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Trend in Phones: The Material of Foldable Smartphone Screens

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Phones are products that people use every day, and approximately 6.92 billion people own a mobile phone, which accounts for 86.29% of the world’s population (Flynn, 2023). As phones have become increasingly common, people expect more functionality from them. Phone brands recognize these trends and continually develop phones with more features. One of the newest and most innovative features is folding screens. This characteristic allows people to have a larger screen without requiring much space. The first foldable phone available for sale was the Royole Flexpai in 2018 (Awa-Abuon, 2021). Subsequently, Samsung, Motorola, and Huawei followed this design in their later models (Awa-Abuon, 2021). To understand why foldable screens have become the latest trend, it is essential to explore what they are, and the materials used to create them.

Most people have a vague idea about foldable smartphones, but they are not entirely aware of what they are and how they are used. Foldable phones are a new and innovative technology that fulfills people’s need for an extended screen without increasing the overall size of the phone. Initially, it may be hard to believe that foldable screens are possible, considering that smartphone screens are typically made of inflexible materials, such as glass (Uttam, 2023). However, foldable screens have become a reality today, thanks to a not-so-new technology called Flexible Display, which builds on Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) screens (Uttam, 2023). As the name suggests, OLED screens are made from organic materials that emit light when electricity passes through them, eliminating the need for traditional backlights (Uttam, 2023). This allows the screens to be made as thin as possible, increasing flexibility and color accuracy (Uttam, 2023).

While glass is rigid and tends to crack when bent, all first-generation folding screens are made of plastic polymers (Awa-Abuon, 2021). While polymers are lightweight and flexible, they are more compared to glass (Awa-Abuon, 2021). To address this concern, companies like Samsung have released models like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, which features a soft, scratchable plastic top layer combined with a main glass component, providing a compromise between flexibility and durability (Awa-Abuon, 2021). Hence, foldable smartphones are made possible through Flexible Display technology and the use of OLED screens. Though first-generation models use plastic polymers for their foldable displays, manufacturers are continuously improving the design to strike the right balance between flexibility and durability.


In conclusion, as smartphones became common among people, their expectations for these devices have grown, and one of their needs is to have a larger screen. However, increasing screen size poses a spacing issue, as nobody likes to carry a bulky phone. As a solution, phone companies decided to create foldable smartphones. Typically, phones are made of glass, a hard and easily crackable material when bent. To address this issue, they introduced a new material called OLED, which is more flexible than glass. However, users have discovered that foldable smartphones are prone to scratches and bruises. In response to this concern, Samsung introduced the Galaxy Z Flip, which addressed the issue by using glass as the main component. Overall, it is predicted that foldable smartphones will become the next trending product worldwide.


Awa-Abuon, J. (2021, June 3). How Do Foldable Smartphone Screens Actually Work? Make Use of. Retrieved August 4, 2023, from

Flynn, J. (2023, April 3). 20 VITAL SMARTPHONE USAGE STATISTICS [2023]: FACTS, DATA, AND TRENDS ON MOBILE USE IN THE U.S. Zippia. Retrieved August 4, 2023, from,mobile%20devices%2C%20as%20of%202022.

Uttam, R. K. (2022, September 30). Introduction of Foldable Screens. Geeks for Geeks. Retrieved August 4, 2023, from