Samsung is developing bendable smartphone screens that may help the device fold in half like a cosmetic compact, multiple publications have reported.
Citing sources that wished to remain anonymous, Bloomberg reported
that the devices could be unveiled as soon as 2017, and use organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) as its primary display technology.
"This product could be a game-changer if Samsung successfully comes up with a user interface suitable for bendable screens," said Lee Seung Woo, an analyst at IBK Securities Co. in Seoul. "Next year is a probable scenario. Their biggest obstacle was related to making transparent plastics and making them durable, which seems resolved by now."
Samsung has previously put out concept videos featuring bendable device screens, however it has never announced formalized plans for any such devices.
The development of the smartphones is reportedly codenamed "Project Valley," according to Bloomberg, however The Daily Mail explained
that previous reports cited the project's name as "Foldable Valley."
Beyond the phone rumored to fold in half, Samsung is also developing a device that features a 5-inch screen when used as a handset. The smartphone's screen reportedly unfurls into an 8-inch display, essentially turning it into a small tablet. Some Korean websites like ETNews
has said the device is called a "smartlet" by company insiders.
Flexible — but not bendable — smartphone screen technology has already been seen on Samsung's recent Edge smartphones, and a truly bend-and-fold phone could give the electronics giant a leg up on Apple and its iPhone line.
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