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iPhone 5's Flexible OLED Display: Real or Fake?


Samsung is reportedly behind the flexible screen technology that will make the iPhone 5 the most intriguing Apple device yet.

That's according to The Korea Times (via Cult of Mac), which claims that Samsung's Vice Chairman, Kwon Oh-hyun, hinted that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) was on the company's list of clients.

"We will be mass producing flexible OLED displays from the latter half of this year as the demand from our clients is significant," Kwon told The Korea Times.

Hmm, I don't know about you, but I don't see Apple anywhere in that quote.

But "industry sources" claim that Samsung's secrecy -- and reluctance to name specific clients -- is a "strong indication that Apple is one of them."

To back up this claim, The Korea Times quotes an un-named U.S.-based analyst: "Apple is the iconic company in the industry that will continue to set the trends. If Samsung finds increasing industry demand for a futuristic product like flexible displays, it's hard to imagine Apple doesn't have something to do with it."

As if that weren't tantalizing enough, The Korea Times reports that "sources" are already referring to the next iPhone as the "iPhone Yoga."

Fact and Fiction

Who here thinks this report is real? Anyone?

While it is wholly possible that Apple could take advantage of Samsung's new technology to build a better iPhone (something the company could eventually be forced to do if it doesn't want Samsung's own smartphones to take over), this report is about as empty as any other iPhone rumor. Whereas last week's Apple Television report had a hint of (or at least the potential for) credibility, there is little in this Korea Times story that tells me Apple and Samsung are working together in this regard. Frankly, it feels more like a simple story that the author decided to twist and turn into a rumor-building piece involving an iPhone that can, well, twist and turn.

Down to Earth Expectations

The next iPhone -- technically the sixth-generation model, but often referred to as the iPhone 5 -- will likely feature a number of similar design cues that keep the smartphone from losing its traditional feel. Long-term, I have no doubt that Apple will slowly move away from its comfort zone and build an iPhone that is drastically different from the original model. But that probably won't happen with the iPhone 5.

Instead, the biggest changes are likely to come in the areas where they have always occurred: processor, display, camera, and software. While I do not expect Apple to launch a new feature that's anywhere near the power of Siri, there is likely to be one major element that excites the masses. Really, that could just be Siri 2.0 -- a faster, smarter, and more reliable version of the software that millions of consumers already love.

Form Factor Adjustments

Every iPhone is rumored to have a form factor that differs from the last. And if it weren't for the fact that people like the form factor Apple has chosen (and the reality that it's cheaper to manufacture old designs), the company would likely redesign the iPhone every single year.

Unless Apple expects to use software and processing modifications as the primary selling point for the iPhone 5, you can bet that this device will finally provide the change consumers have been craving.

How severe that change will be, however, is anyone's guess. But as expected, many rumors claim that the changes will be drastic.

Follow me @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Cult of Mac iPhone 5 The Korea TimesNews Rumors Tech Best of Benzinga


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