Samsung's curvy Galaxy Round may actually be a limited edition, world-wide release.
Hot on the heels of LG confirming that it has entered mass production of 6 inch curved smartphone displays, the Korean media reports that Samsung is expected to reveal its "Galaxy Round" smartphone possibly this week. Samsung is pushing to be the first company to produce a smartphone with a plastic-based OLED flexible screen instead of glass, making the device more durable and cheaper to produce.
Sources in Korea report that the specs of Samsung's upcoming curvy phone will be similar to the Galaxy Note 3, hence the number of rumors surrounding new and different versions of the Note 3 device. This device will also reportedly be produced in limited numbers, so the price tag may be higher than the Note 3 if it supports the S-Pen.
The Korean media also reports that Samsung Display is already mass producing 5.7 inch flexible OLED displays and supplying them to Samsung Electronics. The panel will offer a Full HD resolution, measure only 0.12 mm thin, weigh 5.2 grams, and have a curvature radius of 400 mm. By comparison, LG's panel will supposedly be 6 inches and measure a thicker 0.44 mm.
Oled-info reports that Samsung's flexible OLEDs are being produced at the company's 5.5-Gen line. Currently, this line has a capacity of about 8,000 sheets per month, which is around 1 million 5 inch panels at 100 percent yields. But given that Samsung won't reach 100 percent yields and is producing 5.7 inch panels, the company is likely churning out hundreds of thousands of panels per month instead.
The Galaxy Round name seemingly implies that Samsung intends to release the limited edition phone outside South Korea as well. There's also speculation that the device could simply be a Galaxy Note 3 Special Edition model. The curved phone will supposedly be similar to the Youm prototypes showcased back in January during CES 2013, and was even spotted on a GFXBench benchmark with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC and Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean."
While Samsung's phone will supposedly be curved from side to side, LG's reported 6 inch G Flex will be curved from top to bottom. The flexible displays won't mean these gadgets will be bendable, but will instead enable these new, unique form factors. Eventually, flexible OLEDs will give way to mobile and wearable gadgets that take on more "natural," ergonomic designs than current "boxy" devices.
UPDATE: Added the "leaked" image provided by @evleaks