Expect a lot more foldable phones in your future

It won't just be Samsung making phones you can bend without breaking

News from Korea: it seems that more foldable, bendy phones will make an appearance - and from more than just one manufacturer.

No bendgate, we hope

In an interview with the Korea Herald, a rep from Kolon Industries says that "three to five" tech companies are expected to mass proudce foldable phones by 2018.

Kang Chung-Seok, head of Kolon's polymide devision said those foldable devices could grab around 20 per cent of Korea's total smartphone market.

How would Kolon know? The company is the only company making colourless polyimide (CP) - a key material in making flexible electronics. Its clients (reportedly) include Samsung and LG, though the companies have not publicly confirmed this.

CP can be used as replacement for rigid glass sheets - offering high clarity, high temperature stability among other features, while proving more adaptible to flexible displays than glass.

Companies such as Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, Sony and Apple have been inching away from LCD displays to OLED. The latter is far more flexible, which allows for foldable, curved and even roll-up displays.

Kang even says that the first foldable devices, which might be shown next year, might have a bend radius of as much as 5mm. He said that 1mm is the ideal but due to "safety issues", the first devices will have 5mm bend radiuses. Eventually though devices with smaller bend radiuses could be revealed.

Looks like it's just a matter of time for smartphone companies to create far more flexible phones. The question is whether this tech might extend to wearables as well. For an idea of what to expect, check out Lenovo's earlier preview of very bendy tech.

[Source: Korea Herald, AUTM]