Apple does not want to be left behind in producing folding smartphones like other manufacturers. The iPhone maker is rumored to be developing a new foldable OLED display that will eventually make its way to the foldable iPhone or iPad.
The breakthrough was the lack of a polarizing layer on the panels currently used in some conventional folding screens.
The same non-polarizing display technology has also been used by Samsung in the Galaxy Z Fold3 and its Eco²OLED display. Apple is considering a similar approach for its foldable phone.
Polarizers are used to allow only light in a certain direction to pass through, thereby increasing the visibility of the display. The removal of the polarizing layer allows for a thinner foldable display, but at the cost of peak visibility and brightness.
The makers were forced to increase the screen’s power consumption in an attempt to increase the brightness. The subsequent effect will hurt the longevity of the folding panel, so it will be interesting to see how Apple handles this issue.
Meanwhile, Samsung Display was the first to supply a non-polarizing OLED panel and supplied it to parent company Samsung Electronics for the Galaxy Z Fold3.
Instead of using a polarizing film, Samsung Display prints a color filter on the thin-film encapsulation – CF on TFE for short – and adds a layer of black pixel definition. This allows the collapsible panels to offer more vivid colors through color filters.
The black pixel defining layer replaces the same used orange pixel definition layer made of photo-sensitive polyimide. Using the orange pixel defining layer as before will reflect light, affecting the contrast ratio. Different polyimide material is used for the black pixel definition layer.
Samsung Display calls its CF technology TFE ECO2 or Eco Square. The company has claimed that this technology can increase light transmission by 33 percent and consume 25 percent less power than previous display panels.
There is no news that the folding iPhone and iPad will be officially produced. According to renowned Apple expert Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s foldable phone is years away, and don’t expect it before 2025.