A new supply chain report today notes that LG Innotek is set to kick-start the mass production of flexible printed circuit boards for smartphones starting next year. This move to become a flexible PCB supplier for Apple’s iPhone, LG Innotek poses a challenge to Samsung Electro-Mechanics which has already accumulated know-how in this area.
According to industry sources on June 25, LG Innotek has almost completed the development of flexible PCBs and would likely to break the ground for related facilities in the latter half of this year. LG Innotek aims to become a main flexible PCB supplier for Apple and LG Electronics.
Printed circuit boards are mounted on smartphone display, turning various signals into image and transmitting touch screen input data into other components. Existing PCBs, however, are not compatible with flexible OLED that needs flexible PCBs.
Flexible PCBs were used first for Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S6 Edgewhich was applied with flexible OLED in March 2015 to gave the sides of the display its curviness. This is why Samsung Electro-Mechanics is staying ahead in this segment.
While Apple could design a similar styled iPhone, Apple patents have suggested there could be a wraparound display form factor looming in the future which of course would require flexible printed circuit boards (PCBs).