Foldable phones have been one of the dreams of several tech companies such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft. It appears that all three may finally develop one with the help of LG Electronics. Foldable phones hold the potential to dramatically increase screen size when one pulls them out of the pocket, a feature that would be useful for enlarging text, seeing more of the inbox, giving developers more room for app features and making video more engaging.
According to CNET, the bigwigs at LG have given the go-signal for the display department to begin producing bendable displays for smartphones in mass proportions. The mass-production will be available for handsets and will be launched in 2018.
Apple, Google, and Microsoft are the first three buyers of LGs tech. On the other hand, iTech Post said that Samsung is also interested in developing foldable screens, but is not among the list of LG buyers. Instead, the Korean tech giant will be making its own foldable displays to rival LG. In addition, Samsung has already plans for two foldable smartphones on the table. The expected release date of these phones is, in fact, next year. The flexible smartphones could be unveiled during the CES 2017 in January or at the MWC the following month.
Furthermore, there are reports that Apple already received a patent for a flexible display in November. The patent was filed back in 2014 so the concept has already been one of their plans for quite some time. In the said patent, Apple described a touchscreen phone with a flexible OLED display that could be folded in half.
As for Lenovo, it appears to be at the forefront of the race after it has unveiled a prototype of a flexible smartphone that slips onto the wrist like a bracelet. It also has a tablet that can be folded into a phablet. However, there are no official statement from the company if both prototypes are to be introduced to the market. Meanwhile, below is a video of Samsung's foldable phone coming in 2017.