LG to Release a Flexible-Display Smartphone This Holiday Season
April 25, 2013 11:05 AM
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Overall phonemaker's profit has plunged, though, amid weakening TV market
LG Electronics, Inc. (
during its Q1 2013 earnings release that it is preparing a flexible-screen smartphone for launch in Q4 of this year.
smartphone could be the first flexible smartphone to hit the market, after years of
Analysts are concerned that low yields could make for a rocky release for the South Korean Android smartphone maker.
LG is also planning to in May launch in the U.S. a "safer" entry -- an upgrade to the Optimus G Android smartphone, dubbed
the Optimus G Pro
. The phone packs a 1080p 5.5-inch screen, a quad-core Snapdragon 600 SoC from Qualcomm, Inc. (
), and Android Jellybean. That places it in competition with domestic arch-rival Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (
Galaxy S IV
, which launches May 1 on U.S. carriers, and
the HTC One
from Taiwan's HTC Corp. (
The Optimus G Pro is already on sale in Japan and South Korea.
LG is racing to deploy a smartphone with a flexible OLED display. [Image Source: Shiny Plastic]
LG's smartphone unit
is performing well, improving its operating margin from 1.4 percent to 4.1 percent. The unit moved 10.3m smartphones globally in Q1 and hopes to sell at least 45m smartphones this year.
But the company has been hard-hit by declines in its TV business unit. While its overall revenue rose from 13.2T Won ($11.9B USD) last year to 14.1T Won ($12.7B USD) this year, its profit plunged from 247.5B Won ($223M USD) to 22B Won ($19.8M USD). This contrasts with Samsung, which posted a record profit. Samsung and LG are currently embroiled in
a contentious court dispute over false advertising
In related news LG
from Hewlett-Packard Corp. (
) in late February. Thus far it's a bit unclear how that purchase will fit in with LG's smart-TV and smartphone offerings.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
4/25/2013 12:32:51 PM
Think about what users want from a smartphone: a small device (for portability) with a large screen (for usability). You can only get both with a screen that folds. Now, I can't tell you how this should be done, but my gut feeling tells me that's where we're headed. Even if this particular device from LG will disappoint.
4/25/2013 3:03:47 PM
"a small device (for portability) with a large screen (for usability). You can only get both with a screen that folds. "
It will be interesting to see how it works out, but I suspect what you will wind up with is compromising on image quality and longevity (as in, after so many bends, the screen may wear out).
4/25/2013 6:52:51 PM
I doubt they will be able to make these fold (bending radius = thickness). The plastic substrate may survive folding, but the materials sprayed or etched onto it are unlikely to have enough flexibility to survive folding.
However, they should be able to eventually make it so you can roll these up (bending radius >> thickness). So you could roll up a 7" display into something the size of a pen. A 12" display into something the size of a chopstick.
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