Just when you thought you’d seen it all, mobile phones are set to undergo a radical change as Samsung revealed plans for a new mobile phone that not only bends but can stretch and actually fold in half. The South Korean telephonic giants are apparently working on a new technology that will allow mobile phones to be much more flexible and utilise unbreakable screens. The breakthrough in technology is due to a revolutionary new way of using organic light-emitting diodes (OLED’s) which are thin and can be put on flexible material such as plastic or metal foil.
The problem with most mobile phone touchscreens is that they are made using glass which is brittle and can be fragile and prone to cracking. If the glass is replaced with plastic, it would not only solve that problem, but the display would be more flexible and you could deposit the organic light emitting diodes on this flexible plastic surface. Using a material such as polyethylene terephthalate would make it possible to manufacture screens that are both flexible, durable, lightweight and even foldable.
It is thought that Samsung are in the final stages of produces these flexible screens and could be ready to manufacture them as early as next year. And although Samsung is not the only company who are researching the use of using flexible screens using OLEDs, as other companies such as Sony and LG Display are also investing heavily into this type of research, Samsung are the only one who have promised a launch date. Apparently a leak from an unnamed source who was ‘familiar with the situation’ told the Wall Street Journal they will be shipping in the first half of 2013. It is thought that the first release using this new technology could be the S4 in the S series. The mobile phone industry is one of the most highly contested and fought over in the business with new innovations taking centre stage in an attempt to corner this market
Vinita Jakhanwal, director of mobile and emerging displays and technology at IHS Electronics and Media, told Tech News World: “Flexible AMOLEDs can help Samsung differentiate its products in a smartphone market where most products offer similar products and functionality. Even if Samsung were not able to able able to commercialise flexible screens straight away, making their screens out of plastic rather than glass would make their devices lighter, more durable and cheaper than rivals.”
It is thought that Apple are also looking into flexible screen technologies as they filed a patent for ‘electronic devices with flexible displays’ that included features like on-screen keyboards that can be modified to handle concave or convex curves. And Sony have been researching the technology since 2002, and in fact unveiled their version of a 4.1in flexible OLED in 2010, however, they have not yet started production.
Source & Photo credits: MailOnline