The Galaxy Skin phone will be so flexible you can roll it up – and may be in shops early next year
Bendy phones sound like science fiction – but the far-out gadgets could be on sale in just a few months’ time. Both Samsung and Nokia are working on the technology. Samsung executives have given the clearest signal yet of when we should expect to see the first ‘bendy’ phones hit the market – early 2012. During a company results conference, investor relations chief Robert Yi said, ‘The flexible display, we are looking to introduce sometime in 2012, hopefully the earlier part.’ Yi said that the first devices to ship with flexible screens would be phones. Other possible applications include ‘foldable’ iPad-style tablets. It’s not an out-there prediction, either.
Rival smartphone giant Nokia unveiled a basic prototype of the Nokia Kinectic – a bendable smartphone – at Nokia World Kinectic allowed users to bend the screen to control functions such as music and video. Nokia refuses to say when its Kinectic smartphones will be on sale. Earlier Samsung demonstrations have shown off OLED screens which can be folded over. The company demonstrated ‘bendable’ AMOLED screens 4.5 inches across and just 0.3mm thick in January this year.
Another paper by Samsung scientists showed off an AMOLED screen with a section that could be folded over completely without cracking. Earlier this year, reports leaked that Samsung had the capacity to manufacture large amounts of such screens by ‘early 2012’ – but no one knew what they might be for. Pictures of a concept phone using the technology – the Galaxy Skin (pictured) – also appeared. Skin was a project carried out by design students using the Samsung logo and Galaxy trademark.
‘Flexible’ screens have been demonstrated in various forms since as early as 2004 – with tech insiders suggesting that laptops or e-Book readers might one day take the form of a ‘pen’ housing a processor with a ‘sheet’ of paper-like screen wrapped around them.