Maybe not. But that has not stopped top phone makers like Samsung and LG from trying. As a matter of fact, Samsung has gone on record just last month that it is working on a few designs that it might push to its manufacturers. It may be a long shot, but we could be seeing a working prototype in a year or so, and even a finished product for end users soon after.
Apart from the capacitive touchscreen revolution that begun in 2007, courtesy of the game-changing launch of the first ever iPhone, smartphone technology has not changed that much. Yes, we have seen upgrades year after year in terms of processor performance, displaying colors on screens, and materials used. But none so far that sparked the whole mobile industry the way Apple did seven years ago.
Smartphones with bendable or flexible display screens could be the spark that will ignite the next huge leap in innovation in the mobile industry. More than that, having a device that could be bent, rolled, stretched, or even folded could change how we use our mobile devices, perhaps in ways we can't imagine for now. Well, at the very least, it should allow us to use cool handsets incorporating designs that go beyond the usual rectangular slab equipped with a flat touchscreen display screen.
No doubt about it -- a smartphone with a flexible display screen really sounds awesome. But let's not get too ahead of ourselves. It may take a while before they become fashionable, never mind feasible.
According to analysts, producing mobile devices with flexible display screens now is still too costly. And remember that when you talk about bendable mobile devices, the display screen may not be the only part of the handset that needs to be flexible. Will phone makers have to find a way to make bendable batteries too?
Still, when it comes to breaking away from the usual smartphone design aesthetic, there is no lack of trying, even from the biggest players in the industry. In 2013, Samsung introduced the Galaxy Round, a smartphone that is curved at vertical axis. And just this year, the South Korean mobile giant released the Galaxy Note Edge, which featured a display screen that curves to the side. Even LG is joining in on the fun by offering the G Flex. This device sports a body that contours around the user's cheek, and is actually a bit bendable (that is, if you sit or step on it by mistake).
But exciting as they are, these existing products are far from being mainstream mobile devices. (And we have not even started discussing the pricing yet.)
But it is safe to say that there is some progress. Manufacturers are experimenting with the idea of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display technology that is built on plastic instead of glass. Even glassmakers are exploring or in the process of developing glass that is more flexible than the ones being used in most smartphones today.
It is definitely a long road for those who want to make this happen. But at least the first steps have already been taken. As for how long it will take before any one of us gets there, only time will tell.
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