LG is betting on flexible displays; they're building a brand new plant to massively produce tons of flexible OLED screens. The plant, which is being erected in South Korea's southern city of Gumi, will cost $908 million over two years and plans to be operational during 2017, according to an LG regulatory filing. LG and Samsung are the two main companies producing flexible OLED screens.
Flexible displays have only recently been used in smartphones, but the screens also have uses in cars, wearables and TVs. The flexibility of the displays is possible thanks to the screens being made from a plastic base. Currently, devices equipped with flexible screens are generally costlier to the consumer in part because of the relatively small number that is manufactured.
In 2012, Samsung said they planned to release a smartphone featuring a flexible display. Then in 2013, Samsung debuted the Samsung Galaxy Round, an Android phone with a 5.7-inch flexible screen. Today, the two most popular handsets equipped with flexible displays are LG's curved G Flex 2 and Samsung's slanted Galaxy S6 Edge, which are equipped with 5.5-inch and 5.1-inch screens, respectively.
We reviewed the LG G Flex 2 in April, giving the device a 70/100 score and noting that the smaller screen is easier to handle than its awkwardly larger 6-inch predecessor. However, we didn't think the curved flexible screen improved the ergonomics of the smartphone overall. In a similar note, the S6 Edge while visually appealing is more expensive and less practical than the standard S6 for normal usage.