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Display for foldable iPhones could use similar tech to Samsung


Apple has reportedly started development work on a new type of display for foldable iPhones or iPads. The technology described is similar to that used in Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3.

One of the challenges of creating robust foldable screens is making them thin enough to survive continual folding and unfolding for a number of years…

OLED screens originally had separate layers for every function needed to make the display work: backlighting, content, touch, filtering, protection, and so on. The trend since then has been to combine layers to make screens thinner and lighter.

For the third generation of Samsung’s Galaxy Z fold, the company eliminated the polarizer layer, and Apple is now said to be working on its own version of this tech. The Elec reports.

Apple has begun the development of an OLED panel that doesn’t use a polarizer, TheElec has learned […]

Polarizers are used to allow only lights in certain directions to pass through, thereby improving the visibility of the display.

However, its use lessens the brightness, thereby affecting the luminance efficiency of the panel as well Companies usually increase the power consumption of the panels to offset this but this also leads to less lifespan for the panels. Removing the polarizer and applying technology with a similar effect resolves these trade-offs.

Samsung’s version claims a third more light transmittance and a 25% power saving.

For Apple products, the Cupertino company creates its own designs for displays, then outsources production to companies like Samsung and LG. Samsung Display currently has the most advanced display manufacturing capabilities, so has often been the sole supplier of screens for Apple until other suppliers catch up.

Apple is believed to have been experimenting with foldable iPhone displays for many years. However, the company’s general approach to new technology is to refrain from the race to be the first to market, and to take the time to develop what the company considers to be the best implementation.

We’ve seen quite a few concept images over the years. The most recent reports suggest that we won’t see a foldable iPhone until 2025 at the earliest. These reports still haven’t answered the key question, however: Is Apple’s plan a conventional-sized iPhone that opens out into something like an iPad, or a standard iPhone display that folds in half, like the Motorola Razr?

There also remains the possibility that Apple won’t launch a folding iPhone at all. The company has reportedly taken the view that folding phones may involve too many compromises to be anything more than a passing fad. I noted that this seemed to me to be a smart consideration.

Although we’ve had more foldable phones since then, it’s clear that they haven’t set the world ablaze. All the signs point to them selling in very small numbers, and despite living in a large city and having a lot of techy friends, I have yet to see a single folding phone in the wild.

So I do think a case can be made that folding phones are indeed a passing fad. That they have enough wow factor to be superficially appealing, but perhaps not enough practical benefit to persuade people to accept the compromises they entail.

Our sister site 9to5Google said that while the tech has developed, even the Galaxy Fold 3 was too fragile and too expensive to be considered a serious contender for many.

What’s your view? Please let us know in the comments.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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