Products of Xiaomi, Oppo, Google will be launched right away this year, using the foldable OLED panel of Samsung Display.
According to sources from the technology page The Elec, Samsung Display is preparing to sell the first batch of foldable OLED screens outside of the group. These first customers are identified as Oppo, Xiaomi and Google, the commercial product to be available in the second half of 2021. Oppo is said to have purchased a variety of the Galaxy Z Flip, folded into a clamshell form.
However, the Oppo OLED panel is larger than the Galaxy Z Flip, 7.7 inches versus 6.7 inches. The external screen will be about 2 inches large. Last year, Oppo used panels from BOE, Visionox and Samsung Display to develop a prototype folding phone. But until this year, when we wanted to mass produce, only Samsung Display could meet the requirements.
For Xiaomi, it has also developed a prototype of the Visionox foldable phone, which is a video teasing a three-part folding phone. This year, Xiaomi plans to use an 8-inch panel that folds in, while the external screen is a 6.38-inch panel. Samsung and CSOT are the companies that develop them. CSOT is the same company that supplied the panels for the Motorola Razr.
This year there will be more competitors with the Galaxy Fold line (photo: Samsung)
The other is Google, perhaps using a 7.6-inch OLED panel. According to The Elec, more and more companies are choosing to go in a fold-in style like Samsung. Royole and Huawei are the two companies that launched foldable phones early, opting for the fold out style. However, in the new generation Mate X2, Huawei has turned to fold in. The supplier of the screens to them is BOE.
Although Samsung Display is leading the way in foldable OLED technology, its Chinese rivals are speeding up to catch up. BOE, Visionox and CSOT are all actively developing many of these panels for domestic phone companies. If The Elec is true, this year looks set to be the year in full bloom for foldable phones.
As for Apple, the company plans to launch a foldable phone, but for now it has not been decided. Mainly still small projects at the level of exploration and discovery, while the official product launch date is said to be until 2023 or 2024.