Samsung will have flexible displays at some point, for unknown prices, in theoretical products

When is a tech leak not an actual leak? When there are at least 16x as many questions as answers involved.

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Engadget shot of Samsung's flexible display at CES 2011
Photo via Engadget.

Whoa now! Did you see the Wall Street Journal report on Samsung's upcoming flexible displays? By using plastic instead of glass, by utilizing OLEDs, and working toward a new concept of devices, Samsung could make our gadgets "unbreakable, lighter and bendable."

More specifically, the Journal reports:

Samsung's display unit, Samsung Display Co., is in the last phase of development of so-called flexible displays for mobile devices, which are expected to be released in the first half of next year, a person familiar with the situation said.

Pretty big scoop, huh? I mean, just look at what Samsung could do with flexible displays at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2011. Boggles the mind. So, when will I be able to jam my phone into my briefcase and never worry about its screen?

Well, far be it from me to imply that Samsung would ever let a captivating rumor about a futuristic technology drop into the tech press, right when chief competitor Apple is out with popular new devices in the key holiday sales period. But let's compile everything we know now about flexible displays from Samsung:

  • They presented a version of their flexible display at CES in 2011. Wisely, they told Engadget not to expect flexible displays in 2011. Or 2012, it now seems.

  • Samsung is in the "last phase" of manufacturing. Have you ever told a teacher that you're on the "final page" of a paper that, in fact, had many, many outstanding issues and factual problems? Yes, you have.

  • Samsung is making flexible displays for mobile devices. Their own, or other firms'? How much are they going to cost? If the manufacturing is so imprecise as to warrant a half-year window, how good is the quality?

  • Speaking of quality: we, the smartphone-buying public, have upped our standards. We basically demand Retina-density displays, or something very similar. Are these flexible displays of this same quality, with matching color depth and balance? Or do we have to pay more for less, but unbreakable less?

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