Samsung exec: bendable phone is right around the corner

The war over bendable, foldable smartphones has just been reignited. And unsurprisingly, Samsung is poising itself once again to be the trailblazer in this race. Samsung Telecommunications America president and CEO Gregory Lee proclaimed publicly that such transformable smartphones are "relatively around the corner". This declaration isn't exactly surprising not only because of the flood of leaks and insider information we've received of late. It's also because Samsung is now in a race to actually be the first in the market, considering it now has more rivals in that space than before.

Samsung has been dreaming of and talking about such bendable mobile devices as far back as 2013 or even earlier, but so far nothing has come out of that aside from curved but rigid screens on consumer electronics, both smartphones and TVs. Part of the delay was attributed to getting the components right, but Lee also mentions manufacturing cost considerations. The implication here, then, is that those factors are now favorable for putting out a folding, bendable device.

Perhaps it is even too favorable, since Samsung has just gotten new potential competitors in that arena. While one would naturally think of LG as the immediate rival, the latter has so far not been as aggressive compared to Samsung, except perhaps were flexible displays are concerned. The new challenger, however, is Lenovo.

The Chinese OEM just recently revealed its new PHAB2 smartphones, including the first commercial Tango smartphone, the PHAB2 Pro. At the same Lenovo Tech World conference, however, it also showed off its working prototype for a folding tablet as well as a bending smartphone that you can wear on your wrist, though you may not want to just yet. Although Lenovo insists that it is simply a concept device, it does at the very least prove that Samsung isn't the only game in town.

Another likely player is a relativly unknown Chinese company called Moxi, who plans to beat everyone else to the punch later this year. That said, its bendable smartphone won't have a colored screen. Even worse, it will have a prohibitively expensive price tag that would give even the most hardcore tech enthusiast pause for thought.

"Around the corner" doesn't really clue us in when Samsung plans on releasing its own version of this dreamy smartphone. Most leaks point to an early 2017 reveal for the first of two planned for next year. That first device is believed to be a 5-inch smartphone that unfolds into an 8-inch tablet, pretty much like what Samsung envisioned more than three years ago.

VIA: Forbes