Apple’s been rumored to be investigating flexible iPhone, capable of bending and folding without damage, for years now — but it seems that Samsung may beat Cupertino to actually launching a handset like this into the marketplace.
According to a new report, Samsung is planning to introduce two new smartphone models featuring flexible displays, including one able to fold in half “like a cosmetic compact.”
These handsets — being developed under the codename “Project Valley” — could hit shelves as soon as 2017, the same year Apple is expected to introduce OLED displays for the iPhone.
“This product could be a game-changer if Samsung successfully comes up with a user interface suitable for bendable screens,” Lee Seung Woo, an analyst at IBK Securities in Seoul told Bloomberg. “Next year is a probable scenario. Their biggest obstacle was related to making transparent plastics and making them durable, which seems resolved by now.”
Like Apple, Samsung has been investigating these kind of displays for some time (and Samsung’s name has been frequently brought up as a possible supplier for a bendy iPhone). However, the slowing of the global smartphone market seems to be what has driven Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae Yong to finally go ahead with the idea.
Whether it’ll turn out to be a surprisingly neat innovation — a la the Samsung Galaxy edge — or just another gimmick remains to be seen. Color us interested, though!