LG Display to supply foldable panel
SK IE Technology will be supplying the transparent polyimide film, which is used as the cover windows of screens, on Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) foldable notebook.
The company will be the exclusive supplier of the films and had won the order by offering them at half the price of rival bids, sources said.
SK IE Technology, the subsidiary of South Korean energy firm SK Innovation, will provide the films to LG Display, which will put it on the foldable OLED panels it will manufacture for HP.
The notebook will use a 4K (3840x2160) resolution, in-folding panel that is 17-inch in size when unfolded and 11-inch when folded.
The new device is expected to debut late this year or early next year at CES.
SK IE Technology is expected to produce around 10,000 units of the film; LG Display is planning to manufacture thousands or up to around 10,000 units of the foldable OLED panel, starting in the third quarter.
Despite being relatively low volume, the supply deal is a significant win for SK IE Technology. The company last supplied such films to China’s Royole back in 2020 and had no meaningful orders afterward.
SK IE Technology is also in discussions with an ultra-thin glass processing firm to develop protective film for ultra-thin glasses, which are also used as cover windows for foldable panels.
While ultra-thin glasses are more widely used in foldable smartphones, it remains to be seen whether polyimide films or glasses become the main trend for foldable notebooks.
Glasses offer a better touch experience and look better but polyimide films are cheaper to manufacture.
Meanwhile, for LG Display, HP is its second customer for foldable OLED panels. In 2020, the South Korean display panel maker supplied such panels to Lenovo.
At CES earlier this year, LG Display showcased its 17-inch foldable OLED panel, which it said can be used in notebooks, tablets and portable monitors.