The world’s first bendable phone and it’s Chinese
Moxi Group, a relatively unknown startup, based in Chongqing, China is competing to become the world’s first bendable smartphone seller. With their eyes set on industry giant Samsung Electronics Co., which has also shown interest in flexible display and touchscreen technology. The company has stated that it will ship 100,000 of the these unique smartphone devices in 2016. The device will sell for a price of $765 (5,000 yuan) each.
The bendable smartphone is a rectangular device that can be curled into a bracelet and worn on the wrist. The flexible touchscreen will work in both the curled and straight positions, giving the users the ability to wear their smartphone as a wearable device or keep it in their pockets.
Chongsheng Yu, Moxi Group’s executive vice president said that the company will be producing black and white bendable touchscreen display smartphones for the first run, with color touchscreen display smartphones later on.
“Black and white phones are much easier to make,” said Chongsheng Yu. “The color model power usage is also much higher than that of the black and white unit. We’ll sell in China and if there’s demand overseas, we’ll look into it.”
Chongsheng Yu also said the bendable phone is based on e-ink, which is also used in Amazon’s Kindle devices, but it’s superior than what’s been seen before because it uses better touchscreen capabilities. All the parts and components are packed in the end of the device, instead of the standard placement behind the touchscreen. By doing this, the device’s touchscreen is free to bend and flex with one of its end in contact with the other components. The touchscreen will basically bend into a full circle and connect to the component containing end in the fashion of a bracelet. The touchscreen is based on graphene technology which makes them more conductive and resilient that other touchscreens.
“If you make a working, bendable phone then it’s a massive market,” Aravind Vijayaraghavan, a graphene researcher at Manchester University said. “If they are going to release it commercially this year I’d be thoroughly impressed. If you have a low resolution black and white screen that is not terribly reliable, then that’s not a commercial prospect.”
“If they’re using flexible e-ink then it’s a real loser,” stated Roel Vertegaal, director of the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University in Canada, which showed off its own prototype of a bendable phone using the technology five years ago. “It was the only flexible technology we could get, but the colors are poor, the contrasts are poor and you can’t play videos on it.”
Moxi Group is no stranger to graphene and the technology related, the company’s official corporate name is Chongqing Graphene Tech Co. and they are making all the efforts to deliver the product they are soon to be bragging about. The company is compelled to become the world’s first bendable smartphone and boost its sales in a $423 billion market that is starting to decline for the first time ever.