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Rumor: Flexible iPhones in the future thanks to new OLEDs

updated 04:03 pm EDT, Mon May 14, 2012

Samsung chief statements could mean bendy iPhones

The coming years could see bending, twisting, and even wearable iPhones and other devices, if The Korea Times is right in its interpretation of one Samsung executive's remarks. Samsung reports sizable offerings for its bendable OLED displays, and analysts believe the quantities on order could signal that Apple is interested in bringing the technology to future devices.

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun recently revealed that the company has received "huge" orders from electronics makers for flexible OLED displays. Kwon said that Samsung will be mass-producing flexible OLED displays, with about a million expected to be shipped by the end of the year.

While Samsung partners with a number of manufacturers and makes its own line of electronics, Apple is a major purchaser of Samsung displays. Analysts talking with The Korea Times take this important partnership as a primary indicator that, if Samsung is receiving huge orders for its flexible displays, Apple is the most likely candidate to be placing some of those orders.

The technology isn't expected to show up in the upcoming iPhone 5, but it is possible that Apple could adopt the flexible display technology for use in future iterations of its popular smartphone.

Samsung has been showing off its flexible display technology for some time now. The company has branded the displays "Yuom," and has been known to be planning a ramp up in production for the last couple of months. Flexible display smartphone concepts have already been shown off by researchers in Canada, as well. Integration of flexible display technology with current smartphone technology could lead to big changes in user interactions, as well as phone form factors, enabling wearable smartphones and other unimagined possibilities.

by MacNN Staff




  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Just look at all the iDevice and portable chargers that Apple sells and you will understand why it shouldn't be.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    May not be that useful

    without flexible mainboards and flexible batteries. If you could roll up your iPad, then you could stick it in your pocket like a magazine. Voila! The worlds largest smart phone. ;)

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Maybe more than flexible devices...

    the importance of the new tech might lie in making unbreakable or a lot more impact resistant devices.

    Most likely the display will still need a scratch resistant layer and current Gorilla Glass tech does quite well there, but the LCD bellow the Corning layer is still quite fragile; and if edge-to-edge displays are to become a reality there will be a lot less "bezel space" to protect the display from impact.

    Although a bendable device is still an interesting proposition.

  1. DaJoNel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bendable phone?

    Good luck using on a hot day in the midwest.

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