Report: Samsung smartphone with wrap-around display coming in 2014

November 14, 2013
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For years now we’ve been hearing about flexible displays and how they will eventually revolutionize the mobile world as we know it. After a long wait, we are now even starting to see the very first commercial devices with flexible display technology: the Samsung Galaxy Round and LG G Flex.

Let’s be honest here, neither of these devices are exactly what we’ve been dreaming of. Sure, they look cool, but that’s arguably where the advantages end. Wondering when we will finally see a commercial device with a flexible display that’s a bit more advanced? According to a new report from Bloomberg, you won’t have to wait long.

The new Samsung device will do a lot more than just provide a unique look.

Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg claims that Samsung’s next flexible smartphone will be released sometime in 2014. The new handset will feature a design that is capable of wrapping around the smartphone’s sides.

The new Samsung device will do a lot more than just provide a unique look. All three sides of the display will be able to operate independently, meaning that notifications and other tasks can be accomplished simply by touching the sides of your phone.

If that sounds familiar it’s because Samsung actually has already shown a prototype with a similar design in the past. Of course, the earlier YOUM prototype had bent edges as opposed to a full wrap-around approach.

From the sounds of it, Samsung’s next-gen flexible smartphone will have a design that’s a bit more similar to Japanese-based SEL prototype displays. The video below gives you a better idea of what exactly SEL’s design looks like, though it’s important to note that this isn’t same type of technology that Samsung is using for their display tech — even if the end result is similar:

What to expect from Samsung’s wrap-around handset

Samsung’s sources reveal little else about the upcoming wrap-around smartphone, but the good news is that the USPTO is able to help us fill in a few more blanks. In what is nothing short than perfect timing, a new Samsung patent has been published today that lends further credence to the idea of a Samsung phone with a wrap-around display.

The patent application is called “Method and apparatus for operating functions of portable terminal having bended display”, and basically describes a wrap-around handset that packs quite a few special features.

The USPTO filing also included a handful of concept pictures that detail some of the potential features for Samsung’s unique smartphone:

As you can see, some of the functions include displaying battery life on one side of the display, a method for easy scrolling, creating a unique way to unlock your handset and so much more.

Samsung’s concept design is pretty cool, to say the least. Of course it’s important to note that Samsung has yet to confirm their plans, and even if the Bloomberg report and USPTO filing are pretty compelling, we’d take the whole rumor with a grain of salt — at least for now.

What do you think, would you be interested in such a wrap-around handset or do you feel that this is still more of a gimmick than something truly revolutionary?

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