Welcome to a world where your smartphone or tablet screen doesn’t shatter if you drop it or you can have e-paper that bends like paper. Yes, Samsung is pushing forward with plans to mass product OLED-based flexible, plastic screens.
According to the WSJ Samsung is betting big on OLED screens, not just for the innovative places they could be placed, but also for some pretty pragmatic reasons:
The pliable displays ditch the glass, combining a plastic structure with thin OLEDs to produce mobile screens less susceptible to shattering. While the technology has actually been tossed around tech circles for quite some time, no company has moved into mass production, as there’s no guarantee the new displays will click with consumers.
“The key reason for Samsung to use plastic rather than conventional glass is to produce displays that aren’t breakable. The technology could also help lower manufacturing costs and help differentiate its products from other rivals,” Seung-chul told Wall Street Journal.
Yeah, I’d say having a screen that is sure sharp but shatter-proof is a really good thing. Mac|Life’s Matt Clark wonders if these screens will catch on with consumers, and I think it’s a fair bet that they will—if they can stand up to the “Retina test”. If the screen has a sub-par display, then it will be relegated to a few products. If, on the other hand, the screen is (more) beautiful than it is durable, then Samsung will have a hit on its hands.
Then the next question will be: who else will (be able to) use them? Would Apple switch to OLED tech for screens that don’t shatter? Or does Apple have something else up its sleeve?