Analysts expect phones with self-repairing screens to arrive by 2028

  • In its report on the most important technology forecasts for 2024 and beyond, CCS Insight said that it expects smartphone makers to start producing phones with “self-repairing” screens within five years.
  • The way this could work is by incorporating a “nano coating” to the surface of the screen which, if scratched, creates a new material that the thSat reacts to when exposed to air and fills in the deficiency.
  • Companies have been talking about self-repairing smartphone screen technology for several years.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra smartphone.

Seungjun Cho | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Smartphones with displays capable of repairing themselves could start appearing on the market by 2028, according to analyst firm CCS Insight.

In its report on the most important technology forecasts for 2024 and beyond, CCS Insight said that it expects smartphone makers to start producing phones with “self-repairing” screens within five years. The way this can work is by incorporating a “nano coating” to the surface of the screen which, if scratched, creates a new material that reacts when exposed to air and fills in the deficiency.

“This is not from the realm of science fiction, it’s possible,” Wood told CNBC via phone call earlier this week. “I think the biggest challenge with this is setting expectations right.”

Companies have been talking about self-repairing smartphone screen technology for several years.

LG, the South Korean consumer electronics giant, has been promoting self-healing technology in its smartphones since 2013. The company released a smartphone called G Flex which features a vertically curved display and a “self-healing” coating on the back cover. He did not explain exactly how the technology worked at the time.

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“There are some new technologies that people are working on now that look as if this could become something that people can use again. We’re not talking about miraculously making a shattered screen come back. It’s all just little cosmetic scratches,” Wood said. CNBC.

A few other phone makers have touted self-healing materials in smartphones. In 2017, Motorola filed a patent for a display made of a “shape memory polymer” that repairs itself when cracked. The idea is that when heat is applied to the material, it heals the cracks.

Meanwhile, Apple also previously Obtained a patent For a foldable iPhone with a screen cover that can be automatically repaired when damaged.

However, this technology has yet to be found in a commercially successful phone. There are some obstacles to the widespread launch of such phones.

First, companies need to invest a lot in R&D to ensure they can identify new innovations in smartphone displays. Cash is also needed to market phones and sell them in bulk – and to ensure that consumers are actually properly informed about the level of damage in phones that can be repaired without any manual intervention.

Wood joked that he fears technology enthusiasts like popular YouTuber JerryRigsEverything will take a knife to test their self-healing abilities. That’s not the point of self-healing devices, he says. Rather, it is about technology that can make minimal repairs to the roof on its own.

Phone makers are becoming more innovative when it comes to display technology. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ​​Motorola released a foldable smartphone that extends vertically when pushed up.

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Samsung has come a long way in its journey towards commercial smartphones with more advanced displays, with the foldable Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 now capable of being folded hundreds of thousands of times over their lifetime.

Separately, CCS Insight also predicted that Taiwanese tech giant HTC will withdraw from the VR industry by 2026.

HTC was a pioneer in the smartphone market, responsible for many models that broke the mold in terms of design, performance and functionality. The company’s HTC Hero, HTC Legend, HTC Desire and HTC One were among some of the flagship Android phones.

But in 2017, HTC more or less exited the smartphone market and sold its mobile business to Google, which has since continued to aggressively expand its reach into consumer devices with its Pixel lineup and Nest smart home products.

HTC has largely staked 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 believes the company will leave the VR space due to dwindling revenues and increasing competition from Meta, Sony, and more recently Apple.

“HTC was one of the pioneers in VR, and they did a lot there,” CCS Insight’s Wood said. “But they kind of struggled to compete, because they didn’t go for a race to the bottom on price, whereas Meta, with Quest, was willing to take very aggressive pricing — just above cost pricing — to drive adoption.”

“HTC may get a slight increase with Apple entering the space as it’s kind of a renewed interest in the category,” Wood continued. “But, ultimately, we think it will be difficult for them to stay in it. So we expect that by 2026, they will exit the market, and they will sell their intellectual property rights.” [intellectual property] “For some other players who are bigger in the space.”

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CCS Insight also expects Apple to seek more direct control over the used smartphone market to avoid the growing popularity of used devices impacting sales of new iPhones.

Apple might do this by encouraging customers to trade their phones with the company directly, rather than relying on third-party marketplaces like PCS Wireless; Or by incentivizing carriers to give up their old phones for credits to offset the cost of purchasing a new iPhone, company analysts said.

Apple could also start focusing on a “Verified” system for grading refurbished iPhones, in order to encourage high-quality used devices, according to CCS Insight — reinforcing a move in the tech industry toward more “circular” products that can Repair them and resell them to avoid them. Electronic waste.

CCS Insight estimates that the iPhone represents about 80% of the regulated secondary smartphone market.

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