Report: Samsung Flexible Phones Coming in 2017

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Samsung may release its first bendable smartphone next year.

Bloomberg tips two new flexible-display handsets, including one model that folds in half like a cosmetic compact. The other will sport a 5-inch screen that unfurls into a display as large at 8 inches.

Citing "people familiar with the matter," Bloomberg suggests the OLED devices could be unveiled as soon as early 2017—perhaps at February's annual Mobile World Congress. Codenamed "Project Valley," the bendable-screen gadgets are unlikely to launch under the Galaxy S name, Bloomberg says.

A Samsung spokeswoman declined to comment on the rumors and speculation.

The news comes about three years after Samsung showed off its flexible "Youm" display at CES 2013, tipping "a whole new line" of elastic OLED handsets. Since then, it has introduced its Galaxy Edge smartphones (above)—with a display that curves slightly around the gadget's horizontal sides.

In March, Samsung earned a US patent for a bendable phone, featuring a screen that, like the second device described by Bloomberg, allows users to pull one side of the display to reveal more real estate. Last month, it also showed off a prototype display that would allow a smartphone to be rolled up and put in your pocket.

One of the most important components of a flexible smartphone, however, is the equally flexible battery that powers it. In October, Samsung SDI, the company's battery-manufacturing arm, highlighted two slim-and-limber batteries—the Band and Stripe—aimed at sophisticated wearables like smartwatches, necklaces, headbands, T-shirt accessories, and more—including, perhaps, a bendable smartphone.

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