LG unveils 18-inch flexible OLED panels, preparing 60-inch for 2017

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Flexible displays are on the edge of technical achievement and commercial gimmick, but LG, Samsung, Sharp and other display providers seem to be very interested in creating larger flexible, foldable and transparent displays.

LG has announced their latest technical achievement with 18-inch OLED panels, sporting a 1200 x 810 resolution. The display is flexible, foldable and offers  30 percent transmittance, an improvement over the previous model.

The 18-inch panels would be useful in larger tablets, normally running Windows 8.1. The advantages of a flexible display have been shown on the LG G Flex and Samsung Galaxy Round, allowing a curved display.

LG believes by 2017 they could have the same technology on a 60-inch display, this new model will also offer 40 percent transmittance, a 10 percent increase on the current model.

The market for flexible OLED panels might not be the biggest yet, Apple has shown no interest in the technology. The only companies that appear to be interested are the ones developing the technology.

One of the major issues with foldable displays is the lacklustre build quality, nobody wants to be reading a message and their display suddenly flop or fold. LG needs to work on maintaining a structure to the foldable displays.

TVs could definitely utilise this technology better, simply because TVs are static and do not use touch. This means the display could be fixed to a curve, allowing more viewing angles, early models do not show much promise.

This could be just another 3D market that fails to take off in the living room, most people speculate the curved display market will grow and some households will buy TVs with curved displays, but it will not be enough, just like the plasma TVs.