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21 Dec 12 A new Galaxy? Samsung set to show off bending screen that could lead to …


  • Resilient, bendy displays are a major advance on previous LED screens
  • Firms officials admit they bend, but are not yet ready to roll up
  • Follow-up to Galaxy S3 handset could have radical new screen technology

 

By
Damien Gayle

17:10 GMT, 20 December 2012


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18:20 GMT, 20 December 2012

Samsung is set to show off a 5.5in flexible 720p display at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, according to reports.

That Samsung is choosing to present the hotly anticipated technology at the world’s premier electronics trade show strongly suggests it will be included on the company’s next generation of smartphones out next year.

However the company will not just be presenting a tiny, phone-sized bendy screen at the event, but will also bring along a mammoth 55in version more suited for a television or monitor.

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Bendy: Samsung is gearing up to produce the next generation of mobile phone screens that can be bent and twisted by early next year, according to reports

Bendy: Samsung is gearing up to produce the next generation of mobile phone screens that can be bent and twisted by early next year, according to reports

The screens work through the use of
organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), which are thin and can be put on
flexible material such as plastic or metal foil.

They are a major advance on regular
LED displays, which are usually made on a glass surface and are thus
prone to cracking and smashing.

CNET reports that Samsung will show
attendees at the January CES a 5.5in flexible screen with a 1,280×720 HD
resolution intended for smartphone use, as well as the bigger version.

HOW ARE THEY MADE?

Flexible displays are made by depositing organic light emitting diodes on a flexible plastic surface.

Regular
LED displays are usually made on a glass surface, but substituting that
for a flexible plastic such as polyethylene terephthalate makes it
possible to manufacture screens that are both flexible and lightweight.

One possible mass-production method might use a technique similar to inkjet printing.

Officials from the South Korean firm’s
screen-making spin-off Samsung Display told the website the new screens
are able to curve without breaking, but they aren’t yet ready to be
rolled up or folded.

The announcement comes after rumours
began circulating earlier this month that Samsung is secretly preparing a
new version of its Galaxy handset that uses the radical, resilient new
technology.

Codenamed ‘Project J’ after mobile
division chief JK Shin, development of the new Galaxy S IV could be
released as early as April, according to analysts and tech blogs.

Experts believe that as smartphones
increasingly look alike, an unbreakable screen could be a big selling
point for the Galaxy, which is battling Apple iPhone to lead the
$200billion plus smartphone market.

The Galaxy S IV is also expected to have powerful quad-core processing power and a 13-megapixel camera.

‘Looking to the first half of 2013, we
see evidence of Samsung likely accelerating the release of the Galaxy S
IV – compared with May (this year) for the Galaxy S III,’ said UBS
analyst Nicolas Gaudois.

‘We believe preparations for volume manufacturing of unbreakable plastic substrate displays continue.

‘All in all, we could see a strong products push in the high-end in the first half, followed by other releases.’

Bendy: The breakthrough has been made by through the use of organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), which are thin and can be put on flexible material such as plastic or metal foil

Bendy: The breakthrough has been made by through the use of organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), which are thin and can be put on flexible material such as plastic or metal foil

Durable: Although being bendy is their most exciting characteristic, simply using plastic to manufacture the screens rather than glass could help make phone screens less likely to crack

Durable: Although being bendy is their most exciting characteristic, simply using plastic to manufacture the screens rather than glass could help make phone screens less likely to crack

Samsung is a frontrunner in developing
the unbreakable screens, as OLED panels can replace glass substrate
with plastic material.

Down the road, mobile gadgets could be flexible as well as unbreakable.

‘Eventually, they’ll have unbreakable and flexible displays,’ said Mark Newman, an analyst at Stanford Bernstein in Hong Kong

‘Either the Galaxy S IV or S V will have unbreakable and even possibly flexible and foldable displays by 2014.

‘That’s going to be a game-changer.’

Both Mr Newman and Mr Gaudois are
ranked as 5-star analysts, the top ranking, by Thomson Reuters StarMine
for their recommendations on Samsung.

It would also be a game-changer for
Samsung, which has built its reputation as a ‘fast follower’ of others’
technologies and designs.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone - the next version could have a radical news 'bendy' screen, according to rumours

The Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone – the next version could have a radical news ‘bendy’ screen, according to rumours

The South Korean consumer electronics
giant is currently battling for a retrial after a U.S. jury ruled it
copied some of its smartphone rival Apple’s patents and ordered it to
pay $1billion in damages.

Samsung wants the verdict overturned, while Apple wants the damages to be increased and Samsung phones banned in the U.S.

Since that landmark verdict, however,
Samsung shares soared to record highs, while Apple shares – dented by a
maps app fiasco, tight supply of its iPhone 5 and ever tougher
competition in the mobile market – have slipped.

The comments below have not been moderated.

No such thing as unbreakable!

Auger Borer
,

East Midlands, United Kingdom,
21/12/2012 13:03

regular LED displays? You mean LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) Really need to learn about your tech my friend ;-)
- logical15 , Lancing, 20/12/2012 19:09………..I think your confused. LCD is an old tech. They are on about regular LED (Light.Emitting.Diode) This is what my tv and phone uses. They are talking about printing LED’s onto flexible plastic screens instead of the solid housing that they are currently fitted to.

Seems it is you who needs to do some research.. NOOB!

badass-ninja
,

Edinburgh, United Kingdom,
21/12/2012 12:38

Name it Galaxy S Bend, just in case it flop and would not hurt S III image

Beachboy
,

Penang,
21/12/2012 02:39

How many times are you going to run this story? Is this a case of one reporter not knowing that 4 other reporters have already run this article since Jan 2012?

Kuri
,

UK,
20/12/2012 19:47

regular LED displays? You mean LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) Really need to learn about your tech my friend ;-)

logical15
,

Lancing,
20/12/2012 19:09

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