Samsung and LG Create Curved Phone Confusion


On October 10, Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) launched its latest smartphone in South Korea, the Galaxy Round. The phone runs Google's ( GOOG ) Android 4.3, and is powerful, with a 2.4GHz Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor and 32GB of storage. It's also exceptionally thin and light, at 7.9mm thick and 5.36 ounces. However, the device is making waves mostly for its 5.7-inch, 1080p, curved, OLED screen. The Galaxy Round is basically a Galaxy Note 3 phablet with a vertical curve.

On October 24, Samsung launched a commercial for the new phone, advertising its curved body by showing a series of curved items -- a lemon or an egg, for example -- being held as though they were smartphones. The actor's thumb swipes the bottom of each item, as if he were using a cell phone. The problem? The majority of the curved items depicted the curve outward: they are convex. The Galaxy Round, on the other hand, is concave, and curves inward. Most perplexing is the use of half an avocado as a proxy smartphone: the actor in the commercial strokes the flat part of the fruit. The commercial is embedded below.

Meanwhile in the wider world of curved smartphones, LG announced on October 27 what it has called the world's first "real" curved smartphone, the G Flex. With flexible OLED screen technology that has been under development at LG Display ( LPL ), the phone will have an even more dramatic curve than the Galaxy Round, but the G Flex's will be six inches and will curve along the horizontal access. It will be available in South Korea next month.

An LG press image of the G Flex

On top of its curved functionality, the G Flex will feature so-called "self-healing" technology in the form of a special protective film that gets rid of scratches within minutes.

That all sounds potentially exciting, but there appears to be some confusion here, too: Why is LG claiming that it has made the first curved phone when the Galaxy round has been on the market for almost three weeks?

Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWolonick and @Minyanville

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Technology

Referenced Stocks: GOOG , LPL , SSNLF



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