One of the problems with the phablets of today is that they just won’t fir into the pockets on our jeans! Though this has not caused an observable dent in smartphone sales, it has made many prospective buyers shy away. But times are changing and they’re changing fast. With the advent of OLED displays and the flexible battery, we might just be able to fold even a 55″ TV and stick it into our pocket.
The concept of flexible displays and foldable smartphones is as exciting to major phone makers as they are to the consumers. This is evident from Samsung showcasing it’s YOUM displays at CES 2013 and LG displays’ exhibit at the SID week. Users may see this first commercial smartphone with a flexible screen enter the retail market by the end of 2013. According to estimates by Visiongain, the value of this market segment could reach as high as $260.3 mn in a year.
Although the concept is still in it’s early developmental stages, it is expected that flexible displays will become the benchmark technology for mobile devices and TVs by the end of the forecast period in 2018.
Efforts are underway in Korea to extend flexibility to the whole of the smartphone, not limiting it just to the display and battery. Once users are accustomed to phones with bendable displays, it will just be a matter of time before they are clamoring for a phone that is totally flexible. It would sit well with the future’s needs for it to be bendable (flexibility), rollable and bendable (space-saving) and lastly, the superior durability since they would be built using plastic polymers instead of glass.
If you’re completely new to the concept of flexible smartphones, you need not wait until the first prototype comes out to know what all the excitement is about. Out of numerous attempts at making some flexible goodness, the one by Philips is quite noteworthy. The Philips Fluid phone has an OLED screen and the design has been carried out in such a way that it can either be used as a regular phone , or wrapped around your wrist like a watch or can be used as a gaming device because of it’s PS-like functionalities. But when it comes to building a commercial product out of this truly awe-inspiring technology, Samsung and LG are the race’s front-runners with plans to bring out their products before this year’s end.
It is indeed a wonderful feeling to think of the day when flexible electronic devices become the norm. It will greatly liberate us from carrying around unwieldy baggage to protect our smart yet fragile gadgets. When OLED displays and flexible batteries become the standard elements in consumer electronics, we might be in for a major life-style change.