The Wall Street Journal reports today that Samsung is "in the last stage of development" for flexible plastic OLED displays, and that the displays will be released in the first half of 2013. The idea with plastic flexible displays isn't that you can fold a phone up into an eighth of its size--it's more that they're both more durable and lighter than comparative glass displays. And given that top phones like the iPhone 5 and Nexus 4 are highly breakable, we could do with some durability. A release in the first half of 2013 sounds optimistic based on the prototypes we've seen, but here's hoping. [WSJ]
Why do people keep talking about "roll-up" "foldable" displays? Flexible displays are all about dropping your smart phone on concrete and have it still work.
@bildan: No, they're all about rolling your flexible tablet up like a newspaper and beating your children with it.
@bildan: Roll up and foldable displays are attractive because they provide a way to give more screen area without sacrificing portability. Imagine an iphone 5, super compact and pocket-sized, that could stretch out horizontally and effectively become an ipad mini when you're watching video or using apps. That sort of product, a true phone/tablet, will be the next major innovation in mobile tech, and rollable screens are going to make it happen.
This is an interesting novelty. I see no practical application for a flexible cell phone and would not pay extra for this ability.
if its flexible then it can curve. wrap around displays.
How about a 60" flexible OLED tv screen that comes packaged from the store in a tube the size of wrapping paper? That'd be pretty awesome. Then when you get it home, you just unroll it onto a flat wall and you don't have to worry about getting a tv stand or any of that other junk. If the engineers were really smart, they would incorporate a wifi chip that enabled the tv to access the in home network and instantly stream videos from your hard drive or favorite video streaming service.
Just think how much packaging and shipping costs would go down. Just like they did when the current screens replaced the old tube tv's.
Good idea with regards to shipping. I think this is also a step forward towards the advent of e-paper or e-newspapers. We now have a flexible screen; the next step is to narrow down the thickness to something (relatively) resembling paper. Once we have that, the entire newsprint industry could theoretically be revolutionized and a ton of paper would be saved. Just imagine every household owning an 'e-newspaper', a flexible paper-like screen which interactively replaces the newspaper on one screen. (that is if tablets do not take on this role)