Though Apple is currently working with many different types of phone screens — including Face ID and bezel-less resolutions — the company’s next step may be making them foldable.
The tech giant is reportedly partnering with LG in order to create a new type of foldable OLED displays for future generations of iPhones. While the idea may seem far-off, the devices are set for production as early as 2020.
This idea comes on the wings of the newly announced iPhone X, which has some significant design changes from past models. The new devices will have a front-facing camera that is able to scan a person’s face, a bezel-less OLED screen, as well as no home button. As a result, it makes sense that Apple is looking to years into the future to see what design they should pursue next.
The iPhone X is the first iPhone to use an OLED screen. To make that feature work, Apple needed to team up with its rival, Samsung, who is currently the world’s leading OLED manufacturer. The deal gave the iPhone a new type of screen, but it is also going to make Samsung billions of dollars and could cause Apple to become dependent on another company.
That is likely why, despite Samsung’s work into folding phones, Apple chose to team up with LG instead. This move allows them to push Samsung away and distance themselves from a long time rival, CNet reports.
“Amid Samsung’s near monopoly in mobile OLED production, Apple has been strengthening its partnership with LG Display, its long-time LCD partner,” stated the Korean website The Investor, according to Financial Express.
LG has already developed prototypes for its folding OLED screens, but most of them are much smaller than the screens Samsung has built. That size could be the reason for the 2020 production timeline, but three years may still put the company behind in the game. Samsung already has plans to release a folding phone that could come out as early as next year.