LG Electronics and Samsung both make television sets with curved OLED screens, and in time for the holidays, the pair are expected to compete with the technology in a new market, putting their respective curved-display knowledge to use in new smartphones.
LG announced Oct. 7 that it will "start mass production of curved smartphone displays" intended to help it grab a larger share of the global smartphone market and better compete against market leader Samsung, Reuters reported Oct. 7.
Reuters also reported Sept. 25 that a Samsung executive had confirmed that Samsung will unveil a smartphone with a curved display in South Korea in October.
The Samsung smartphone will be curved from side to side, while the LG smartphone—or phablet, as it will feature a 6-inch display—will be curved from top to bottom, said the more recent Reuters report.
CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood told the BBC, following the Samsung report, that he expects the curved screens will help make the phone "more flexible and rugged."
And while the technology won't "radically change the user's experience," it will help a vendor distinguish itself in a "crowded market where most phones are homogenous, flat-screen rectangles," Wood added.
Samsung's entry into the curved, if not bendable, display space is the more expected.
In January, at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, Samsung introduced a brand called Youm—which Samsung Device Solutions Division President Stephen Woo said at the time "doesn't just bend the rules of display technologies; it completely rewrites them."
This summer, Samsung also launched a contest, seeking out great ideas for putting its flexible display technology to use.
"We are calling on the most innovative designers, hardware engineers and entrepreneurs to develop new product ideas that put our revolutionary Flexible display technology to use in ways that will define the future," Samsung said on its site. It set an Oct. 6 deadline and offered three prizes, the top one paying $10,000.
The Samsung Galaxy Round
Korean media reported Oct. 7 that the expected Samsung device will likely beat the LG to market and is expected to be called the Galaxy Round.
An image posted by Crave shows a traditional-looking phone, but with a screen that spills over the top (and likely bottom) of the phone—an option suggested during Youm's January presentation.
A rough translation of Asiae.co.kr shares that the Galaxy Round will arrive next week and feature specs similar to the Galaxy Note 3.
"It is aimed to be the first commercially available phone with a plastic, instead of glass, substrate, meaning the panel is much more durable, and will, ultimately, be cheaper to produce," reported Phone Arena.
The Korean report adds, however, that if the Galaxy Round includes support for the S Pen, the price will be significantly higher.