Samsung ready to unveil flexi screens

Samsung and Apple, two tech corporations who probably aren’t on each other’s Christmas card list, are escalating their global battle. Each is racing to be the first to launch ultra-flexible screens.

Samsung appear to have a head start with their flexible AMOLED screen technology. Industry whispers suggest devices incorporating the new screen material could be on the market by the summer of 2013.

The applications for the ultra-flexible screens for tablets and smart-phones aren’t immediately obvious, beyond the initial "wow" factor, but in an industry where consumers are eager to snap up any up-to-the-minute technological advances, Samsung could be on the verge of grabbing a market advantage over Apple, although Sony and LG have also reported prototypes using flexible screens.

Samsung’s video showcasing the technology at last year’s CES trade show contrived various potential uses for a transparent flexible screen, including scanning an augmented reality code on a menu, watching 3D videos and translating a real-time conversation, although many of the applications looked gimmicky rather than essential. Still, that’s an accusation that could be levelled at a high percentage of smart-phone tweaks and improvements.

Apple is fighting back with its own bendable display trickery. A leaked patent application from the Apple workshops appeared to show an iPad hybrid employing a built-in ductile screen and a normal keyboard. It wasn’t quite as slick as Samsung’s 2011 presentation, although Apple have a talent for keeping their most effective innovations under wraps until they are ready for market.

After recent litigation concerning Apple’s allegations that Samsung imitated design aspects of the iPad, there is a fierce East-West rivalry between the two companies. Apple’s customer base tends to be very loyal, but if Samsung grab a major technological lead with flexible screens and get them onto the store shelves in 2013, Apple’s devoted fans might start to flirt with the idea of moving their affections elsewhere.

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