Published in Mobiles

Three years before flexible displays

by on06 March 2013

Corning believes it will take a while

The maker of glass for the smartphone industry, Corning, has poured cold water on rumours that flexible mobile phones will be with us soon.

Corning said that it will probably take at least three years before companies start making flexible displays using its new Willow material. Companies have yet to come up with products that can take full advantage of Willow glass, which can be made in a roll similar to newsprint.

But James Clappin, president of Corning Glass Technologies, said while the product will let companies make curved or flexible displays, it will take a while for it to hit the shops. He said that the ability of people to take glass that you can roll up and use it to make a product is limited. Clappin said it was taking a lot of effort to teach “very big name” customers how to handle the spools, Clappin said.

The Willow glass should be used in some simple products this year, Clappin said. Examples may include a flexible barrier for solar panels or as a thin film behind some touch panels, he said. Google Inc has too much control over China's smartphone industry via its Android mobile operating system and has discriminated against some local firms, the technology ministry said in a white paper.

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