Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has showcased a prototype foldable AMOLED display, and now we might have an idea what the future holds for foldable smartphones. The prototype can be seen in a video and while it's evident that the device is far from finished, ITRI says the display is "rapidly approaching commercial standards."
One of the biggest concerns that surround the development of foldable panels is the durability. Previously Samsung's mobile chief DJ Koh mentioned that the durability is the biggest block of its first foldable smartphone. ITRI seems to have taken care of this issue, as the display can stand up against a kilo of "steel wool friction over 50,000 times."
The fold-resistant are said to be foldable up to 2,00,000 times. If you do the math, the average millennial checks their phones 150 times a day on an average, which means the device is good enough to work for at least four years.
LG also recently won a new patent for a foldable smartphone that has two batteries. What's more surprising, in a time where major OEMs are cutting ties with the 3.5mm audio jack and turning to Lightning and Type-C ports for audio, LG's new patent has room for two audio jacks. The patent was published by the World Intellectual Property Organization.
The new patent has an uncanny resemblance with the ZTE Axon M going by the fact that the design revolves around two display panels connected through a hinge. The new patent also envisions what is essentially a combination of two standalone displays that have their own battery reservoir and separate 3.5mm audio ports for audio accessories.
Huawei also filed a patent for a foldable display that will have a book-like mechanism, reports LetsGoDigital. The patent was filed with WIPO on September 19 in 2017. The patent was filed under the moniker "mobile terminal folding mechanism and mobile terminal."
It is good to see major OEMs posied to bring foldable displays to the table, but the question still remains whether users will like the unwieldy design of such phones. Well, not exactly, but the video also shows the potential foldable devices that could come to life. And if Samsung is working on a foldable phone, it would be surprising if we don't see an attractive design.