Posted : 2013-09-25 18:30
Updated : 2013-09-25 18:30

Samsung to unveil flexible phones

By Kim Yoo-chul

A model presents Samsung's Galaxy Note3 and Galaxy Gear smartwatch at a launching event at its main office in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul, Wednesday.
/ Courtesy of Samsung Electronics
A Samsung Electronics executive said Wednesday it will release a smartphone with a curved and bendable display next month in Korea.

"A new smartphone that features curved glass technology will be released in October, initially in Korea. We will hold a press conference to reveal the specifications of the product and our mobile business strategy," Lee Don-joo, the president of Samsung's strategic marketing for mobile business, told reporters.

"This is part of our efforts to develop devices that haven't existed before."

Lee made the remarks during a launching ceremony for the Galaxy Note3 phablet and Galaxy Gear smartwatch at the firm's main office in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul.

Samsung isn't alone in exploring devices with curved displays. Its biggest smartphone rival Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like iOS devices that sport curved glass, which may be released next year.

The executive said Samsung is becoming aggressive in putting innovative and striking features on some of its strategic items.

"For Samsung, a smartphone with a curved display represents our resolve to level up in terms of the intensity of innovation," Lee said.

In a separate meeting with local reporters, Samsung SDI CEO Park Sang-jin said, "It's possible to develop a battery that could be twisted and bent."

Samsung, which overtook Apple as the world's most profitable smartphone maker in July, had previously showed off a prototype flexible OLED screen at the International Consumer Electronics Show in 2011 in Las Vegas.

Lee Young-hee, executive vice president for marketing at the company's mobile division, stressed its first wristwatch ㅡ the Galaxy Gear ㅡ is "definitely receiving warm response."

"The Galaxy Gear is a wow product. It's a wholly new and must-have accessory," said the vice president Lee, downplaying growing criticism about the wristwatch. "It only weighs 74 grams and it's very easy to receive a call or send a text."

But Samsung declined to unveil sales targets for the Gear. Lee also denied a rumor that Samsung was in the process of developing a new Galaxy Gear.

The Note3 and Gear were already announced at this year's IFA trade exhibition in Berlin, Germany. The nation's three mobile carriers will release the Note3 and Gear.

The suggested retail price for the Note3 was set at 1.06 million won, while the Gear, which sports a 1.63-inch display, will sell for 396,000 won without contracts.

"All functions of the Gear will be connected to the Galaxy S4 smartphone by next month and the connection will be expanded to Galaxy Note2 and Galaxy S3 by the end of December," said the president.

In a related note, Samsung said it will hire more experts with proven knowledge in user interface and user experience, a move aimed at improving the level of experience to lead over rivals in the changing consumer electronics industry.

"We've acknowledged that our Gear lacks something special. With more investment for user interface and user experience, Samsung devices will be better in terms of customer satisfaction," said a Samsung official.

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