Originally Posted by ynotgoal
With all due respect, why speculate on a world in 2020 with only Samsung making mobile OLEDs?
That's the point. There is no chance that OLED dominates in a world where only Samsung makes it. There is some chance it's a 2nd-tier choice if only Samsung makes it.
Companies currently building out new or expanded mass production facilities for mobile OLEDs.
Hon Hai (Innolux)
Yes, and none of them make much (any) today. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. What we're discussing is that DisplaySearch says they will make little even 6 years from now.
LG uses LTPS for their mobile OLEDs. "LTPS" is not shorthand for LCD.
How about you put aside the pedantry. It's pretty clear when I use LTPS as shorthand for LTPS-LCD and when I don't. I've already offered to try to use more letters more often to mollify. You can put the pedantry hammer to rest, ok?
Dr. Soneira at DisplayMate reviewed the Galaxy Round. He was also given an OLED display without the cover glass.
"There’s more… Flexible OLED displays are manufactured using a flexible plastic substrate, so they don’t have the glossy cover glass used on virtually all existing mobile displays. That provides three more advantages: first, the screen Reflectance is lower because is doesn’t have the extra layer of cover glass. Second, the plastic bendable screen is not as glossy as the cover glass so it has a very slight matte haze finish, which cuts down on the specular mirror reflections. Third, without the cover glass the OLED display appears to be right on the surface of the screen, which is quite visually striking!"
The cover glass is also very expensive. Tell me how LCD's which will still require that will compete with OLEDs that won't?
You and Soneira are both confused.
The cover glass is on the Galaxy Round (Soneira know this if you read the review). Once you remove the cover glass, you lose scratch resistance. You also lose all protection for the touchscreen layer. You can certainly sell a smartphone that has no scratch resistance, but you won't likely find very many satisfied customers.
The cover glass is not the substrate glass (LCDs are made on a glass substrate, OLED can be manufactured on plastic subtrates, which gives the screen itself more inherent flexibility.) It's not expensive. A Gorilla Glass front currently runs about $3.
If there was a plastic alternative to Gorilla Glass that was in any way acceptable, it would be used today
. The ability to manufacture screens on more flexible plastic substrates doesn't solve this problem. The Galaxy Round and G Flex both use cover glass for that reason.
Samsung showed a foldable phone at a private gathering at CES. These types of things are expected to be released in products next year.
Foldable is very interesting. Very interesting.
Why? Because foldable with a seamless hinge would allow for a phone that could really double as a pretty nice tablet. Fix the software so that your apps actually adapt to the bigger screen properly and you could go from, say, a 4.5" to a 9" screen with the second panel. If that second panel could flip backwards out of the way and was super thin, I believe this would be a contender for the "one device to rule them all" category. There would be little remaining market for small tablets, except as "secondary tablets" for your kids or in kiosks or whatnot.
Foldable screens (a) would have cover glass (b) are really challenging to do well. Existing technology doesn't allow for things like wiring to bend the full 180 (or more) over and over with any kind of reliability. You'd probably end up with two screen assemblies electronically. But to do one seamless screen, you will need an OLED that can literally be fully folded over tens (hundreds) of thousands of times without showing a visible "creasing". I'm very skeptical the technology is anywhere near good enough to deliver that kind of experience -- though I'd love to see it.
As with TVs, I don't see these small radius, curved phones becoming an important trend. Over time, the "flexing" will improve a bit, but batteries, wiring, speakers, antennas, rigid casing, etc. don't benefit from too much repeated flexing so that will always be limited. And the downsides will exceed any upsides for most people. Of course, impact resistance/unbreakability will be nice, so if a polymer replacement for Gorilla Glass or sapphire should emerge, great. But then, this will benefit flat, non-folding phones every bit as much.
Anyway, we'll see what they do with foldable technology. In the base use case, "I want a phone with a nice screen," it feels like it doesn't offer much. But if it does deliver an entirely new class of device -- a near zero compromise hybrid -- then it will be exciting.