Samsung has announced plans to introduce a smartphone with a curved display, a new form factor that would be a first in the mobile industry.
The announcement was made by the South Korean company’s head of strategic marketing DJ Lee at an event launching the Galaxy Note 3 phablet in Seoul, with Lee stating that phone would arrive locally next month. No further details were offered about hardware specifications or other sales regions.
Samsung’s interest in flexible displays has long been known with the company showing off two prototype devices at a CES presentation in January this year.
The devices used Samsung’s Youm branded screens, with one featuring a display built on “extremely thin plastic” that could bend and flex (see picture above and video below). Samsung noted that unlike a glass screen a plastic display “won’t break even if it’s dropped”.
A second prototype featured a screen that bent around the corners of the device allowing “content to flow along the sides”. In the product demonstration notifications was displayed along the edge of the smartphone allowing for quick access to messages.
“This kind of display technology is going to allow our partners to create a whole new ecosystem of devices,” said Samsung during the presentation. “Devices with bended, foldable and rollable screens.”
Samsung also recently introduced another new form factor – the Galaxy Gear smartwatch – but the device received mix reactions from the press. More of a companion device than a phone in its own right, the Galaxy Gear must be paired with a smartphone and is then used as a buffer device, displaying notifications and messages in an easily accessible form.
It was commonly thought that Samsung had rushed the production of the device after rumours that Apple are building their own smartwatch - the so called iWatch - refused to die.
It's not known whether this promised device with a flexible screen will be a fully-developed product ready for the market, or simply another attempt by Samsung so stake their claim to producing the most innovative mobile devices.