By Alexandra Burlacu | Apr 26, 2013 09:07 AM EDT
LG apparently has big plans this year, as the company reportedly aims to launch a smartphone with a flexible OLED display by the end of 2013.
Flexible displays are no longer such a mystery, as such technology starred in trade shows for years, but it always seemed like far-future tech. If LG has anything to say about it, that far future might not be so far away at all.
LG's Vice President of Mobile Yoon Bu-hyun recently told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that his company would launch a smartphone with a flexible OLED display later this year. The handset will reportedly hit the market sometime during the fourth quarter, but no details are available other than that.
Most likely, the smartphone will not have a freely bendable display that you can easily fold like origami, as various components such as the battery, the case and processor would not allow it. Instead, LG will probably produce a handset with a curved display similar to the prototype Samsung showed off at this year's International CES.
Samsung's prototype sported a display that wrapped around the edge of the device. According to the company, that display was designed to allow users to quickly read a text message or notification without having to pull the handset out for a front-on view.
Samsung Senior Vice President of Display Brian Berkeley said at the time that flexible displays would likely start to change how users interact with handheld devices, opening up a world of new lifestyle possibilities.
Flexible screens would provide a number of key advantages: They would be harder to break, because applying pressure would make them bend instead of shatter, for instance. They would likely feel more comfortable in a pocket. They could wrap around the user's arm like a bracelet. The potential is great and opens up exciting possibilities.
While flexible OLED displays have been making waves for quite some time, no devices sporting such technology have made their way to the market. Manufacturing flexible screens is an incredibly difficult process, and production yields are not ideal, even with regular smartphone displays.
With that in mind, LG has a big challenge ahead. If it does manage to keep its promise, some neat LG smartphones with flexible OLED displays should make their way to the market soon, in the fourth quarter of this year.
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