Report: Samsung is prepping phones with bendable displays for 2017

This would put Samsung at the forefront of display innovation, but it's unclear if the world needs this kind of breakthrough.

Samsung isn’t afraid to push displays to the edge. Consider that it was the first to pioneer big-screened phones like the Galaxy Note line and has popularized the idea of a curved display with the Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S7 Edge.

But it may be prepping quite the leap, according to a Bloomberg report, with foldable displays. The article says, according to “people familiar with the matter,” that two new models could be coming next year with such a feature. One of them, according to the report, will even fold in half.

The display would be five inches when used as a handset, but then transform into an eight-inch tablet. Samsung wouldn’t comment for Bloomberg’s story, so all we’re really left with is a faint hope that you’ll be able to fold up your wallet and your smartphone in the near future. If we hear more about this rumor, we’ll be sure to update you here.

Why this matters: The smartphone world is slowly moving away from the last decade we’ve spent with slabs of expressionless glass. Apple introduced 3D touch in the latest iPhone, which allows you to launch different actions from the pressure-sensitive display. Huawei has a similar capability with the Mate S, while Synaptics is working on a similar technology called Clearforce. It’s difficult to see the masses as ready for foldable displays, which would also likely be very expensive and present a host of other manufacturing and interface design challenges. But Samsung often likes to be first even before it’s necessary, which could make 2017 an interesting year for smartphones.

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Derek Walter

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