Chinese display maker BOE, which leapfrogged Samsung to become the world’s largest smartphone display manufacturer in 2020, has just unveiled the world’s first 360-degree flexible display. The panel can be folded both inwards and outwards with equal efficiency. The company has reportedly already started the mass production of this next-gen foldable panel.
According to reports coming from China, BOE has used a multi-neutral layer model design on this panel. This apparently reduces the stress of flexible “inwards fold” and “outwards fold”. Moreover, this technology also reduces the creases created along the folding line. Display creases have been one of the biggest drawbacks of inwards folding flexible panels. If BOE manages to overcome this limitation, then the company may gain a big headstart in the next-gen flexible display market.
Reports suggest that BOE’s 360-degree flexible display can withstand 200,000 folds comfortably. This essentially means the display would hold up for up to five years even if you open and close your phone 100 times a day. However, there are other things to consider as well, such as its ability to resist scratches and more.
BOE starts the mass production of its 360-degree flexible display
The smartphone industry has witnessed some breakthrough innovations in display technology in recent years. From foldable display to under-display camera (UDC) system and rollable display, these innovations have led to newer possibilities as far as smartphones’ design and productivity are concerned. BOE’s new 360-degree flexible display now makes the future of non-conventional smartphones even more interesting.
As you can see in the video below, devices equipping this display can function as a tablet when unfolded, much like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold and Huawei Mate X phones. However, you can fold it inwards like the former, or outwards like the latter as well. So depending on the usage scenario, you can have different types of devices within one package.
Note that the folding device shown in the demo video below is merely a prototype and not a fully functional phone. Hence it lacks other components such as cameras, buttons and ports, and so on.
As mentioned earlier, BOE has already started mass production of this 360-degree flexible display. It will likely start shipping the panels to smartphone manufacturers in the coming months. And if everything goes right, we might see the first batch of devices equipping this next-gen display panel come out by the end of this year, or in early 2022. Hopefully, the display turns out to be durable enough to survive real-world environments.