The next flagship Samsung smartphone is expected to be the first with a flexible screen.
Samsung Youm project Is Samsung about to put its flexible OLED screens into real smartphones? ©Samsung Display
Rumors suggest that the substitution of plastic for glass in its displays will make the South Korean company's phones bendable and possibly extremely difficult to break.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the first such devices should be ready before July 2013. The report also adds weight to rumors circulating that Samsung is set to unveil a 5.5-inch OLED display at January's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) -- the tech world's flagship event where every major player in the industry lines up to dazzle the crowds with its latest prototypes and newest products. Unlike traditional LCD screens, which have to be lit via a bulb behind or around the perimeter of the display, OLED (or organic Light Emitting Diode) displays generate their own light source. This makes them thinner and lighter than traditional screens (because they don't have to house a light) and, due to this in-built luminosity, don't require glass in their construction. A screen can just as easily be made from polymer plastic or even metallic foil.
At CES 2011, Samsung demonstrated this technology in a malleable 4.5-inch screen display that was 0.3mm thick and could be bent into a cylindrical shape without breaking.