Why foldable phone screens don’t break

Why foldable phone screens don’t break

One of the biggest advantages of foldable displays, is that they can’t break like glass displays do. Most regular smartphones end up in the trash because their screens get shattered. Drop your expensive iPhone or Android smartphone on the street and you’ll have a high probability of a broken display. Within one year, roughly 30 percent of iPhones will suffer accidental damage. With foldable displays, that is no longer the case.

Source: Motorola

It’s one of the underestimated advantages of foldable displays: they’re shatterproof. As they don’t have glass on top, they can’t break. Motorola research showed that 50 percent of people globally have experienced a cracked smartphone screen at least once. Annually, in the USA alone a whopping 50 million phones are tossed in the trash because of broken glass. Too expensive to repair. Worldwide these numbers are estimated to be 150 million.


The organic, light-emitting diodes in foldable displays are manufactured on a plastic substrate, not on glass. The material used is polyethylene terephthalate (PET) instead of rigid glass. It’s what makes them foldable but also virtually unbreakable. Foldable displays should be able to withstand 200.000 folds. So if an an average person would open his phone 20 times a day, the phone would have a lifetime of 10.000 days (27 years). At least in the lab, foldable displays have been bent hundreds of thousands of times, but in real world conditions, this hasn’t been tested.

Source: Fairphone.com

A longer lifetime makes phones more environmental friendly. There are many rare materials in smartphones, such as copper, cobalt, gallium, gold, indium, nickel, tantalum, tin, tungsten, and rare earths. If people don’t have to buy a new phone every two or three years because of broken glass, it may reduce the demand for these materials. The end of the shattered phone is not only good news for consumers, but also for nature.

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