED market is finally starting to emerge, and will grow quickly but unit shipments will remain slow in the foreseeable future. IHS sees 100,000 rollable OLED displays shipped in 2022, growing to 1.3 million by 2026. Rollable OLEDs will remain a niche- the share of rollable OLEDs from all flexible OLEDs will be 0.2% in 2026. Foldable OLEDs will be a much larger market - reaching 71.3 million units in 2025.
Other companies, beyond LG and BOE that demonstrated rollable OLED prototypes include:
- Sharp, a 30" 4K rollable OLED developed with NHK
- TCL, a 31" FHD ink-jet printed rollable OLED
- Samsung, a 5.7" FHD rollable display demonstrated back in 2016
And here's BOE latest 12.3" rollable OLED prototype.
Check out our recent article that discusses why rollable OLEDs pose a greater challenge to display makers compared to foldable ones.