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LG invests in flexible display technology for smartphone and TV market

LG has announced that it is investing further in flexible displays, anticipating a move away from the traditional rectangular screens used by the majority of smartphones.

The South Korean firm revealed that it is building a new factory in its native country at a cost of 1.05 trillion won (£582 million) to be spread over a two-year period.

Read more: Samsung is developing an 11K resolution mobile display

Only LG and Samsung currently produce flexible displays for the smartphone market, with the latter incorporating the technology in its Galaxy S6 Edge handset. The S6 Edge has a screen that curves on both sides and has received praise for its design and use of premium materials. However, the difficulty of producing curved screens has led to supply issues that have hindered company sales figures.

Flexible displays have also been incorporated into the latest television sets and wearable gadgets, but a complex manufacturing process has meant that these screens are difficult to produce on a large scale. LG’s investment should help to remedy production issues and could prove extremely lucrative if other smartphone makers decide to use flexible screens.

“LG Display’s investment will help pioneer future display technologies such as foldable displays and large-size auto displays,” the company said in a press release. “The main advantage of a flexible OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display is the screen’s bending feature that is achieved by the use of a plastic substrate instead of a glass substrate as in a conventional OLED display. The use of the flexible OLED technology is now being expanded to smartphone, automotive and wearable device displays.”

Read more: New LG tech will make laptops thinner and lighter

Although LG has not revealed if it has any potential clients lined up for its new flexible display facility, the market for this technology is expected to grow to $4.8 billion by 2021.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.