And now even Apple may be getting in on the act, according to new reports.
Apple has been rumored to be working closely with LG Display for a foldable iPhone but it has been reported that the California-based giant is going to keep out Samsung from the entire project. Meanwhile, LG's Innotek business is already said to be gearing up to produce the rigid flexible printed circuit boards, or RFPCBs, that would feature inside the phones. LG reportedly completed its own foldable OLED panel prototype two to three years ago and has been upgrading the durability and the yield rate. While LG Display has been a long time partner for the iPhone brand, now Samsung Display is the only company making OLED displays on a large scale.
We've been hearing for a long while about Samsung's forthcoming folding and flexible OLED (what we call FFOLED) smartphones, but it's remained unclear exactly when they will arrive.
For the iPhone X, Apple sources its OLED panels from Samsung, but these are not implemented in a flexible design. A study from earlier this year claims Samsung would hold around 89 percent of the OLED panel market in 2017 and will only drop down to 72 percent by 2020. It no doubt pains Apple to have to work with its closest smartphone competitor in this way, but seemingly, it is out of reasonable alternatives.
With Samsung the only OLED supplier capable of meeting Apple's demands, it's been speculated that this is one of the reasons why the $999 iPhone X is very expensive.
In the flexible OLED's department, LG has been making strides and has a great potential, which is why Apple is exploring a partnership with LG this time, leaving Samsung behind. Foldable smartphone concepts have been around for some time now, but no manufacturer has released one just yet. That may put Apple at a disadvantage, considering Samsung is expected to reveal a new foldable phone next year.