Those who were expecting Samsung to introduce the Galaxy S5 as its next curved display smartphone may be disappointed as recent reports suggest the feature is not quite ready for the mass production associated with Galaxy S devices.
According to the Korean Herald, production limitations may prevent the Galaxy S5 from featuring a curved display. Production capacity for Samsung’s 5-inch flexible displays is reportedly at 500,000 panels, or 30 percent of the manufacturer’s overall yield for its smartphone display components. Since such flagship smartphones as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3 have sold significantly more than 10 million handsets within their first few months on the market, and even more since then, it's safe to say their respective production needs exceed the number of flexible displays currently being produced. The Samsung Galaxy S5 will likely project sales figures similar those of the Galaxy S4, meaning it, too, will need more screens than can be supplied by the current production capacity for curved displays.
Samsung introduced its first curved display Galaxy Round smartphone in October. Reports later said the Galaxy Round was released as a market demo, and since then it has sold only about 50,000 handsets in South Korea. The Galaxy Round is essentially a curved version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which utilizes its shape to power various device-specific software features. Most agree that Samsung’s development of its curved/flexible display technology is still in its early stages; Samsung appears to have not quite settled on a use for curved displays that appeals to the mainstream.
Samsung Curved/Flexible Display Development History
Reports of Samsung’s flexible display development began in January when the company unveiled its Youm technology at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. Youm reportedly uses OLED light sources within its flexible components. Since then, many expected the technology to be featured in flagship devices such as the Galaxy Note 3. As previously stated, reports have also suggested that the still-rumored Galaxy S5 would feature a curved and/or flexible display.
However, Samsung seemed to encounter issues with flexible displays early on. Reports in April indicated the manufacturer had hit a wall with its development of flexible OLED displays; the Galaxy Note 3 subsequently was released without a curved display. When the Galaxy Round was released not long afterward, various OLED experts detailed the Round did not utilize Samsung Youm technology. The manufacturer has revealed little about Youm since its January unveiling.
What’s In Store For Samsung’s Flexible Display Technology?
Though the Samsung Galaxy S5 may not feature a curved display, many expect the Korean manufacturer to continue to work with its flexible display technology and implement it in future devices. Analysts believe Samsung will continue to develop devices featuring curved/flexible displays, which may be released in much smaller volumes.
One proposal is that a variant of the Galaxy S5 will be released with a curved display. Often, Samsung releases versions of its flagship smartphones with components that differ from those found in the mainstream device. For example the Samsung Galaxy S4 was initially released with an Exynos 5 Octa processor for 3G models and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor or LTE models. Later, the Galaxy S4 LTE-A was released featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, which brought to the device LTE-Advance technology that allows for data speeds of up to 150Mps.
Rumors have already suggested that the Galaxy S5 will be released in two design variants: one with a metal exterior and a flexible OLED display, another with a plastic exterior and a standard OLED display. Similar to curved displays, recent reports expressed doubts that Samsung will release a metal variant of the Galaxy S5. However, with the World Mobile Conference coming up in February, Samsung will likely begin teasing its plans for 2014. It shouldn't be long before we have more definitive information about the Galaxy S5 and curved/flexible display technology.
Do you think we will see the Samsung Galaxy S5 released with a curved/flexible display? Let us know in the comments below.
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