Samsung To Launch Bendable Phones Early Next Year
Samsung Electronics is set to launch mobile phones with flexible displays as early as next year, with ‘foldable’ tablets and other portable devices with the bendy displays expected to be available shortly thereafter, according to various media reports.
Both Samsung and Nokia are working on the technology, although neither company has formally announced a launch date for the new devices.
However Samsung executives gave the clearest signal yet of when the first ‘bendy’ phones may hit the market – early 2012 — during a recent company results conference call with analysts.
“The flexible display, we are looking to introduce sometime in 2012, hopefully the earlier part,” said Robert Yi, Samsung´s chief of investor relations, adding that the first devices to ship with flexible screens would be mobile phones.
The company said it was working to follow the success of its Android-based Galaxy S II smartphone, which has sold some 10 million units in the five months since its launch.
Yi´s comments came as the company discussed its earnings for the quarter ending in September.
The Korean company said its overall profit fell 23 percent from a year ago to $3.1 billion (3.44 trillion Korean won). The decline was primarily due to its chip and display operations, as operating profit at Samsung´s mobile unit more than doubled in the period, the company said.
Nokia has previously showed a basic prototype of its ℠Kinectic´ bendable smartphone, which featured the ability to bend the screen to control functions such as music and video. However, the company declined to say when the bendable smartphone would go on sale.
Samsung has also shown OLED screens that can be folded over, such as its bendable AMOLED screen 4.5 inches across and 0.3mm thick, which it demonstrated in January this year.
The Daily Mail cited reports leaked earlier this year that Samsung had the capacity to manufacture large amounts of flexible screens by ‘early 2012′ — although the report was not clear what they might be for.
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