LG Unveils Its New Plastic Foldable Screen – Promised to Be As Hard As Glass

LG no longer produces smartphones. Which doesn’t mean she doesn’t keep trying to outdo her biggest rival. Samsung won the competition in the folding cell phone line, but its screens come standard with a protective film layer, which prevents the display from shattering. LG’s solution to the problem is intended to be more sophisticated, with a more modern plastic — which the company is calling a “real folding window”.

There aren’t many details about the new material yet. The LG Chem [companhia de produtos químicos da LG], who released the press release to the press, mentions that it will use a sheet of polyester (PET) to cover each side of the glass display. According to a spokesman for LG Chem, the layer is enough to “maximize flexibility”. LG also says that it is thinner “compared to existing tempered glass”, and, despite having the same strength, it is not as prone to “smattering on the screen”.

LG’s new screen is coated with “a few tens of micrometers” of this new material to improve its heat resistance. The company is also working on a version of the Real Folding Window that doesn’t need any additional reinforcement.

The technology has an advantage compared to the competition: it can bend in or out. It’s still unclear whether the display can fold in both directions on the same device, or if that’s just part of LG’s plans to make the technology scalable. The company says the coating will be used on tablets, laptops and folding phones.

LG plans to start production of its folding screen next year, and “start selling on a large scale” in 2023. The company hopes to start with cell phones and eventually expand to laptops and tablets.

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Of course, LG isn’t immune to competition from Samsung in the meantime. The South Korean company introduced its new display technology a few months ago at the annual edition of Display Week, an event organized by the SID (Society for Information Display). Samsung is also quoted to develop a Pixel smartphone with Google and a more durable collapsible glass with Corning. It will be interesting to see which manufacturers LG will partner with when Real Folding Window technology hits the market.