LG says its ‘real folding window’ beats folding glass and will ship in 2023

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Foldable glass was meant to open a future straight out of science fiction: phones that fold. But the real glass we ended up using factory installed plastic screen protectors to avoid shattering when you bend it. Now LG wants to cut out middlemen by improving plastic instead: the company Just announced his “real folding window,” a roofing material that he says will be as hard as glass but without all the problem of cracking.

What’s the secret ? Well, LG doesn’t quite say in its press release, only that this is a “new material” that it uses to cover both sides of a sheet of plastic film – a PET film. , to be precise. (PET is probably better known as the plastic of your soda bottle.) The idea is that if you apply this coating to the plastic and then apply this covering material to a flexible OLED panel, you will have a bendable display. which lasts longer and with a less visible crease than today’s folding devices. LG says it should be more price competitive as well.

In fact, LG says coated PET should work with tablets, laptops, and roll-up screen phones as well, like the one we’re still waiting for LG to decide if it’s going to roll back. Additionally, he sees potential for devices where the screen folds outwards, not just inward as we’ve seen with Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip, Z Fold, and Moto Razr. LG also says it sees “significant improvements in the fold lines that occur on the folding parts of the screen.” Maybe it could unlock a lot more wacky foldable phone designs than we’ve seen in prototypes and patent applications.

However, LG’s current timeline doesn’t foresee this technology coming to market until 2023, and it’s unclear how it will actually compare to glass in any other way (like clarity) when it does arrive. Samsung is also on the PET train; as we wrote, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 cover their ultra thin glass (which is technically made by German manufacturer Schott) with a “stretch PET” layer which we have found to be far superior to the protector. gummy screen Samsung was expected to ship on earlier models.

Samsung is also reportedly increasing production of folding screens for other phone makers, including Google. And it would have been work with Corning, who built their own folding glass to compete with Schott. Having even more competition from LG is good if you’re a gadget lover hoping foldable prices will drop to earth.

Even without the additional vendors, Samsung is already pushing hard: We called Samsung’s $ 1,000 Galaxy Z Flip 3 “the first foldable phone for normal people” and thought the more expensive Z Fold 3 was. also “almost normal”.


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