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Samsung shows prototype phone with bendable screen

By PETER SVENSSON Published: January 11, 2013
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WHY YOU'D WANT IT: You could pack a bigger screen in your pocket. In a more conventional application, Berkeley demonstrated a phone with a display that's rigid, but bent around the edges of the device, so it can show incoming messages even with a cover over the main screen. In short, OLEDs free designers to make gadgets with curved screens.

WHY IT MIGHT NOT WORK: It's tough to use a touch screen if it bends away from your finger. Flexible OLED screens have been demonstrated for years, but the OLED chemicals are extremely sensitive to oxygen, so they need to be completely sealed off from the air. Volume production of flexible displays that remain airtight has so far stumped engineers. Samsung's screens aren't yet flexible enough to fold, just bend.

AVAILABILITY: Samsung didn't say anything about when flexible displays might be commercialized.

“The concept of the flexible screen has been around for some time, but it finally looks as if Samsung is really going to deliver on that technology,” said Steve Bell, a technology consultant and president of KeySo Global.