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Samsung to launch flexible smartphone displays in 2015

Katharine Byrne
19 Nov 2014
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge lifestyle shot
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Samsung will also reduce the number of smartphone models by up to one third in 2015 and cut the cost of AMOLED

Samsung has said it will launch a flexible display for smartphones that can fold in half by the end of next year. According to ZDNet, Samsung Display's vice president of business strategic team Lee Chang-hoon said that the company will "secure production capacity of 30,000 to 40,000 [flexible displays each month] by the end of next year [and that] we plan to provide consumers with a product that has a flexible display by the end of the year. However, nothing has been decided on the finished product."

We've already begun to see curved smartphone displays from Samsung with the upcoming Galaxy Note Edge, but a flexible display could mean a return to a more traditional clamshell design where the screen itself folds in two. 

Mr Lee added that Samsung also aims to cut the cost of AMOLED production by the end of next year to help tempt more customers into buying its products. 

"One of the superior things about AMOLED is that it can become cheaper to produce compared to LCD. We are prepared to compete directly with LCD," he said. "AMOLED is similar in price to LCD, but better capability wise. We are confident that more people will buy AMOLED."

This news follows yesterday's announcement that Samsung will be cutting its range of smartphones by up to 30 per cent in 2015, seeing a reduction in the number of different models available to help strengthen its core line-up.

Speaking at the company's Investor Forum 2014 in New York, Robert Yi, senior vice president and head of investor relations at Samsung Electronics said that, "[Lowering the model number] will allow us a chance to lower the prices of [remaining models] through mass production. In low to mid-end products, price is the most important, and for high-end products, it is innovation."

This focus on innovation will no doubt include the inevitable move to flexible displays, but Mr Lee also hinted that we could see a smartphone with two curved sides before long that will replace the Galaxy Note Edge. 

"Consumers' preference will decide whether one side will become the band, or either sides. We are prepared to make customised designed products based on consumer needs," he said.

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