LG’s flexible display efforts aren’t stopping with the G Flex 2, it seems, or even the Apple Watch, as the company just issued a press release, announcing a huge investment in a 6th Generation flexible OLED display production line. As per the company:
LG Display’s investment will help pioneer future display technologies such as foldable displays and large-size auto displays. The main advantage of a flexible OLED display is the screen’s bending feature that is achieved by the use of a plastic substrate instead of a glass substrate as in a conventional OLED display. The use of the flexible OLED technology is now being expanded to smartphone, automotive and wearable device displays.
The timing of this investment is pretty interesting, as we doubt LG is ploughing about $900 million just to cut the occasional screen for a niche device like the Flex 2, or the tiny 1.3″ circular panels on the Apple Watch. Granted, it does OLED TVs, and auto displays are also in the mix, but there might be a better reason for the outlay. Apple is rumored to be actively exploring flexible OLED screen panels for future iPhones, and LG might want to assure it that it will be able to ramp up capacity when the time comes. “It is very likely that the first flexible iPhone may be introduced in 2018, as Apple’s top-tier display suppliers are working on it,” claimed Korean media sources last month, so that might be one of the reasons behind LG’s near-$1 billion investment.