Samsung appears to be working on a foldable display project for Apple. This week at SID Review Workshop in Seoul, Samsung showcased (via TheElec) how it is working on developing a large foldable screen device. Apple could use a 20-inch foldable OLED panel in its rumored upcoming foldable laptop. But before this rumored product arrives, industry insiders believe that Samsung needs to iron out a few kinks in its foldable display technology to meet Apple's standards.
According to people in the display industry, it is “necessary” for Apple to commercialize a foldable product for the whole foldable market to succeed. It's unclear if the host referred to all foldable devices, including smartphones, or just foldable laptops. But given the overarching theme of the keynote, it's probably the latter.
Likewise, Samsung didn't outright say that Apple is working on a foldable MacBook. At the very least, the company is improving its foldable display technology. If it enhances the product enough, it could meet Apple's standards and lure the company into the foldable device market. Multiple firms are said to be interested in foldable laptop screens that measure 13 inches when folded and 25 inches when unfolded.
Baek Seung-in, Executive Director of Samsung Display, said, “In the Samsung camp, foldables are achieving their own success as a new form factor product. The next area of interest in foldables is IT products (laptops). Current laptops consist of the upper part of the screen and the lower part of the hardware and keyboard, but many companies are interested in using a display for the entire (laptop).”
The Korean tech giant said many laptop manufacturers are interested in creating a “full display” foldable product. Multiple reports point to Apple being among these OEMs, and Samsung Display is counted among the Cupertino giant's suppliers, along with LG Display.
Samsung is working on fixing some foldable display issues for Apple
The South Korean tech giant's display manufacturing arm is reportedly leveraging its expertise in foldable display manufacturing to elevate the technology to Apple's standards. Reaching this goal requires improving foldable displays in two ways: crease visibility and panel durability.
The slide above, captured at SID Review Workshop, suggests that Samsung's foldable displays seemingly meet expectations in terms of tensile stress (folding cracks), comprehensive stress (buckling when folding in), and slimness & flexibility (folding torque). Baek Seung-in explained that the company has been working hard for several years to remove the crease on foldable screens completely, but it is hard to achieve.
However, the slide also suggests that Samsung needs to work more on making the foldable display crease less visible and improving the panel's durability to a level closer to standard glass panels. These two areas may represent Apple's biggest concerns, but improvements are underway.
Previous reports citing industry analysts say Apple may announce its first foldable laptop, powered by Samsung Display technologies, in 2025 and release the device sometime in 2026.