LG Display will reportedly start mass producing flexible OLED smartphone displays for Apple, Google, and Microsoft in 2018, which means that future-generation iPhones, Pixels and perhaps Surface Phones could rock foldable screens.
Rumors of flexible smartphone displays have intensified as of late, as recent reports indicate that Samsung is planning two foldable screen designs for its Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 set to launch next year.
Looking farther to 2018, it seems that Apple, Google, and Microsoft could join the flexible smartphone screen party and launch their own foldable smartphones with OLED displays from LG.
Foldable Display iPhone
Some rumors suggested that Apple might launch an iPhone 7s and not iPhone 8 in 2017, which would suggest an incremental upgrade without utterly major changes. Even if that's not true, LG is reportedly supplying flexible OLED displays in 2018, so the 2017 iPhone 7s/8 would not be the one to get it. Then again, the iPhone 7 was also rumored to sport an OLED screen and it didn't happen.
So far, iPhones have sported LCD displays, but rumor has it that Apple will finally move to OLED in 2017. Recent reports have indicated that the iPhone 8 would sport a curved OLED display, which would mark a smooth transition toward an iPhone with a flexible OLED screen in 2018.
LG has touted a number of curved and foldable display prototypes in recent years, including screens with book-like designs or increased flexibility that allows them to be rolled up like newspapers. The designs are possible due to the flexibility of OLED displays, as opposed to the more rigid LCD screens found in current iPhones.
Foldable Google Pixel And Microsoft Surface Phone
While rumors of an iPhone with a flexible/ foldable OLED screen may not be too surprising, news that Google and Microsoft have similar smartphone plans are a bit more unexpected.
ETNews, which first reported on this news, citing industry sources, said that Google is looking to get flexible OLED displays from LG for its future Google Pixel smartphones, while Microsoft is interested in the technology for its Surface line. Rumors of a Surface Phone have been making rounds for a good while now, but nothing materialized so far.
It's also worth pointing out that LG's flexible displays are reportedly designed for foldable devices, with the screen stretching over the outer surface. LG Display will go head to head with Samsung in this area, directly competing on the foldable OLED smartphone display front.
Keep in mind, however, that LG Display made no comment or announcement on the matter, so this is all in the rumor state at this point. As always in such cases, treat all leaks and rumors accordingly.