Flexible LG Smartphone Coming in October

LG Display’s five-inch plastic OLED display ©LG Display Co
LG Display’s five-inch plastic OLED display
©LG Display Co

LG has announced that it is poised to launch yet another new smartphone, this time with a flexible display, and that it will be officially launched before the end of October.

LG’s revelation comes a matter of days after Samsung reported that it is gearing up to launch a handset with a flexible display before the end of the year.

Although Samsung has not gone into specifics, in an interview with ZDNet Korea, LG has confirmed that although its device will have a flexible OLED screen, it will be on a less-than-flexible and therefore solid shell, suggesting that the phone will be curved. The company has also said that the handset will initially go on sale in its home territory of South Korea and that in terms of other specifications will be based on its existing flagship, the LG G2.

The technology that makes flexible screens a reality also makes them essentially indestructible, bending and giving under pressure rather than snapping, cracking or shattering.

However, a similar technology doesn’t yet exist to make batteries, RAM and processors bendy. Still, curved displays have been shown to be better than their perfectly flat counterparts when it comes to watching films or playing games and there is also a good chance that by curving a handset it will be easier and more comfortable to hold in one hand.

In September, LG’s biggest direct rival, Samsung, announced that its first curved-screen smartphone was in the works. “We plan to introduce a smartphone with a curved display in South Korea in October,” Samsung’s mobile business head of strategic marketing D.J. Lee said to Reuters at an event launching the Galaxy Note III phablet in Seoul on September 24. However, the company didn’t provide any further details.

An interesting rivalry is currently emerging between the two tech powerhouses. In 2012, LG launched the world’s first curved OLED display television and it was so stunning that it bagged a Red Dot Best-of-the-Best Design Award this July. Not to be outdone, during September’s IFA tech showcase in Berlin, Samsung launched its own retail-ready, equally curved, equally OLED 55-inch TV. A day later, LG revealed a second curved OLED set which, at 77-inches from corner to corner, made it the world’s largest curved OLED set and stole the headlines from Samsung.

Similarly, in March, Samsung confirmed rumors by admitting that it was developing a smartwatch. The announcement prompted LG to put out a statement stressing that it was also developing a smartwatch. Samsung has already unveiled its watch, the Galaxy Gear, and now the tech press is waiting for LG to officially reveal its intelligent timepiece.

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