Will Samsung offer a premium Galaxy S5 with a flexible AMOLED?

Korean news site ETNews reports that Samsung plans to release two main models of its upcoming Galaxy S5 flagship phone - a standard plastic-bodied flat phone and a premium one that will sport a flexible OLED and a metal case. It'll be interested to see whether Samsung simply curved the premium S5 (like the Galaxy Round) or adopt a more radical design (wrap-around display or even a foldable one, although frankly these are only expected in 2015).

Samsung 5'' curved YOUM display prototypeYOUM prototype phone, CES 2013

ETNews reports that initial production will begin in January 2014, and mass production will begin in February. This was also the case with the Galaxy S4 (which was announced on March 15 2013). It's unlikely that Samsung will have enough flexible OLED capacity to supply such a flagship phone so it makes sense they will only adopt it in a premium model. This is exactly what Samsung did with the flat Galaxy Note 3 and the curved Galaxy Round.

China's Skyworth to launch an OLED TV next week (panel supplied by LGD)

There are reports from China that Skyworth is set to release their first OLED TV next week (December 5). The company sent out invitations to reporters for the launch event:

According to one report, Skyworth will use LG Display's WRGB panels. The second report actually says Skyworth are releasing a "Samsung OLED TV", but they still say it is an WRGB panel so this may be just a mistake.

Smartkem's organic inks to enable a major display maker's flexible backplanes

UK's SmartKem announced that they signed a joint-development agreement with a major Asian display OEM. Under the agreement, SmartKem and the display maker will customize Smartkem's p-FLEX organic semiconductor inks for solution-based flexible TFT backplane technology.

SmartKem will formulate, transfer and supply p-FLEX materials to the display maker which will enable production of high-performance TFTs onto plastic substrates through low-temperature processing.

Engadget reviews the LG G Flex, says it's "a novelty device", likes the Galaxy Round better

Update: Engadget posted a full review of this phone, you can read it here.

Engadget posted a short hands-on review with LG's G Flex curved smartphone. While they like the display and understand that this is just an early stage of curved and flexible displays, they say that "there doesn't seem to be much of a point for people to buy into the idea". Overall it is a pretty good first-gen product, but still a novelty.

Compared to the Galaxy Round, Engadget's reviewer says that Samsung's phone feels better in the hand (he says that the G Flex is very large and pretty uncomfortable in the hand and a little awkward to handle) and it offers a higher-resolution display (even though it is smaller in every dimension).

You can now buy the Korean LG G Flex unlocked in Amazon.com (for $1,150)

LG's G Flex is the first phone that uses LG Display's flexible plastic OLED display - a 6" 720p display that is curved from top to bottom. The G Flex is currently only available in Korea. You can wait till LG brings it to the US, but you can also buy it now on Amazon.com - unlocked for $1,150 (that's the Korean model).

The G Flex has a 2.3Ghz Snapdragon S800 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal memory, a 13MP camera, NFC, Android 4.2.2 and a 3500mAh non-removable battery (LG Chem's curved battery). The G Flex has two rear-mounted buttons and a "self-healing" back (that will heal scratches quickly).

EU's PlastronicsSpec project concludes, AP2K shows off a digital X-Ray system for OLED inspection

The EU-funded project PlastronicsSpec, which developed an automated digital radiography system for the inspection of plastic electronics, recently concluded successfully, and Romania-based Accent Pro 2000 (AP2K) is showing off the new digital X-Ray system for NDT inspection of OLED displays.

AP2K is hosting a demonstration day which will be held in Bucharest, Romania on the 4th of December 2013 (9:00 to 15:00), at AP2K premises in the National Physics Library-Magurele. If you want to attend, contact AP2K directly.

LG's lowers the price of their 55" curved OLED TV by $200 to $8,799

LG Electronics just lowered the price of their 55" curved OLED TV (the 55EA9800) by $200 to $8,799 (down from $8,999). LG's TV now costs less than Samsung's curved OLED TV (the KN55S9C) - which still costs $8,999.

Amazon now has only 2 EA9800 TVs in stock (down from 6 a few days ago), and 16 S9C TVs (down from 17 a couple of weeks ago). So it's not much, but some people are actually buying those OLEDs...

UDC to supply Philips with PHOLED material samples for OLED lighting

Universal Display signed a collaboration and evaluation agreement with Philips' OLED lighting unit, under which UDC will start supplying Philips with sample PHOLED materials.

Philips is already using PHOLED materials when producing the Lumiblade Plus panel, but this 45 lm/W panel was designed by Konica Minolta and Philips is only the producer. The G350 Gen 2 OLED panel is probably also using phosphorescent materials (as it achieved 45 lm/W) but perhaps this too uses KM's design. Philips expects the G350 Gen3 to achieve 55 lm/W, so probably the new PHOLED materials will go into that panel in 2014.

Sweden's Taby Centrum shopping mall installs a huge 1100-panel blackbody OLED chandelier

One of Swedens' largest shopping malls, the Taby Centrum near Stockholm has been recently renovated. Wanting to create an "exceptional oasis of light", they cooperated with OLED lighting maker Blackbody to install a huge centerpiece in its grand entrance and several OLED "trees" in the shopping areas.

The centerpiece is an I.RAIN chandelier (designed by Thierry Gaugain) that is 9 meters high and 9 meters in diameter. It has 1,100 OLED panels, but weighs just 180 Kg. This is one of the world's largest OLED installations, if not the largest one. The chandelier is placed directly above a piano and can be seen from far away - the perfect landmark for the shopping mall.

PPG expands is OLED emitter production capacity to support UDC's demands

PPG Industries opened a new OLED materials production facility at PPG’s Barberton, Ohio plant. This new facility will be able to handle the expanded development and production of Universal Display's PHOLED materials.

PPG is UDC's exclusive manufacturer of emitter materials, and this new facility provides the two companies with the resources to meet the high-volume needs of the growing OLED display and lighting industries.