Apple has earned nearly a trillion dollars in the ten years since iPhone launched – but we’re all getting a teensy bit bored of smartphones.
So, naturally, tech companies are dreaming up something new to ensure they can still take all our money – and it’s going to be bendy-screened ‘smartlets’, phones which unfold into tablets.
Both Samsung and LG are planning to launch devices which ‘unfold’ into larger screens – allowing users to keep a tablet-style device in a pocket, according to the Korea Herald.
They’re very different from old flip-phones, with hi-tech screens which can bend and fold up, according to analysts.
Samsung is expected to launch a device codenamed ‘Foldable Valley’ which turns into a 7-inch tablet when unfolded – and will launch in August.
Apple also quietly patented a foldable iPhone concept, filing on August 28, last year – detailing a device which uses ‘carbon nanotubes’ to allow the screen to fold while still working.
Recent patents for a Microsoft Surface phone suggest that the Windows giant is also working on a bendy handset.
Lee Seung Woo, an analyst at IBK Securities Company said last year, ‘‘This product could be a game-changer if Samsung successfully comes up with a user interface suitable for bendable screens,’
‘Their biggest obstacle was related to making transparent plastics and making them durable, which seems resolved by now.’
Samsung has previously teased the idea with various videos showing how a ‘bendable’ smartphone might work.
Nearly two years ago, Samsung wowed an audience in Las Vegas with a working mobile phone screen which could be rolled and unrolled like a sheet of paper.
The screen kept working as it was rolled and unrolled – and was built to be “virtually unbreakable”, Samsung claimed.