Samsung has reiterated plans to launch smartphones using flexible displays next year, with twistable tablets and other devices following on. “The flexible display, we are looking to introduce sometime in 2012, hopefully the earlier part” Samsung spokesperson Robert Yi confirmed during the company’s financial results call, PC World reports, going on to detail that “the application probably will start from the handset side.”
Samsung’s intention to use flexible screens in 2012 was first revealed back in June, when the company confirmed that it would begin mass production of the OLED panels next year. The actual displays themselves have been floating around in prototype form since 2010, with Samsung showing off a variety of concepts that could potentially benefit from the technology. More recently, the company revealed a foldable phone/MID prototype that squeezed an AMOLED panel into a clamshell casing.
It’s unclear, at this stage, what format Samsung’s devices will take. Clamshells are perhaps the most likely candidates, given that it would allow the Korean firm to pack a larger display into a smaller form-factor. Kyocera attempted to maximize Android screen real-estate with its dual-display Echo, but that was forced to use two solid panels: Samsung’s approach could mean a single, seamless screen ideal for video and browsing.
Nokia, meanwhile, demonstrated a flexible prototype phone of its own at Nokia World earlier this week. The concept, shown in our video below, pairs a twistable display with a rubberized case, allowing navigation by physically bending the handset. However, flexible battery, circuitboard and other components will have to come up to speed before the prototype could spawn a commercial design.