[ET NEWS] LG Display and Lenovo, the world’s largest PC maker, have joined hands to launch a foldable tablet PC possibly later next year, according to industry sources on Oct. 17.
The display maker is expected to supply 13-inch OLED-based panels. Considering the big size even when folded, the device is unlikely to be used as a smartphone.
“The two firms have recently signed a non-disclosure agreement. They have officially started the development project with aims to launch the device later next year,” an industry source told ET News on condition of anonymity.
This is the first time that LG Display has been reported to be working on a foldable panel that is larger than other foldable screens being developed by its rivals.
Samsung Display, the world’s largest display maker that makes up more than 95 percent of the OLED market, has developed a 7.3-inch foldable panel for Samsung Electronics’ first foldable smartphone, while China’s BOE and Huawei are working on an 8-inch foldable smartphone.
Sources say LG Display is taking a different strategy predicting foldable displays will be renewing competition within the tablet PC market, rather than in the smartphone market.
Foldable phones with smaller screens are expected to have some efficiency issues when folded, while tablet PCs with larger screens will have better portability.
Another issue for foldable phones is durability because the screens should be kept in shape even after repeated use. Foldable displays seem to be a better fit for tablet PCs that are a lot less used than smartphones.
“LG Display may have considered diverse factors like efficiency and marketability when they decided to go for a 13-inch foldable panel,” said another source who also wished to be unnamed.
By Yoon Kun-in (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This story was co-produced by ET News and The Investor. For any inquiries, please contract editor Lee Ji-yoon at email@example.com