Samsung is the undisputed leader when it comes to building displays using OLED technology. Sure, we sometimes hate the tricks that they sometimes pull (PenTile!) in order to make their screens cheap enough to manufacture in volume, but for the most part they’re doing a fantastic job at pushing the state of the art forward. Corning is also an equally admirable company. They invented the glass that most of us fondle on a daily basis and take for granted when we accidentally put our mobile device in the same pocket that has our keys. Today both companies announced that they’re going to get together to “establish a new equity venture for the manufacture of specialty glass substrates for the rapidly expanding organic light emitting diode (OLED) device market.”
This new business will be based out of South Korea, no surprise there, and it’s going to make full use of Corning’s Lotus Glass, which was announced in October of last year. It’s claim to fame is that it will enable “tighter design rules in advanced backplanes for higher resolution and faster response time.” In other words, it’ll let phone makers come out with phones that don’t look like your typical slab of glass. They might actually be curved, sort of like the Galaxy S, but with a much more pronounced arc.
What about the larger trends of the impact of this partnership? Thinner phones, because OLED doesn’t need any external lighting sources, stronger phones, new form factors, and hopefully an increased ability to resist scratches. No word on when the products that this venture will produce will end up in actual consumer hardware, but if we had to take a guess we’d say it’ll happen by the end of this year. And hey, there’s always the possibility that Samsung may extend this relationship to tablets as well, but that wasn’t specifically mentioned in the press release.