Samsung to introduce flexible smartphones, tablets by 2012

Flexible screens have been knocking around trade shows and gadget events for ages now. It took Samsung, one of the world’s most successful electronic developers to make it a palatable reality.

Last week, Samsung said that it is aiming to have tablets and mobile phones with flexible displays by 2012. Following on the monumental success of the Galaxy S II, which has sold well over ten million phones in half a year, Samsung is now well on its way to manufacturing a flexible screen for the masses and is spurred on by its own success.

Despite its operational profit soaring almost double during its July to September period, its overall profit fell US$3.1-billion, a 23% drop in profit. Samsung stated that it lost money on display and chip operations.

Robert Yi, a Samsung spokesperson said, “The flexible display, we are looking to introduce sometime in 2012, hopefully the earlier part. The application probably will start from the handset side”. He noted that mobile and tablets will be first out of the production line.

Samsung purchased Liquavista, a tech company which produces electrowetting displays. These are bright, flexible, transparent and above all, low-cost.

What technology Samsung has currently shown off, impresses. Its flexible OLED is contained inside a rigid shell and is similar to Nokia’s offering, in that with a twist and a pull of the screen, interaction is possible. Its technology incorporates light generating pixels within flexible screens that lack backlights.

Flexible displays have been in fashion since early 2008 when a bending e-Reader made its way from Plastic Logic. Following this, Sony created and demoed one of the world’s first flexible displays in 2009 named the “Flex OLED

Samsung is slowly winning the endless smartphone battle against rival Apple. In the third fiscal quarter 27.8 million Galaxy S II’s were shipped, in stark comparison to the 17.1 million Apple devices.

Steven Norris: grumpy curmudgeon


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