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Report: Foldable smartphones expected to have 20 percent market share in 2019

According to an industry insider, foldable devices will skyrocket in popularity when they arrive in 2018, hitting 20% market share in their first year.

Published onDecember 22, 2016

By 2019, foldable devices are expected to have skyrocketed in popularity after just a short time on the market. Kang Chung-seok, an executive at Kolon Industries, which makes a critical component for foldable displays, told The Korea Herald today that he expects foldable devices to have a 20 percent market share in South Korea in the same year.

You’re probably wondering who this guy is and where he’s getting his information from. Well, Kolon Industries is currently the only company in the entire world that is able to mass produce colorless polyimide, an essential ingredient in foldable devices. Kang said that Kolon Industries is already working closely with big names like Samsung and LG, by supplying them with the already mentioned material.

LG reportedly partnering with Apple and Google on out-foldable OLED panels

Based on his insider knowledge, Kang expects that between three and five companies will start mass producing foldable smartphones in 2018. He thinks that the first devices that will hit the market will have a bend radius of 5 mm instead of just 1 mm, as some have predicted.

In case you’re wondering, a bend radius is simply the minimum radius something can be bent without causing damage to it. Therefore, a smaller radius means that a certain material is more flexible: obviously a very important consideration when talking about folding smartphones.

The bend radius of 1 millimeter is the most ideal but that may cause a safety issue. So, tech companies are likely to unveil the bend radius of 5 millimeters first and then gradually unveil devices with less bend radius. — Kang Chung-seok, Kolon Industries.

So there you have it. Looks like we’ll still have to wait a little while before foldable smartphones become a reality. But will the devices really turn out to be as popular as the guys over at Kolon Industries expect them to be? Only time will tell.

What do you think about the upcoming foldable devices? Will they be an instant hit? Let us know.

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