Samsung launches smartphone with curved display screen

Galaxy Round Samsung said the curved screen will help users navigate the phone better

Related Stories

Samsung Electronics, the world's best-selling smartphone maker, has launched a handset with a curved display screen.

Called the Galaxy Round, the smartphone will feature a 5.7in (14.5cm) display.

The launch comes just days after rival LG said it would begin production of curved-screen phones next year.

Digital display technology has been progressing towards curved screens. Both Samsung and LG already offer curved organic light-emitting diode (OLED) television sets.

Analysis

Samsung's launch of a curved phone gives it bragging rights.

The South Korean firm has beaten its rival LG by at least a few months to offer a handset featuring flexible-screen tech.

LG had previously pipped its competitor to the post by being the first to sell a curved TV.

However, the question remains why consumers should want this tech.

One of the big appeals of using a flexible display is that it should be less prone to damage than the rigid version in a traditional handset.

But because the battery in the Galaxy Round remains stiff, the device has a fixed shape and it is not yet clear whether it will in fact be less vulnerable to drops or pressure.

So it may be the case that an announcement on Tuesday by LG's chemicals division could ultimately prove more significant.

It said that it had begun mass production of both curved batteries and ones that come in the form of flexible cables.

The age of the bendy phone still awaits us.

Samsung said the curved screen display would help consumers use some of the features on the phone, including those that enable users to check information such as date, time and missed calls when home screen is off, with more ease.

At the same time, users can also change music tracks on their phone, even while its display is off.

The Galaxy Round will initially be launched only in South Korea. The firm gave no indication of its plans for a global launch.

'Internet of Things'

The global smartphone market has been growing rapidly.

According to research firm CCS Insight, worldwide smartphone sales will hit nearly one billion in 2013 - accounting for more than half the total of 1.7 billion mobile phones sold.

As as result, smartphone manufacturers have been keen to offer new products to win consumers.

With display technology moving towards flexible and bendy screens, it is one area that companies have been looking at.

Some analysts said that while the initial offering of curved-screen phones may not see huge sales, the segment of flexible displays was one to keep an eye on.

"These phones may not be a game-changer today, but they are definitely an indication of things to come," Manoj Menon, managing director of consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, told the BBC.

Samsung curved screen TV Samsung has already launched TVs with curved screen displays

"Flexible displays have a huge role to play as the market place for 'internet of things' grows."

This refers to the idea that many things in homes or offices - not just typical computers - will soon be connected to the internet.

The sector is tipped by many to be a major industry in the near future.

Mr Menon said that as flexible screens became more advanced and cost-effective to make, it was likely to speed up growth in the sector.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

BBC Business Live

  1.  
    WAGES 07:53: Radio 5 live

    "Wages are still flat," says Paul Mawdsley, a recruiter who runs Mawdsley Consultancy, talking to 5 live. "There isn't a great demand in the labour market yet," so that's keeping salaries down. He's also seeing a "dire shortage" of engineers in such areas as pneumatics and hydraulics. Not enough people are being trained.

     
  2.  
    INTEREST RATES 07:50:
    Bank of England Governor Mark Carney

    Meanwhile, the Guardian thinks the Bank governor is worried about low interest rates leading households to take on too much debt. As you might imagine that puts them on either side of the when-are-interest-rates-going-to-rise guessing game that is fast becoming a national obsession.

     
  3.  
    ENERGY PROBE 07:40:

    The CMA's probe will see whether energy companies should be wholesalers as well as selling to retail customers (you). The gas market appears to be working better than the electricity market, and they'll try to find out why. They won't be looking at big business customers because that market looks fine, the CMA says.

     
  4.  
    INTEREST RATES 07:31:

    Bank of England governor Mark Carney is in all the newspapers today following his speech to the Commonwealth business conference yesterday. The FT interprets Mr Carney's speech as revealing deep concerns about household indebtedness and the effect an interest rate rise will have on households' ability to service their debts.

     
  5.  
    UNILEVER RESULTS 07:23:

    Unilever, the food giant, has said first half net profit rose to 3bn euros (£2.37bn) from 2.68bn euros even as sales fell. Its cost savings plan is working well, it said. Excluding businesses sold or otherwise disposed of, sales rose 3.7%.

     
  6.  
     
  7.  
    WINTER STORM COMPENSATION 07:19:
    SSE logo at the SSE Training Centre in Perth

    SSE and UK Power Networks (IKPN) are to pay an additional £3.3m for delays in getting power back up and running to households in southern England following last winter's storms. That's on top of the £4.7m the two energy companies are paying out to customers under guaranteed standards and in goodwill payments. It brings the total paid out by the two companies to £8m.

     
  8.  
    ENERGY PROBE 07:04: Breaking News

    The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will carry out an independent investigation to see if there are any features of the energy market which "prevent, restrict or distort competition and, if so, what action might be taken to remedy them," it says. It will report back by Christmas day 2015.

     
  9.  
    INTEREST RATES 06:56: Radio 5 live

    Kathleen Brooks of FOREX.com thinks January will be the time for a rate increase from the Bank of England. Maybe a 25 basis point increase to 0.75%, she says. Bank governor, Mark Carney, said yesterday there may be more labour supply than previously thought. Wages growth is thus being held back.

     
  10.  
    RUSSIAN SANCTIONS 06:44: BBC Radio 4
    Russian President Vladimir Putin

    Kathleen Brooks has now popped up on the Today programme. She says sanctions against Russia "are toothless at this point....Russia has a lot of energy that the West wants." She adds divisions in the West over energy policy have been exposed by the fact "the UK and France have a spat about sanctions and that just plays into Vladimir Putin's hands." Ms Brooks says there have "also been rumours that Russia has been unofficially propping up the rouble. The sanctions are not going to hurt the European Union's energy links to Russia."

     
  11.  
    ENERGY PRICES 06:31: Radio 5 live

    If you have to steel yourself with a nice cup of sweet tea before opening your latest energy bill, spare a thought for Nigel and Linda Brotherton, who were told by Npower that their monthly direct debit was going to increase from £87 to £53,480,062. Npower has apologised and the incorrect bill has been cancelled. "It's a massive shock," he tells 5 live.

     
  12.  
    GLAXOSMITHKLINE 06:24: Radio 5 live
    gsk

    David Buik of Panmure Gordon is helping us digest the GlaxoSmithKline results on 5 live. "Sales to China is only about 3% of its total business," and so the bribery scandal there is an unwelcome distraction.

     
  13.  
    ROUBLE 06:15: Radio 5 live

    Kathleen Brooks of FOREX.com is on 5 live talking about Russia. The Russia rouble has been "resilient" bearing in mind the new sanctions against Russia. "They are able to shrug off geopolitical risk quite quickly," she says. President Putin may be "breathing a sigh of relief," she adds.

     
  14.  
    POUND 06:01: Radio 5 live

    The pound buys about 1.27 euros, its strongest in nearly two years - don't get excited that's not what you'll get from your local foreign exchange. Still, Kathleen Brooks, a research director at FOREX.com, is on 5 live talking about it. The strong pound has helped ease inflation, she says. "Over the period of the financial crisis we had sky high inflation," she adds. The recovery is consumer-driven, which is aided by a stronger pound, which means cheaper imports.

     
  15.  
    06:00: Howard Mustoe Business reporter

    Good morning! Get in touch via email at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or on twitter @BBCBusiness

     
  16.  
    06:00: Matthew West Business Reporter

    Good morning folks. So what's new? Facebook has posted some stonking profits for its second quarter, the US has - just - lifted its ban on flights into Tel Aviv and it's Thursday, so General Motors has decided to recall another couple of hundred thousand cars overnight. There's plenty more to come, stay with us.

     

Features

  • Shinji Mikamo's father's watchTime peace

    The story of the watch that survived Hiroshima


  • Hamas rally in the West Bank village of Yatta, 2006Hamas hopes

    Why the Palestinian group won't back down yet


  • Mary WayaQueen of the court

    Woman who beat "fat" jibes to turn Malawi into netball champions


From BBC Capital

Programmes

  • A man holds a sign which reads Bring Back Our GirlsHARDtalk Watch

    Why there is still hope and optimism for the rescue of Nigeria’s kidnapped schoolgirls

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.