The devices using organic light-emitting diodes could be unveiled as soon as early 2017, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. That would likely give it a head start on new Apple Inc. iPhones. The second Samsung model will have a 5-inch screen when used as a handset, that unfurls into a display that’s as large as 8 inches, similar to a tablet, the people said.
Samsung, the biggest supplier of OLED panels for mobile products, has pioneered the development of new screen formats with its multi-sided Edge smartphones. Using advanced display technology may help the company recapture customers from Apple and boost earnings that have slumped for the past two years.
“This product could be a game-changer if Samsung successfully comes up with a user interface suitable for bendable screens,” said Lee Seung Woo, an analyst at IBK Securities Co. in Seoul. “Next year is a probable scenario. Their biggest obstacle was related to making transparent plastics and making them durable, which seems resolved by now.”