Corning: flexible smartphones at least three years away

Corning: flexible smartphones at least three years awayFlexible displays are definitely coming to the world of mobile, but we're probably still at least three years away from them really hitting the mainstream.

That's the view of Corning, whose own take on bendable glass, known as Willow, was announced to much ooh-ing and ah-ing in June last year.

At the time Corning stressed that the real achievement in Willow was the manufacturing process, which allows the 100 micro-thick bendable substrate to rolled up rather than arranged in sheets.

With smartphones likely to be among the first to benefit from the flexible display resolution, the tech press was unsurprisingly rather excited.

But speaking to Bloomberg, Corning president James Clappin warned that real-world implementations of the technology were still a long way off.

“People are not accustomed to glass you roll up,” Clappin said. “The ability of people to take it and use it to make a product is limited.”

That's by no means a new challenge, but it remains the main reason why flexible display technology has been shown off at tech shows for years, but still hasn't appeared on any real-world devices.

That day is getting closer, though, and while Clapping reckons we're three years from a flexible smartphone, Willow glass could start appearing in simpler implementations like in solar panels later this year.

Add a comment
 1 comment

sq999  Mar. 4, 2013 at 14:10

Pilkington was right.


You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.