22 January 2021
The MWC 2019 event saw a number of foldable devices being launched, which included the Galaxy Fold and Mate X. Apple co-founder Wozniak stated that Apple would hurry and launch a foldable iPhone soon.
Now according to reports Apple’s iPhone glass supplier Corning, is developing foldable displays. Though Apple has not stated anything as yet about foldable phones, Corning has been making displays for the Cupertino giant since the first iPhone. A patent for a foldable iPad has also surfaced online recently.
"We have glasses we've sampled to customers, and they're functional, but they're not quite meeting all the requirements," says John Bayne, senior vice president and general manager, Corning. "People either want better performance against a drop event or a tighter bend radius. We can give them one or the other; the key is to give them both."
"The back of the problem we're trying to break, the technical challenge is, can you keep those tight 3- to 5-millimetre bend radii and also increase the damage resistance of the glass," says Bayne. "That's the trajectory we're on."
Professor John Mauro, an ex-employee of Corning stated that current foldable phones use plastic polymer because glass isn't ready yet.
"The polymer is better at flexibility, it's easier to bend at the same thickness," Mauro said. "The molecules can rearrange themselves more easily in response to stress, whereas the glass has a more rigid structure."
According to reports, Apple’s foldable phone is expected to be launched in 2020, and Corning developing foldable displays could be the prime supplier. As of now, Huawei and Samsung which launched foldable phones this year, have used plastic foldable displays.