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Apple partner to build flexible smartphone displays

by Todd Haselton | January 25, 2017January 25, 2017 8:00 am PDT


Apple partner Japan Display, which already provides displays for the company’s products, is ready to begin building flexible screens, the company confirmed this week.

Japan Display will join other firms, such as LG and Samsung, which are already building flexible displays for next-generation smartphones. The iPhone 8 is rumored to take advantage of flexible displays that curve over the edges of the device, similar to what we’ve seen in products such as the Galaxy S7 Edge from Samsung.

This isn’t quite bendable display technology just yet, though Apple has plenty of patents describing products with bending and folding mechanisms. It may one day lead to that, however, as innovations in flexible displays lead to bendable smartphones and tablets.

Japan Display is building the displays for partners but declined to name Apple specifically,  The Wall Street Journal said. Huawei is also a Japan Display customer and has been much more cavalier in its smartphone innovations. Apple has dragged a bit behind the industry, in fact, and is rumored to introduce its first flexible AMOLED display sometime this year. Most other smartphone makers have already dabbled with the technology and others, such as Samsung, have been building and using them for years.

Flexible vs Bendable

The Wall Street Journal warns that actual bendable displays are still very expensive and may not be in consumers hands anytime soon. Like flexible displays, however, which aren’t necessarily able to “bend” and are better used for flexing under pressure, bendable displays can help create a much more rugged product that is less prone to cracking. They may also usher in a new era of foldable smartphones or tablets that can be rolled up and stowed when not in use.

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...