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Business

Samsung launches smartphone with curved screen

South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung has launched the world's first smartphone with a curved display. The variant of the Galaxy Note takes the firm a step closer to producing unbreakable screens.

With the launch of its Galaxy Round Wednesday, Samsung sought to cement its lead in the slowing market for high-end smartphones.

"It's a step forward for having unbreakable gadgets and flexible devices eventually," Hana Daetoo Securities analyst Nam Dae-jong said in a statement. "But for now, the new phone is more of a symbolic product."

Curved displays are on the frontlines of Samsung's innovation battle with its rivals such as Apple and LG Electronics. The Galaxy Round was reported to include a tilt function which would allow users to check information such as missed calls and battery life even when the home screen was off.

Other components lag behind

But other eye-catching features seemed to be missing, leading market experts to believe that the smartphone was unlikely to become a hit right away just because of its curved screen.

Samsung indicated the phone would initially be available only in South Korea and added no decision had been made yet about releasing it in other markets.

Samsung is one of the world's two global display makers along with LG to already have manufactured curved TVs using advanced screens with OLED technology. Curved displays are considered to be a vital component of future unbreakable devices, with batteries now also having to take new forms to support flexible screens that can be rolled out, attached to uneven surfaces or even stretched.

hg/hc (Reuters, AP)