While phone makers are planning (or maybe struggling is a better word) to launch the first smartphones with foldable OLED displays this year, display maker BOE is showing off a prototype of a new rollable display that could be used in a different kind of next-gen smartphone.
Charbax from Armdevices caught up with BOE at the SID Display Week show recently, and got a look at the company’s 12.3 inch rollable display.
While rollable displays aren’t brand new, this is one of the first demonstrations I’ve seen showing what it would look like in a smartphone-sized device… or maybe it’s more of a handheld tablet, given the thick sides of the device that the BOE representative is holding.
It’s also worth noting that the prototype we’re looking at is not a touchscreen display, so it’s clearly not ready for use in a smartphone or tablet-style device just yet. But BOE says it hopes to add touch support in a future version of its rollable display.
Foldables promise to end the need to carry around both a smartphone and a tablet. When folded, a smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy Fold or Huawei Mate X should be small enough to put in a pocket. When unfolded, you have more of a tablet-sized display. But by tablet, I mean something around the size of an iPad mini.
If rollable displays like BOE’s ever find their way to smartphones, we could see convertible tablet-style devices with much larger screens.
They’re clearly not ready for deployment in mobile devices yet, but Charbax also got a look at the company’s other display solutions during a tour of the company’s booth.