10일 업계에 따르면 삼성디스플레이가 올해 1분기 플렉시블 A3라인에 투자하면서 하반기에 곡면 스마트폰이 출시될 것으로 전망된다.
KDB 대우증권의 송종호 연구원은 “하반기에 출시되는 곡면 스마트폰의 출하량은 2~3백만 대 정도로 예상한다. 주요 모델이 아닌 시장을 시험하기 위한 테스트용으로 틈새시장을 겨냥한 제품이 될 것”이라고 말했다.
올해 선보이는 곡면 스마트폰은 작년 CES에서 선보였던 3면을 디스플레이로 사용할 수 있는 ‘윰’ 기술이 적용된다.
업계는 삼성이 배터리 문제를 해결하지 못해 금년 내 완전히 휘는 스마트폰을 선보이기는 어려울 것으로 보고 있다.
그러나 종이처럼 접었다 펼 수 있는 폴더블 스마트폰은 내년 하반기에는 양산할 수 있을 것으로 전망된다. 소현철 신한금융투자 연구원은 “내년에 폴더블 스마트폰은 2천~3천만대 정도 양산할 수 있을 것”이라고 전망했다.
삼성전자 권오현 대표이사는 지난 11월 애널리스트 데이에서 “2015년에 접을 수 있는 디스플레이를 출시할 계획”이라고 밝힌 바 있다.
(코리아헤럴드 신지혜 기자 firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Samsung to unveil ‘bent’ smartphones this year
Samsung Electronics, the nation’s largest handset maker, is set to unveil “bent” smartphones as a Galaxy variant this year based on the fresh investments its affiliate Samsung Display will be making in flexible panel production, industry sources said on Monday.
“The bent smartphones will be rolled out as a Galaxy variant with a few million units at the end of this year, initially taking aim at the niche market,” said Song Jong-ho, an analyst at Seoul-based KDB Daewoo Securities.
Bent displays are a step behind completely bendable or foldable displays, as they feature a curved edge on one side of the screen. This type of display panel was first introduced at the CES 2013 in Las Vegas.
Helping Samsung Electronics fill the orders is Samsung Display, which is likely to make a sizeable investment in its A3 production line for flexible organic light-emitting diodes during the first quarter of this year.
“The initial investment will stand at around 2 trillion won ($1.9 billion),” said Kim Dong-won, an analyst of Hyundai Securities.
Samsung Display’s executive Lee Chang-hoon had said in a conference call last month that the company is planning to roll out bent products and small-sized curved OLED panels this year.
One anonymous source from Samsung said that it was wise for the company to first try its hand at bent display since Samsung has yet to address the issue of curved batteries.
Despite coming out with a smartphone with a curved display -- the Galaxy Round -- Samsung has yet to use curved batteries in its devices.
“Samsung’s battery segment is still way behind compared to its progress in display technology,” said the source.
The bent smartphones, however, are not what Samsung views as the so-called “ultimate flexible product.”
“The bent device is the first step toward testing the market and gauging how it would react to its foldable smartphones that are to be unveiled in the second half of next year,” Song of KDB said, adding that the foldable phone would be the next Samsung flagship phone.
Other analysts including John Seo of Shinhan Investment believe Samsung will ship about 20 to 30 million foldable smartphones next year.
Samsung showcased its foldable display technology at a private event during CES 2014.
Samsung Electronics’ vice chairman and CEO Kwon Oh-hyun said at Analyst Day last year that Samsung will unveil its foldable display in 2015.
By Shin Ji-hye (email@example.com)