Are curved, flexible smartphones the next frontier in smartphone innovation?

Are curved, flexible smartphones the next frontier in smartphone innovation?

By, Published: October 7

Are curved, flexible smartphones the next frontier in smartphone innovation? LG and Samsung really want to make it so. Both companies are weeks away from announcing smartphones with curved displays, whose plastic substrate should make them more durable and cheaper to produce. LG said today that it’s already started production of its flexible displays, which could appear in a phone called the “LG Flex” as soon as November.The move is important for the company, which has resorted to shifting around its phones’ volume buttons in an effort to differentiate itself from the competition.

Unfortunately for LG, however, Samsung’s efforts at a curved smartphone are a bit further along. The company confirmed today that it plans to release a curved device in Korea as soon as next week.

Reports so far point to the device being a slightly retooled version of the Galaxy Note 3 called the Galaxy Round. Samsung already hinted at what such a device could look like with the Samsung Youm concept phone.

But while both companies are making a lot of noise about their curved smartphone ambitions, neither has answered the more important question: What’s the point of a curved smartphone in the first place?

With its televisions, LG said that curved displays made it so that ”the entire screen surface is equidistant from the viewer’s eyes, removing the problem of screen-edge visual distortion and detail loss.” We’re still not sure if there’s a similar obvious benefit to bringing the technology to smartphones, but we’ll see what LG and Samsung say once they announce their devices in the coming weeks.

Curved smartphones may end up being a gimmick, but that doesn’t mean consumers won’t end up buying them.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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