One of the world’s leading display manufacturers, BOE Display, has unveiled a 12.3-inch multi-fold display. This screen can fold inwards and outwards, which we don’t see a lot. Regardless, this multi-fold display is undoubtedly going to leave an impression.
CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC), Ross Young, shared an image of the prototype on Twitter. We don’t have much to go on apart from the image above. Still, it’s clear that the display can fold in multiple ways, unlike the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold series.
Samsung, meanwhile, showcased several display technologies at the Display Week 2022 event, including slidable and dual foldable displays. The South Korean manufacturer also unveiled the Flex S OLED prototype, which can fold inward and outward, making it somewhat similar to BOE’s multi-fold screen.
Since these technologies are only prototypes, it’s hard to predict when they will make it to devices. But considering the pace of the industry’s growth, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if these screens made it to phones by 2023 or 2024.
BOE Display has been embroiled in a controversy with Apple recently
The new multi-fold display also serves as a good distraction for BOE from its recent controversy involving Apple. The iPhone maker dropped BOE as its display supplier for allegedly making unpermitted changes to the 6.1-inch OLED screen on the iPhone 13. It’s unclear whether this will impact the deal between the two companies for the upcoming iPhone 14 series.
Based out of Beijing, China, BOE Display has big ambitions for the flexible display market. In 2020, the manufacturer said it wants to overtake Samsung to become the leading manufacturer of flexible OLED panels by at least 2024. The same year, BOE became the world’s largest smartphone display producer overtaking Samsung.
BOE took the wraps off its 360-degree flexible display last year with a design quite similar to the multi-fold screen. BOE said the screen uses a “multi-neutral layer model design” to reduce the stress that could occur by constantly folding the screen inwards and outwards.
If recent reports are accurate, Google may be looking to launch a foldable of its own. While the Pixel foldable was rumored for a late 2021 release, it never materialized. Hopefully, that will change this year.