One reason that production processes are being redefined is that the next level of innovation in consumer electronics is coming. Getting “the next big thing” is what drives electronics sales, after all.
One possibility could prove intriguing for composite material suppliers. For several years trend watchers have been promising that Samsung and, later, Apple would deliver on patents for foldable smartphones at any minute.
The patents for these technologies give little insight into the actual mechanics, offering composites as but one potential material that may be used to produce this unique housing.
In June 2016, Digitimes reported that consumer electronics manufacturers in Taiwan are exploring production of foldable active matrix organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels – the display on most high-end phones. The goal was to have work underway on bendable panels for smart wearable devices, foldable panels for smartphones and tablets, and rollable panels for monitors, notebooks and TVs by fall 2017.
Such panels may need to replace glass substrates with polyimide substrates and glass covers with composite covers, according to the report.
And what could be more flexible than a composite-based housing?