, SEOUL, Oct 28 – LG Electronics unveiled Monday a curved-screen smartphone, taking on rival Samsung in a niche market seen as a first step on the road to fully flexible products.
Despite its name, the “G-Flex” does not bend, but uses flexible OLED (organic light-emitting diode) to produce a curved six-inch display.
The model is “the best representation yet of how a smartphone should be curved,” the president of LG’s mobile unit Park Jong-Seok said, in a clear dig at Samsung.
Earlier this month, Samsung started retailing its “Galaxy Round” — a 5.7-inch (14.5 centimetre) handset with a display that curves from side-to-side to fit the contour of the hand.
The “G-Flex” is curved on the vertical axis in order to, the company said, “follow the contour of the face”.
Curved displays are already commercially available in large-screen televisions offered by both Samsung and LG.
The displays are supposed to offer a more immersive viewing experience but are significantly more expensive than standard screens.
The Galaxy Round is currently only available in South Korea and retails at 1.08 million won ($1,000).
Curved screens are still at a nascent stage in display technology, which is shifting towards flexible panels that are bendable or can even be rolled or folded.
LG said the G-Flex would be available to South Korean consumers from November, but did not provide a price estimate.