Rollable OLED displays are exciting - as these displays can enable new device form factors - such as TVs that roll up into a small cylinder or a tablet-sized device that can roll-up into a pen.
Rollable OLED TVs
In early 2019, LG launched the world's first rollable OLED device - a TV that rolls into its base. The 65" Signature OLED TV R has three viewing options - full view, line view and zero view. This is a radical new TV form factor, which will be probably be highly expensive when it starts shipping during 2019 (we still do not know the exact release date and price). The TV offers the highest image quality - enabled by OLED technology.
Rollable mobile devices
While LG is leading the race to rollable OLED TVs, many display makers are developing smaller rollable OLED displays for mobile devices. Back in 2016, for example Samsung Display demonstrated a beautiful rollable OLED, a 5.7" display that featured a Full-HD resolution (386 PPI) and a curvature radius of 10 mm. The whole display is 0.3 mm thick and weighs 5 grams. We do not know yet when SDC plans to commercialize such a display (the company is currently focused on developing its foldable OLEDs).
The latest rollable OLED news:
LG Electronics announced that it is now shipping the world's first rollable OLED TV, the 65" 65RX OLED TV. The price is set at KRW 100 million (USD 87,000) - that's actually cheaper than expected.
The 65RX rollable TV is currently available in Korea only. The rollable OLED TV was first unveiled in early 2019, but LG did not manage to produce it until now as it faced several technology challenges, including low durability.
According to reports from Korea, LG Electronics is finally set to ship its rollable TV later this month. The price of the 65" Rollable 65RX OLED TV is set at $100,000 - which is quite higher than the earlier estimates of $60,000.
The first rollable TVs will ship in South Korea only, and given this price obviously LG does not expect to ship many of these TVs. The rollable OLED TV was first unveiled in early 2019, but LG did not manage to produce it until now as it faced several technology challenges, including low durability.
DSCC says that the foldable/rollable smartphone market will be one of the fastest growing consumer electronics market - and sales of such smartphones will grow to $105 billion by 2025, in a CAGR of 80%.
The display area used in such devices will grow a 93% CAGR, to reach 1.2 million square meters by 2025. In terms of units, 74.4 million rollable/foldable smartphones will ship in 2025.
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.
Taiwan-based Innolux demonstrated several new display technologies that will enable the company to compete against OLED displays. First up we have this 55" rollable mini-LED display prototype. This is an emissive mini-LED display, it is not a mini-LED backlit LCD display.
Innolux did not disclose any specifications on this display (not even the resolution), but it did say that the display use a flexible PCB and features "high curvature, high brightness, high contrast, high saturation and high definition dynamic picture". Innolux says that rollable OLEDs face challenges of reliability and cost and this technology could prove to succeed where rollable OLEDs cannot.
Foldable OLED display have been introduced in 2019, and today we have several premium smartphones that feature such interesting new displays. Most analysts agree that the foldable OLED market will grow at a very fast rate in the future.
Rollable OLED displays, however, are yet to enter the market. Display makers have been showing rollable display prototypes for many years, but commercial products aren't here yet. LG Display will hopefully start shipping the rollable 65RX OLED TV soon, and the company also says it will ship a rollable OLED smartphone in 2021.
During SID Displayweek 2020, BOE demonstrated its 12.3" Full-HD rollable OLED prototype screen:
BOE now details that the display has a rolling radius of 5 mm, and it can roll 4 cycles. BOE says that device can survive over 100,000 bending cycles.
LGD opens a new OLED showroom, looks to collaborate with other industries to accelerate OLED adoption
LG Display announced that it is aiming to strike strategic cooperations with companies from industries such as the construction, furniture, and interior design, with an aim to find new application for next-generation OLED displays.
LGD opened a new OLED showroom at LG's Science Park in Magok which allows people to experience different OLED products - including transparent and mirror displays, wallpaper displays and "variable TVs" (not sure what is meant by that, perhaps it is a reference to LG's rollable OLED technology). LGD also released the video you see above showing several "virtual" OLED display demonstrations
LG's CEO, Kwon Bong-seok, announced that LG aims to be the first company to introduce a rollable OLED smartphone - as early as the beginning of 2021.
According to reports LG has already started working on prototype devices. Interestingly, according to the report the supplier of the rollable panel is BOE, and not LG Display.