Next year is expected to be the era of a complete zero-bezel display without a notch.
Following in the footsteps of Samsung Display, LG Display is also developing organic light emitting diode (OLED) panels for smartphone use which will be available for notch-less design. The current design of the notch means the appearance of cut-out at the top of the smartphone screen. The camera lens, various sensors, and call speaker (receiver) are located in this area.
This notch design was first applied to the Apple iPhone X model. LG Display is developing the crystal sound OLED (CSO, tentative name) for mobile devices, which embeds the call speaker occupying the largest area of the mobile phone into a panel. It is said to have reached the final stage of development.
According to the industry on the 20th, LG Display is developing CSO technology for mobile use with the aim of launching next year. The company introduced CSO technology for TV OLED panels at CES 2017 in January, 2017. Sony adopted this technology and released a completed product, the OLED TV.
A typical speaker includes an electric signal that contains sound information and flows through the coil, and the magnet generates sound with pressure to make the diaphragm move back and forth. CSO puts a kind of diaphragm on the OLED panel to generate sound in front of the panel without existing parts such as a magnet. LG Display installed a piezo vibration motor onto CSO for mobile, which operates more delicately than other diaphragms. Officials involved in the project describe that since it’s the piezo method, it generates sound with better resolution than large-sized products.
An official said, "LG Display is developing the technology with the intention of supplying Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo of China," and "while LG Display is also developing a notch-less panel following the Samsung Display, it’s expected that the front design of smartphones to be launched next year will be further improved.”
Samsung Display is collaborating with Samsung Electronics' Wireless Business Division to develop the notch-less design display by drilling holes in an OLED panel and installing several sensors. The hole-drilling technology was named as the Hole in Active Area (HIAA) inside Samsung Display. The first application of this technology was reported to be the 2019 mid-range Galaxy A series, which is expected to be released early next year. The call receiver in the new Galaxy A-series is also known to be equipped with a built-in speaker similar to LG Display CSO structure.
An official familiar with Samsung Electronics said, "Vice President Park Gil-jae of Samsung Electronics’ Wireless Business Division has come to the headquarters from Gumi city this year with a special mission of the re-revival of low- and middle-priced smartphones", and he also explained the background that “As the notch-less design is applied first to the Galaxy A series, it implies that (Samsung Electronics) will compete against the Chinese smartphones properly and raise the market share back again.”