Apple Supplier Corning Working on Glass Display Solution for Foldable Phones

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With foldable smartphones from the likes of Samsung and Huawei now out in the open, speculation has been piqued over whether Apple will follow suit. We know the company has explored ideas related to foldable phones in patent applications, but Apple is unlikely to release a foldable iPhone unless it can meet strict quality standards, and judging by the bulky designs and expensive price tags of early foldable devices, that could still be some ways off.

Huawei Mate X

One innovation in particular that Apple could be holding out for is foldable glass. Early folding phone manufacturers have been relying on plastic polymers to make their flexible displays, but unlike glass, plastic creases and crinkles over time. The material is also less robust and easier to scratch, which is why the deviation from traditional glass smartphone panels is all the more noticeable.

Corning, the makers of Gorilla Glass, is known to be actively developing a foldable glass solution that could one day find its way into a future foldable iPhone. Corning is a long-time Apple supplier, and its Gorilla Glass products have been used in the iPhone and the iPad for several years, which makes its current work on glass that's 0.1mm thick and can bend to a 5mm radius all the more interesting.
"In a glass solution, you're really challenging the laws of physics, in that to get a very tight bend radius you want to go thinner and thinner, but you also have to be able to survive a drop event and resist damage," Corning general manager John Bayne recently told Wired.

"The back of the problem we're trying to break, the technical challenge, is, can you keep those tight 3- to 5-millimeter bend radii and also increase the damage resistance of the glass. That's the trajectory we're on."
According to Wired, Corning is combining its experience with Willow Glass, which can roll up like a sheet of paper, and Gorilla Glass, which gets its strength from an ion-exchange process. Unfortunately, that process involves dipping glass into a molten salt solution, and salt corrodes the transistors found in display applications, which makes Willow Glass unsuitable for phones. Corning's work is currently focused on overcoming this challenge.
"We have glasses we've sampled to customers, and they're functional, but they're not quite meeting all the requirements," Bayne says. "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."
Bayne thinks the company's foldable glass will be ready for the mainstream in a couple of years. With a bit of luck, the $200 million that Apple granted Corning out of its $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund will help the U.S. company achieve that goal.

Article Link: Apple Supplier Corning Working on Glass Display Solution for Foldable Phones
 

MoreRumors?

macrumors 6502a
Feb 28, 2018
884
668
To solve and make glass bendable would be truly amazing and a breakthrough. I don't mind the thickness and it doesn't to be that bad from the look of the picture.
 
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Romeo_Nightfall

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2018
686
723
Vienna
why we are talking about glass, we need some real fancy stuff like selfhealing, nano surfaces or whatever. corning glass was good in version 2 but then it started to scratch and be way to weak.
 
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allenvanhellen

macrumors 6502
Dec 8, 2015
288
738
To stick to that bend radius, I bet they’ll have 1 screen that wraps around the outsides (front and back), as opposed to Samsung’s interior screen.
 

Vjosullivan

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2013
976
1,134
One innovation in particular that Apple could be holding out for is foldable glass.​
”could be”?So this is not so much a rumour as a random thought?
Anyway, everyone know the future is transparent aluminium.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,334
35,411
I’d gladly take a $1,500 one, though.
I doubt Apple will have this priced anywhere near $1500 if they do release their version (Probably north of $2000). The reality is, I don’t think consumers will respond very well to a $2000 foldable tech device, not that it won’t convenience them with something that they can enlarge and reduce in size, but are they willing to spend that dollar amount, especially given how expensive smart phones are today? I think foldable smart phones have their appeal, but likely to a very niche demographic that have no problem paying $2000 and above.
 
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zulkiflim

macrumors 6502
Jan 6, 2008
256
129
Singapore
They’ll watch the market carefully, see others make the mistakes, and if this proves to stick, we’ll see it in 2021/22... later than anybody wanted. Apple is rarely first to the party.
If that is the case then I don’t think Apple will pursue this .

IPhones sales have dropped significantly especially in China / Indonesia / India.
If Apple phones sales keep reducing further , they will then keep to “services” revenue.


For China , I believe that if Apple does not release a 5G phone then it might as well close shop there.
China has already rolled out 5G in various cities .

Before, Apple growth have been phenomenal due to the brand and new market ,like China especially.

No one expected Samsung to come out with a fully sellable foldable phone.
Much less Huawei. Everyone assumed it was just marketing.

If anything , Apple need to wow us this year.
[doublepost=1551788205][/doublepost]
I doubt Apple have this priced anywhere near $1500 if they do release their version (Probably north of $2000). The reality is, I don’t think consumers will respond very well to a $2000 foldable tech device, not that it won’t convenience them with something that they can enlarge and reduce in size, but are they willing to spend that dollar amount, especially given how expensive smart phones are today? I think foldable smart phones have their appeal, but likely to a very niche demographic that have no problem paying $2000 and above.

For me Huawei Mate X is like an IPhone XS + IPad Mini all in one.


Given the price, it makes sense. I have 2 products in 1.

Remember Steven jobs demo for the 1 st IPhone ? A 3 in 1 device?

Huawei Mate X will cannibalizes sales of the tablet market especially in China .

Samsung fold device just makes me worries, 3 sides are covered in display, will the battery have adequate cooling ?
 
Last edited:

DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
9,041
10,231
Philadelphia, PA
Good, I prefer glass over plastic screens. Hopefully Apple is working to resolve these issues before even considering bringing a foldable to market. No reason to rush at all, just wait for the hardware to be ready.
 
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Arran

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2008
4,502
3,214
Atlanta, USA
Is a foldable phone a viable product right now?

It’s a cool concept for sure, but is the technology mature enough for the world outside an R&D lab?
 
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zulkiflim

macrumors 6502
Jan 6, 2008
256
129
Singapore
Is a foldable phone a viable product right now?

It’s a cool concept for sure, but is the technology mature enough for the world outside an R&D lab?

IMHO , Yes.

Saw some YouTube reviewers who at first condemned Both Huawei and Samsung phones given the absurd prices.

But after Huawei let them physically use the devices, they have changed their minds.
Not about the price tho LOL...
 
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Delgibbons

macrumors 6502a
Dec 14, 2016
701
1,478
London



With foldable smartphones from the likes of Samsung and Huawei now out in the open, speculation has been piqued over whether Apple will follow suit. We know the company has explored ideas related to foldable phones in patent applications, but Apple is unlikely to release a foldable iPhone unless it can meet strict quality standards, and judging by the bulky designs and expensive price tags of early foldable devices, that could still be some ways off.


Huawei Mate X

One innovation in particular that Apple could be holding out for is foldable glass. Early folding phone manufacturers have been relying on plastic polymers to make their flexible displays, but unlike glass, plastic creases and crinkles over time. The material is also less robust and easier to scratch, which is why the deviation from traditional glass smartphone panels is all the more noticeable.

Corning, the makers of Gorilla Glass, is known to be actively developing a foldable glass solution that could one day find its way into a future foldable iPhone. Corning is a long-time Apple supplier, and its Gorilla Glass products have been used in the iPhone and the iPad for several years, which makes its current work on glass that's 0.1mm thick and can bend to a 5mm radius all the more interesting.
According to Wired, Corning is combining its experience with Willow Glass, which can roll up like a sheet of paper, and Gorilla Glass, which gets its strength from an ion-exchange process. Unfortunately, that process involves dipping glass into a molten salt solution, and salt corrodes the transistors found in display applications, which makes Willow Glass unsuitable for phones. Corning's work is currently focused on overcoming this challenge.
Bayne thinks the company's foldable glass will be ready for the mainstream in a couple of years. With a bit of luck, the $200 million that Apple granted Corning out of its $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund will help the U.S. company achieve that goal.

Article Link: Apple Supplier Corning Working on Glass Display Solution for Foldable Phones
Can't wait for this. Apple are true masters of screen engineering. Just look at the previous story on the Macbook Pro flexgate.
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,780
4,284
why we are talking about glass, we need some real fancy stuff like selfhealing, nano surfaces or whatever. corning glass was good in version 2 but then it started to scratch and be way to weak.
Whatever they used on the X is the worst screen I've owned in terms of scratching.
 
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