Next Galaxy phone’s screen likely to be unbreakable

Samsung Electronics, the world's leading technology company by revenue, is likely accelerating the launch of its next-generation flagship Galaxy smartphone - which may come with a breakthrough unbreakable screen.

Codenamed 'Project J' after mobile division chief JK Shin, development of the new Galaxy S IV could be aimed for release by as early as April, according to analysts and tech blogs.

And, as smartphones increasingly look alike — the converging form factor — an unbreakable screen could be a big selling point for the Galaxy, which is battling Apple's iPhone to lead the $200-billion plus smartphone market.

The Galaxy S IV is also expected to have bigger and better display, powerful quad-core processing power and a 13-megapixel camera, with picture density improving to 441 pixels per inch (ppi), a big improvement from the Galaxy S III's 306 ppi and better than the iPhone 5's 326 ppi.

"Looking to the first half of 2013, we see evidence of Samsung likely accelerating the release of the Galaxy S IV — compared with May (this year) for the Galaxy S III," said UBS analyst Nicolas Gaudois. "We believe preparations for volume manufacturing of unbreakable plastic substrate displays continue. All in all, we could see a strong products push in the high-end in the first half, followed by other releases." Samsung declined to comment.

Samsung, a major backer of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display, is a frontrunner in developing unbreakable screens, as OLED panels can replace glass substrate with plastic material. Down the road, mobile gadgets could be flexible as well as unbreakable.

"Eventually, they'll have unbreakable and flexible displays. Either the Galaxy S IV or S V will have unbreakable and even possibly flexible and foldable displays by 2014. That's going to be a game-changer," said Mark Newman, an analyst at Stanford Bernstein in Hong Kong.

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