Market Insight

[Display Dynamics] Samsung announced foldable smartphone Galaxy Fold with 7.3 inches in-folding AMOLED Display

February 26, 2019

Jerry Kang Jerry Kang Senior Principal Analyst, Emerging Display Technologies & OLED

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Key findings

  • Samsung Electronics announced a foldable smartphone, Galaxy Fold, with a 7.3 inches 2152 x 1536 foldable AMOLED inside and a 4.6 inches 1960 x 840 flat AMOLED outside.
  • Galaxy Fold is equipped with Y-OCTA TSP and CPI Cover Lens on a 7.3 inches foldable AMOLED, which has improved its foldability.
  • Foldable AMOLED of Galaxy Fold is durable, with 1.5 mm bending radius and more than 100,000 folds.

Samsung Electronics announced its first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold. It has two separated displays from Samsung Display, which are a 7.3 inches 2152 x 1536 foldable AMOLED inside and a 4.6 inches 1960 x 840 flat AMOLED outside. It is quite a unique solution that a smartphone has two separated screens, which improve the usage of display.

The external 4.6 inches display is useful for general usage such as phone calls or messaging, and the internal 7.3 inches display is more useful for wide screen usage of tablet PC such as web surfing and map searching. Samsung Electronics also showed that the 7.3 inches display can perform three activities on the same screen.

The 7.3 inches AMOLED of the Galaxy Fold can be unfolded up to 180 degrees, and can be folded inward as half to meet two edge of the screen. The foldable AMOLED can be virtually divided as two of 5.17 inches 1076 x 1536 when it is folded, but it would be invisible. So the usage of external 4.6 inches 1960 x 840 is quite essential for comfortable use of the device. To reduce the thickness of the foldable device, external 4.6 inches display is also manufactured with thinner flexible AMOLED but flat.

Galaxy Fold’s in-folding 7.3 inches AMOLED is equipped with Y-OCTA TSP and Colorless Polyimide (CPI) Cover Lens on a 7.3 inches foldable AMOLED, which has improved its foldability. Y-OCTA is the Touch Sensor Solution of Samsung Display, which patterns the touch sensor directly on thin film encapsulation of flexible AMOLED. It is much thinner than the current film add-on type touch sensors. CPI is the alternative cover lens material, which is transparent and harder than glass cover lens. It is much durable for repeated folding than the current glass covers.

Galaxy Fold is durable, with 1.5 mm bending radius and more than 100,000 folds. A smartphone screen has never been folded before, but only curved. So, the foldability of Galaxy Fold’s in-folding AMOLED is quite impressive. But, it seemed to show a folding stain on the foldable AMOLED when it was unfolded at the official announcement event of Samsung Electronics. It can be less attractive for consumers if the folding stain exist in the mass product.

The folding stain may be a big concern not only for Samsung Electronics, but also for any other foldable device brands. Due to the basic material property, CPI is willing to maintain the folded status while Glass is willing to maintain the unfolded status. Foldable device brands are also developing the foldable cover lens with ultrathin glass, which lesser folding stain.

Research by Market
Displays
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