DSCC details Samsung's upcoming foldable OLED phones

DSCC posted an interesting blog post in which the company shares its information on Samsung's upcoming foldable smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip photoSamsung Galaxy Z Flip

First up is the Galaxy Z Flip 3 (which is a bit strange as there's no Galaxy Z Flip 2). This new phone will feature an Ultra Thin Glass cover - which for the first time will not be exclusively produced by SCHOTT. This time Corning will supply some of the UTG for Samsung. According to DSCC, Corning’s UTG will be processed by Korean supplier eCONY. This is interesting - a while back it was reported that Samsung Electronics halted its UTG project with Corning.

Kolon says it supplies polyimide films to Xiaomi's Mi Mix Fold cover window

Kolon Industries says that the company is supplying colorless polyimide (CPI) films to Xiaomi - used as cover windows for Xiaomi's latest Mi Mix Fold smartphone. Xiaomi sold over 40,000 such smartphones within one minute, and the company hopes to ship around 500,000 units in total.

Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold photo

Kolon says it is the only company that produces such CPI films, and the company says it also supplied films for Huawei's Mate X, Motorola's Razr and Lenovo's Thinkpad X1 foldable laptop - and will also supply to Oppo and Vivo for their own foldable devices.

UBI says UTG will hold a 80% market share in the foldable OLED cover material market

UBI Research estimates that Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG) will hold a 80% market share in the foldable OLED panel cover material market. The rest of the market will adopt Polyimide films.

UTG vs PI, foldable cover material forecast (2021-2025, UBI Research)

According to UBI, Samsung Display will only use UTG in its future foldable OLED displays. Transparent Polyimide films will be used in budget models, or for displays larger than 10" in size. BOE and CSoT currently use Polyimide films in foldable OLEDs, but both companies are looking to adopt UTG in future displays.

DSCC sees a large spike in foldable OLED shipments towards the end of 2021

DSCC says that foldable smartphone shipments will rise sharply starting in August 2021 - and total foldable OLED smartphone shipments in Q4 2021 will be higher than the whole period from Q1 2020 to Q2 2021 - combined.

Foldable OLED shipments (Q1 2020 to Q4 2021 estimate, DSCC)

There are several reasons for this high increase in projected shipments. First of all, Samsung is expected to release several new foldable smartphones in Q3 2021 - three models in fact, including an "aggressively priced" clamshell foldable.

LG reportedly sold only 10 rollable OLED TVs in Korea since October 2020

In October 2020 LG Electronics started 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 price was actually cheaper than expected - but according to a report from Korea LGE managed to sell only 10 such TVs.

LG rollable OLED TV RX photo

According to the report, it's not just the high price that is keeping consumers away - the TV, which is based on rollable glass, is not very durable.

Samsung Electronics halts its foldable UTG glass project

Samsung Electronics started to adopt ultra-thin glass covers for its foldable AMOLEDs, instead of polyimide, as it says UTG offers higher durability. Samsung currently uses Samsung Display's UTG, and according to reports it aimed to develop its own solution in collaboration with Corning

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip photo

A new report from Korea suggests that Samsung Electronics has halted this project as it realized it should better increase the efficiency of its current supply chain (i.e. Samsung Display's UTG solution) and secure lower prices. It may be that this decision is only temporarily, as it is likely that Samsung Electronics is still aiming to also increase the durability of its UTG covers and not just decrease costs.

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.

Online review shows that the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is more durable than the original Fold, but not by much

When Samsung launched its original foldable smartphone, it used a polyimide-based cover, and the screen was fragile and not very durable. Later in 2020 Samsung Display launched its ultra-thin-glass (UTG) cover (produced by Schott and processed by Dowoo Insys) which the company said is more durable the the Polyimide.

Samsung Electronics continued to adopt the new foldable UTG cover and used it in its Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold2 5G (7.6" 1768x2208 HDR10+ 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED) smartphone. But the question remains - just how more durable is the UTG-protected OLED?

Samsung Display announces a 1.4R foldable OLED display

Samsung Display announced that it has commercialized a new foldable OLED display that is the first to achieve a curvature radius of 1.4R mm. This display will be adopted in Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold2 5G (7.6" 1768x2208 HDR10+ 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED) with an Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG) cover glass.

Samsung 1.4R foldable OLED display photo
Samsung says that in order to minimize the folding stress that is increased in such a small folding radius, the company has optimized a series of technologies related to the material of the display, the panel design and the module assembly, so that the multi-layered structure will function like a cushion when the panel is folded.

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters