World’s first curved smartphone hits S. Korea market at retail price US$1,000

World’s first curved smartphone hits S. Korea market

2013-10-11 00:31:03 GMT2013-10-11 08:31:03(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

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A model displays Samsung’s first “curved” smartphones Galaxy Round at the Electronics and IT Industry Fair in Goyang, north of Seoul, Oct. 10, 2013. The world’s first curved display smartphone Galaxy Round featuring a 5.7-inch full HD Super AMOLED display was launched here on Thursday. It would be sold with a retail price of 1.08 million won (1,000 U.S. dollars). (Xinhua/Park Jin-Hee)

Samsung launched the world’s first smartphone with a curved display screen on Thursday, as the electronics giant seeks to maintain its lead in the increasingly saturated market. Galaxy Round — a 5.7-inch concave handset that fits the curve of a user’s palm — has hit stores in South Korea but Samsung did not say when the new phone will be available globally. Curved screens — billed as lighter and thinner than current display panels — are at a nascent stage in display technology, which is shifting towards flexible panels that are bendable or can even be rolled or folded.The new phone — powered by Google’s Android system and featuring a 2.3 GHz quad-core processor –is priced at about 1.08 million won ($1,000), Samsung said.

“The display (of Galaxy Round) is ergonomically shaped to fit the curve of a hand and comfortably embrace an ear and cheek during a phone conversation,” SK Telecom, the country’s top wireless operator, said in a statement.

The new phone allows users to check information such as missed calls, text messages, remaining battery life and the current time and date more easily when the screen is locked.

When listening to music, users can switch between songs on a playlist by placing the phone on a flat surface and pressing down on the left or right side to tilt the device, which automatically detects the movement.

The curved screen is made of plastic, instead of the glass that is commonly used in smartphones, and as a result the handset is slightly lighter.

Samsung said the phone weighs 154 grams (0.33 pounds), 10 percent less than the firm’s similar-sized Galaxy Note III oversized smartphone.

“This certainly is not a ground-breaking, game-changing product,” one tech blogger said in a review.

“But it fits quite nicely in my hand… and the images look slightly deeper when seen on a curved screen,” he said.

The latest device arrived as global smartphone makers vie for growth in the increasingly competitive market.

Samsung — the world’s top maker of smartphones and mobile phones in general — in January unveiled the prototype of a bendable display called “Youm”.

Samsung’s smaller rival LG said last week it had started mass production of curved display panels for smartphones and is reportedly set to unveil its own curved smartphone this month.

But companies still face a major challenge in making other handset components — such as batteries — that can bend with the rest of the unit.

Curved displays are already commercially available in large-screen televisions offered by companies including Samsung and LG.

The displays are supposed to offer a more immersive viewing experience but are significantly more expensive than standard screens.

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 (www.heroinnovator.com), 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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