Samsung Display was considering both ultra-thin glass (UTG) and transparent polyimide (PI) film to use as cover windows for foldable OLED panels aimed at tablets and notebooks, TheElec has learned.
The company currently uses UTG for foldable OLED panels it manufactures for smartphones such as the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip series.
But it was considering PI films for larger devices as if the panels get larger durability becomes more of an issue, sources said.
UTG has an advantage in visibility but it is more vulnerable to external shocks than PI films.
Foldable phones currently have screen sizes of 7 to 8 inches but those for tablets and notebooks are 10 to 20 inches.
Samsung Electronics had used PI films in its first foldable phone the Galaxy Fold in 2019 but switched to UTG for the follow-ups, including the latest Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4.
Foldable tablets and notebooks are currently a small market, selling less than 100,000 units per year at the current time.
Unlike the foldable smartphone market, there isn’t a clear preferred choice on what the cover window material should be.
This will also depend on the choice by Apple, which is expected to lead the foldable tablet and notebook sector once it launches its own product, owing to its brand power.
Meanwhile, Samsung Display’s main rival LG Display currently only uses PI films as cover windows for the foldable panels it manufactures.