Samsung could release two phones with bendable screens next year, a new report has claimed.
The South Korean manufacturer has been researching and prototyping flexible display technology for years, but it could be preparing to finally launch its first commercial products next year.
Of course, we’ve heard similar claims before, but this time there are a few more details that lead us to believe there could be something happening.
According to Bloomberg, which has been talking to the usual ‘people familiar with the matter,’ one of the new Samsung devices will fold in half “like a cosmetic compact.” The second device will have a 5-inch display that can be unfurled into an 8-inch tablet.
Of course, Samsung has already used its flexible OLED display technology in several of its phones, from the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge in 2014 to the recent Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
However, the different with those is that the bodies of the phones remained rigid. The screens were simply curved.
Related: 7 Samsung patents that will shape the future of smartphones
The biggest obstacle to Samsung creating a truly flexible phone lay in being able to make durable transparent plastics. According to IBK Securities analyst Lee Seung Woo, that issues “seems resolved by now.”
It’s claimed that these two phones, code-named Project Valley, could be unveiled as soon as February at the next Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. This would certainly steal some of the wind from Apple’s sails, as it’s expected to make the switch to OLED display technology for the 2017 iPhone.
Apparently, Samsung’s flexible phones won’t be marketed under the Galaxy S brand.
Next, check out our Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge video review:
As an interesting side-note, the report also confirms the earlier rumour that Samsung will skip a number and name its next phablet the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. This would serve to sync the range up with its Galaxy S family.