MWC this year has been the most compelling event in the smartphone industry. The event had showcased innovative technologies from the mobile tech giants in the industry. As you might have already seen by now, the event was primarily focused on 5G smartphones and more interestingly the foldable display smartphones. While several mobile manufacturers have announced their foldable technologies, brands like Samsung and Huawei have had showcased their first commercial foldable devices – the Galaxy Fold and the Huawei Mate X.
As impressive and innovative as they look, both the Galaxy Fold and the Mate X share a similar display technology. Regardless of how they bend, i.e. the Fold’s display bends inwards, and the Mate X’s display folds outwards, both the foldable phones feature a plastic display. That is because there isn’t any rigid foldable glass in the market that can withstand in a smartphone like the Fold or the Mate X. While Samsung claims the display on the Fold as an Infinity Flex Display it still said to be a plastic polymer display.
To fix this Corning the company that manufactures the Gorilla Glass for today’s smartphone displays is working on a foldable Gorilla Glass that can protect the future foldable smartphones. Corning’s Senior Vice President and General Manager – John Bayne had confirmed the same for an interview with the WIRED. In this report from the WIRED, Bayne had stated that the current display options present in the market are not suitable for the foldable smartphones that the companies have shown up at MWC, 2019.
Further, the report reveals that polymer materials used on the current foldable phones are better at flexibility and are easier to bend, as stated by John Mauro, a material sciences professor at Penn State University who has been with Corning for more than a decade. However, as the polymer plastic displays are easily bendable, they are also quickly prone to scratches as well. This might be the reason for Samsung and Huawei for not allowing the media to have a hands-on their foldable phones for more extended periods and also to keep in mind those products are not fully baked in terms of software to release to the market right away.
That being said, to overcome these flaws in plastic display technologies Corning is in the works of manufacturing an ultra-thin and bendable glass that is supposed to be 0.1mm thick and can also be bent to a 5mm radius. This new Gorilla bendable Glass is achieved by the mix of Corning’s conventional Gorilla Glass tech and the company’s Willow Glass technology, wherein the display can be rolled up like a sheet of paper.
Bayne has confirmed that these displays are being tested currently and haven’t met all the requirements yet and eventually will be ready when the foldable phones become a norm, i.e. in a couple of years or so. What do you think of the upcoming Gorilla Bendable Glass? Tell us in the comments and stay tuned to PhoneRadar for more such interesting updates.