The race for the top spot among phone makers might get more interesting in the coming months, as a new rumor has Samsung prepping to release a smartphone with a screen that can fold in half like a book. Can your iPhone do that?
The news comes by way of ZDNet, which cites a senior Samsung executive who said that Samsung phones with folding displays were on the way later this year.
“We plan to provide consumers,” said Lee Chang-hoon, Samsung Vice President of Business Strategic Team, Samsung Display, “with a product that has a foldable display by the end of the year. However, nothing has been decided on the finished product.”
Chang-hoon’s remarks came as he spoke at the Samsung Investor Forum 2014 in New York. The Samsung executive went on to say that Samsung expects to be the bar-none leader in foldable display technology.
“We will secure production capacity of 30,000 to 40,000 [flexible displays each month] by the end of the year,” Chang-hoon continued. “There will be no company [except Samsung] that has this great production capacity by 2016.”
Samsung – a tech conglomerate that produces not only assembled smartphones, but smartphone displays, memory, and processors – has already shown off flexible display technology in the past. Samsung has yet to bring a product to market with that novel capability, though.
Were Samsung to roll out a smartphone with a foldable display, it would likely be only a limited-release device, more of a proof-of-concept than a mass-marketed consumer device. That would be in keeping with the tech giant’s previous product rollouts. Before rolling out the Galaxy Note Edge this year, Samsung had showed off similar technology at consumer trade shows in the past. It also released the Galaxy Curve, a limited-release device with a curved screen.
As to whether your iPhone can do that, the answer – of course – is no, not yet. That doesn’t mean that it will never be able to, though. Apple is totally capable of sourcing folding display components from Samsung, should it prove true that the South Korean tech giant is more capable of producing foldable displays than any of its competitors. Apple wouldn’t necessarily need to, though, as its current display supplier, Samsung’s South Korean rival LG, also has its own folding display technology in the works.
In fact, a look through Apple’s patent filings suggests that the iPhone maker has in fact been looking at flexible display technology for some time. Back in August, Patently Apple uncovered an Apple patent that would allow users to actually press down on the screen in order to perform specific functions. We’ve seen some of this technology at work in the
Mark of the Beast Apple Watch, which has a clickable display that’s quite different from any seen on any previous Apple devices.
So you can rest assured that, when either Samsung or Apple brings folding or flexible display technology to market, the other will surely follow shortly thereafter with comparable technology, so the smartphone wars will continue unabated.