‘Bendable’ cell phones offer new twist in mobile technology for 2012
Diana Dietz, e-PRO
Dec 30, 2011
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The continuing competition between handheld device manufacturers for the fastest and best functioning cell phone has resulted in a product that is anticipated to start a new trend of mobile technology in 2012.

Samsung is expected to debut phones with flexible displays in early 2012 with flexible tablets to follow. The company has made quick efforts in bringing bendable screens to consumers after purchasing Liquavista, a company specializing in flexible electronic displays, last January.

Writing for CNN, Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore says, “I think this technology will lead to the biggest breakthrough in mobile devices since the touch screen,” he writes. “In fact, the next innovation in screen technologies may be an even bigger leap forward than touch displays.”

While many manufacturers have been experimenting with brighter, low-power screens that can also be flexed and twisted, this could be the first mass-market rollout for the new technology.

In October, Nokia debuted a prototype handheld device that lets the user bend and twist the screen to complete actions such as scrolling and zooming.  Nokia announced plans to feature flexible screens on its mobile devices sometime in 2012.

Samsung’s Galaxy Skin concept phone is rumored to allow consumers to use the product as a watch or media stand. “Bendable” cell phones are expected to be far less prone to breaking when subjected to common occurrences such as being dropped or stepped on.  

“The ultimate dream for these flexible displays is that they could roll up,” writes Cashmore. “Imagine a phone-sized device that could unfurl to be the size of a tablet.”

At the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Sony demonstrated a device with flexible display but has yet to announce plans for a mass-market product featuring the screens. There is no word yet if Apple is working on flexible device technologies.