The foldable 17-in HP laptop is shaping up with its flexible OLED display's cover film supplier reveal
HP is allegedly preparing a foldable 17-inch laptop with a flexible LG OLED screen for release later this year, and the last piece of its bendy display puzzle has now fallen into place. Korean media is reporting today that a subsidiary of the big SK conglomerate there, SK IE Technology (SKIET), is tasked with supplying the thin ad flexible polyimide (PI) film that will be used as a cover for the bendy 17-inch panel that LG will be sourcing for HP.
There have been two types of flexible display covers for foldable devices used by manufacturers so far, the PI film and the ultra-thin glass (UTG) cover, each with their own set of advantages and drawbacks. The current generation of Samsung foldable phones, for instance, uses UTG as a cover glass but the original Galaxy Z Fold used a PI film. Hewlett-Packard's foldable laptop is rumored to sport a 4K flexible display that unfurls from a compact 11-incher to a big, beautiful 17-inch device, most likely using the bendy OLED panel that LG showcased back at the CES expo earlier in the year. It's a touchscreen that also supports stylus input so HP may be aiming it as a limited-release device for creatives.
The info that SKIET and LG will be shipping just about 10,000 flexible OLED displays and bendy cover films lends further credence to the niche market device theory. While niche is often equated with expensive, HP has reportedly chosen SKIET for the cover film because the other suppliers bid a much higher price, US$15-$20 instead of the US$8 that SK's subsidiary managed to pull off. The fact that HP is trying to keep production costs in check could mean that it will be trying to make the retail tag more palatable because of a potentially increased competition in the foldable laptop field later this year.
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