Rumor: Samsung still hasn’t decided if the Note 3 will use a flexible display

July 25, 2013
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Weeks to the expected launch date, Samsung reportedly hasn’t made a final decision on the display technology it will use on the Galaxy Note 3.

Samsung Galaxy note stylus s pen aa 1 1600

Keep your grain of salts close, but Samsung is reportedly still considering using a plastic-based OLED display (also known as a flexible display) on the upcoming Galaxy Note 3. At least, that’s what the Korean website Asia Economic is claiming in a report today.

The Korean outlet says Samsung is waiting to see if its display-making unit is able to achieve adequate production yields, in order to ensure a steady supply of panels for the Note 3.

For those who follow Samsung closely, this rumor may come off as puzzling. That’s because multiple previous reports claimed that Samsung was facing problems manufacturing flexible OLED panels, and that it would not be able to put them in the high-profile Note 3. Industry watchers now believe that LG, not Samsung, will be the first to ship a phone with a plastic based OLED display, sometimes towards the end of the year.

Even more curious is the claim in the Asia Economic report that Samsung will wait until the end of August to make a final decision on the display technology of the Note 3. Why is it curious? Because everyone expects Samsung to unveil the Note 3 in the first days of September, at the IFA Berlin trade show. Could the Korean giant make up its mind in the last minute?

Even assuming that mass manufacturing would happen in September and that the Note 3 would ship at the end of the month, it’s hard to believe that Samsung would wait so much to decide on a crucial component of the device. On the other hand, if any company has the capability to ramp up production at the flick of a switch, that’s probably Samsung.

The report goes on to reiterate an earlier rumor that Samsung would ship multiple variants of the Note 3, with LCD, glass-based OLED and plastic-based OLED on the table. Keep in mind though that we heard similar stories before the Galaxy S4 launched, so don’t invest too much trust in them.

Finally, an important thing to know is that at least the first generations of plastic-based panels will still be enclosed in rigid glass, so don’t expect anything to bend and roll.

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