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Samsung is developing foldable Galaxy smartphones

Published Feb 11th, 2014 6:15PM EST
Galaxy Note 4, Note 5 Specs Flexible Display

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Samsung will introduce more Galaxy devices with flexible/bendable displays in the coming months and next year, The Korea Herald reports, with upcoming Galaxy models apparently hinted to make use of such display technologies. This year, Samsung will reportedly launch a Galaxy device that will feature a “bent” display according to sources familiar with the matter, followed by a foldable flagship phone in 2015.

Apparently, Samsung will invest around $1.9 billion in flexible panel production this year, with the bent Galaxy handset expected to sell quite well. “The bent smartphones will be rolled out as a Galaxy variant with a few million units at the end of this year, initially taking aim at the niche market,” KDB Daewoo Securities analyst Song Jong-ho said.

Such displays have been demoed at CES 2013 – Samsung’s Youm technology – and they feature a curved edge on one of the sides of the screen. The Galaxy Note 4 has been previously rumored to pack such a display, and Samsung already has design patents for such smartphones. In a conference call last month, Samsung Display’s Lee Chang-hoon confirmed that the company will make use of bent displays and small curved OLED panels this year.

After testing the waters with the Galaxy Round last year, bent handsets will reportedly be just a step towards Samsung’s “ultimate flexible product” that will apparently be launched in the second half of 2015.

“The bent device is the first step toward testing the market and gauging how it would react to its foldable smartphones that are to be unveiled in the second half of next year,” Song said, hinting that the device would be a flagship product. Traditionally, Samsung’s flagship smartphone for the second half of the year has been the Galaxy Note in the previous three years. Thus, the Galaxy Note 5 may be the first Samsung high-end handset to pack a flexible display.

Samsung is expected to ship 20 million to 30 million foldable smartphones next year. However, the company does have a potential issue to fix: foldable batteries. “Samsung’s battery segment is still way behind compared to its progress in display technology,” an unnamed source from within Samsung said.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.