updated 09:57 am EDT, Mon October 7, 2013
Phone launch expected in November
LG's display division has confirmed that it is ready to begin mass producing flexible OLED displays for smartphones. Built from plastic substrates rather than glass, the new six-inch displays are vertically concave from top to bottom with a 700mm radius and a thickness of just 0.44mm.
The company's executive VP and CTO, Dr. Sang Deog Yeo, notes that such technology will enable manufacturers to build new types of automotive displays, tablets and wearable devices.
The company has yet to announce plans to use the new curved smartphone displays in its own products, however unnamed sources told Reuters that an LG-branded smartphone with a curved display is due in November. Separate reports suggest the device will be named the LG Z and offer 1920x1080 resolution and a quad-core Snapdragon processor.
Separate sources suggest Samsung is working on its own curved-display handset, with a horizontally concave panel rather than a vertically concave design. The company already confirmed plans to launch a special-edition Note 3 with a plastic OLED, though it is not expected to use the panel in a curved form.
Several companies already have curved OLED televisions on the market, though LG's announcement marks the technologies continued downward transition into smaller devices. Separate reports suggest companies are working to overcome challenges developing curved batteries and other components to fit behind the curved panels.