Next year could bring a new twist in theÂ evolution of the smartphone.
Samsung are gearing up to produce flexible,Â unbreakable mobile phone screens that can be bent, twisted and even folded upÂ and put in your wallet.
The South Korean tech giant reportedly hasÂ the flexible screens in the final stage of development and will be ready to shipÂ them next year.
The breakthrough has been made by through theÂ use of organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), which are thin and can be put onÂ flexible material such as plastic or metal foil.
Samsung is not the only company to haveÂ invested heavily in research into flexible screens using OLEDs. CompaniesÂ including Japan’s Sony and LG Display, also of South Korea have launchedÂ prototypes.
However Samsung is the first to promise aÂ launch date for the technology, with an unnamed source ‘familiar with theÂ situation’ telling the Wall StreetÂ JournalÂ they will ship in the first half ofÂ 2013.
Looking at the release dates of the company’sÂ flagship smartphones, the S series, that suggests that the first device toÂ feature the flexible screen technology could be the yet to be announcedÂ S4.
The company’s move to produce the flexibleÂ displays comes as smartphone and tablet makers search for ways to differentiateÂ their products in a market where customers face a glut of almost identicalÂ products.
Vinita Jakhanwal, director of mobile andÂ emerging displays and technology at IHS Electronics and Media, told Tech NewsÂ World: ‘Flexible AMOLEDs can helpÂ Samsung differentiate its products in a smartphone market where most productsÂ offer similar products and functionality.’
Even if Samsung were not able to able able toÂ commercialise flexible screens straight away, making their screens out ofÂ plastic rather than glass would make their devices lighter, more durable andÂ cheaper than rivals’.
A common bugbear with the kinds ofÂ touchscreen displays often used on mobile devices is that they are brittle andÂ prone to cracking. Replacing the glass now used with plastic would solve thatÂ problem.
Source: The Daily Mail