- In a report on key technology predictions for 2024 and beyond, CCS Insight said it expects smartphone makers to start producing phones with “self-repairing” screens within five years.
- It may work by introducing a “nano-coating” to the surface of the screen, which, when scratched, creates a new material that reacts when the device is exposed to air, making up for the deficiency.
- Companies have been talking about self-repairing smartphone screens for several years.
Samsung Galaxy S23 ultra-smartphone.
Seungjun Cho Bloomberg via Getty Images
According to analyst firm CCS Insight, smartphones with self-healing displays could hit the market in 2028.
In a report on key technology predictions for 2024 and beyond, CCS Insight said it expects smartphone makers to start producing phones with “self-repairing” screens within five years. This can be achieved by applying a “nano-coating” to the surface of the screen, which when scratched creates a new material that reacts when exposed to air and fills in the defect.
“It’s not science fiction, it’s possible,” Wood said in a phone call with CNBC earlier this week. “I think the biggest challenge here is getting the expectations right.”
Companies have been talking about self-repairing smartphone screens for several years.
LG, the South Korean consumer electronics giant, has been promoting self-healing technology in its smartphones since 2013. The company has launched a smartphone called the G Flex, which features a vertically curved display and a “self-healing” coating on the back. He didn’t explain exactly how the technology worked back then.
“There are some new technologies that are being worked on that seem like they could be used again. We are not talking about a broken screen miraculously reappearing. “It’s all a little cosmetic scratch,” Wood said. CNBC.
Some other phone makers have touted self-healing materials in smartphones. In 2017, Motorola filed a patent for a display made from a “shape memory polymer” that repairs itself when cracked. The idea is that by applying heat to the material, the cracks will heal.
Meanwhile, Apple has also done this before Got a patent For a foldable iPhone with a display cover that can be automatically repaired if damaged.
However, this technology is yet to be found in any commercially successful phone. There are some obstacles to the widespread adoption of such phones.
First, companies need to invest heavily in research and development to ensure they can detect new innovations in smartphone displays. Cash is also needed to market phones and sell them in large quantities – and to ensure that customers are properly informed of the extent of phone damage that can be repaired without manual intervention.
Wood joked that he fears tech enthusiasts like popular YouTuber JerryRigsEverything will pick up a knife to test its self-healing abilities. That’s not the point of self-healing devices, he says. Rather, it is about a technology that can independently perform minimal repairs on the roof.
Phone manufacturers are becoming more innovative when it comes to display technology. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Motorola launched a foldable smartphone that expands vertically when pushed up.
Samsung has come a long way in the journey of commercial smartphones with more advanced displays: the foldable Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 can now be folded tens of thousands of times in their lifetime.
Separately, CCS Insight also predicts that Taiwanese tech giant HTC will exit the VR industry by 2026.
HTC was a pioneer in the smartphone market and was responsible for many models that set new standards in design, performance and functionality. The company’s flagship Android phones include the HTC Hero, HTC Legend, HTC Desire and HTC One.
But in 2017, HTC more or less exited the smartphone market and sold its mobile business to Google, which has been aggressively expanding its reach into consumer devices with its Pixel line and Nest smart home products.
HTC is betting much of its future on merging the virtual and physical worlds. In January, the company launched the Vive XR Elite, a lightweight headset focused on gaming, fitness and productivity, priced at $1,099.
CCS Insight expects the company to exit the VR space due to declining sales and increased competition from Meta, Sony and recently Apple.
“HTC was one of the pioneers in VR, and they’ve done a lot there,” said CCS Insights’ Wood. “But they had some difficulty competing because they didn’t participate in the race to the bottom on price, whereas Meta with Quest was willing to price very aggressively — just above cost — to drive adoption.”
“Apple’s entry into this space could give HTC some growth as interest in the segment revives,” Wood continued. “But ultimately we think it will be difficult for them to stay in the market. Therefore, we expect them to exit the market and sell their intellectual property rights by 2026.” [intellectual property] “For some of the other players who are big in that area.”
CCS Insight also expects Apple to seek more direct control of the used smartphone market so that the growing popularity of used devices does not hurt sales of new iPhones.
Apple can do this by encouraging customers to trade in their phones directly with the company rather than relying on third-party marketplaces like PCS Wireless; Or by incentivizing wireless carriers to trade in their old phones for credit to offset the cost of buying a new iPhone, company analysts said.
According to CCS Insight, Apple may begin focusing on a “verified” system for evaluating refurbished iPhones to promote high-quality used devices – reinforcing the tech industry’s trend toward more “rounded” products that they repair and resell, to avoid . . Electronic waste.
CCS Insight estimates that the iPhone represents about 80% of the controlled secondary smartphone market.