Well, well, well, the plot thickens. One day after Lenovo showed off the Cplus, a sort of prototype of a bendable smartphone that actually has the ability to wrap around a user’s wrist (just like those slap bracelets of old), Samsung has revealed officially that, yes, the South Korean tech giant is also working on its own bendable devices and is planning to launch them by 2017. It was confirmed by Gregory Lee, the head of Samsung’s North America operations, as reported by Recode.
Just this week, it was reported by Bloomberg that the number one seller of smartphone devices in the world was seriously considering the idea of debuting a pair of new handsets that feature display screens that are flexible. One of the devices is even said to fold in half, like a typical compact mirror.
Samsung must have felt that there was no point in hiding its plans regarding bendable devices. Lenovo’s earlier announcement of the Cplus will certainly be seen by many as a major motivating factor for the South Korean phone maker. Both Samsung and Lenovo are giants in the mobile industry, but one would have thought that when it comes to breaking new ground with regards to smartphone technology, Samsung would have been the more likely candidate.
Of course, much credit goes to Lenovo for going ahead and showcasing its product anyway. The Cplus is really cool and all, but there is no telling just yet when Lenovo will release the device. As for Samsung, Lenovo may have beaten it in debuting a living, functional prototype, but with Samsung’s vast resources, its bendable smartphones will be on store shelves by next year. Samsung may have lost the sprint, but it appears that it is more than capable of winning in the long run.
Background wise, Samsung may have entered into the development stage much earlier than Lenovo. Back in 2013, Samsung demoed Youm, a piece of technology that allows for flexible display screens. But even Samsung is not immune to the challenges inherent in trying to bring bendable smartphone devices to life.
As explained by Lenovo’s CTO Peter Hortensius, when a smartphone bends, its manufacturer must make sure all the components inside the device remain intact and functioning. And even if you do figure out how to solve the bending thing, phone makers would still have to make sure every part can be mass produced. Samsung looks capable of doing exactly that, but so is Lenovo, which means that when it comes to bendable smartphones, things are about to get really interesting.
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