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Samsung to introduce flexible displays for mobile handsets in 2012

Samsung Electronics said Friday that it expects to introduce flexible displays for mobile handsets during the first half of 2012.

“We’re looking to roll out flexible displays sometime in 2012, hopefully the earlier part rather than the latter,” Robert Yi, vice president of investor relations at Samsung Electronics, said during its quarterly earnings conference call.

“We will start with handsets and migrate to tablet PCs and other devices.”

Kang Bong-ku, vice president of the firm’s television business, said Samsung may use Google Inc.’s Android operating system in its smart TVs.

“We’re now working with Google for Android smart TV, but we have our own strengths so we will drive further our own platform,” he said. “But if Google provides us benefits, we will move onto Android TV.”

With the company expecting LTE mobile phones to take over 2 to 3 percent of the mobile market next year, it expressed confidence that it will become the No. 1 maker of LTE handsets.
Shin Jong-kyun, chief of mobile communications business at Samsung Electronics, announces the rollout of the Galaxy Note mobile device at a launch event in London on Thursday. (Yonhap News)
Shin Jong-kyun, chief of mobile communications business at Samsung Electronics, announces the rollout of the Galaxy Note mobile device at a launch event in London on Thursday. (Yonhap News)

“Our points of differentiation are the adoption of Super AMOLED displays and high-capacity batteries as well as our own designs,” said Yi.

He added that Samsung is likely to lead the newly emerging LTE market because it has the “end-to-end solution” ― its proprietary chip, network and the handset.

The statements from Samsung’s executives come as the tech giant has beaten its biggest rival Apple Inc. for the first time in terms of smartphone shipments, becoming the top smartphone seller in the third quarter.

Thanks to the success of its flagship handset Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy series, Samsung posted record-breaking quarterly sales for both feature phones and smartphones, with the smartphone division growing more than 40 percent.

Considering that the number of units sold for smartphones was 19.2 million in the second quarter of this year, the figure for July-September is estimated to be over 27 million units. Apple said earlier that it sold 17 million units of the iPhone in the same quarter.

The company forecasted strong sales in the following quarter, which is when the industry demand is at its peak with the arrival of holiday season. It will expand smartphone sales with its new Galaxy Nexus, the first handset to run on the latest version of the Android mobile platform, according to Yi.

Samsung will also release the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note, which aims to serve the niche market between smartphones and tablet PCs. At a ceremony in London on Thursday, the company rolled out the Galaxy Note, which offers a digital pen that enables writing on the touchscreen.

“We expect to see strong growth in Korea and the U.S.,” he said.

Samsung, a latecomer in the smartphone industry, had struggled before launch of the Galaxy S to release a hot-selling gadget in the smartphone market that boomed with the introduction of Apple’s iPhone back in November 2009. Its attempt to attract customers with its Omnia smartphone in cooperation with Microsoft failed, ultimately leaving the company with a more than six-month gap in its smartphone line-up.

By Cho Ji-hyun (sharon@heraldcorp.com)
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