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Business trends

Japan's suppliers eagerly eye market for foldable smartphones

Companies devising components for Asian manufacturers' bendable OLEDs

Bendable OLED panels will be key to making foldable smartphones.

TOKYO -- Japan's materials makers are tapping their technological prowess to develop components for bendable OLED panels, as they get serious about securing their role in the production of foldable smartphones.

Samsung Electronics of South Korea and Chinese manufacturers are working to develop foldable smartphones, which could hit the shelves as soon as this year. These devices will let users watch videos and surf the web on a much bigger screen than with existing smartphones, and could become key drivers in a market where customers are holding on to products for longer.

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