It used to be a race to the biggest, highest-resolution screen, but now manufacturers have their eyes on a bigger prize. Samsung is intending to implement flexible displays in future smartphones and tablets next year. While Nokia’s intriguing technology appeared to be more of a concept, PC World reports that Samsung is quite serious about bringing flexible screen technology to its mobile phones just past the crest of 2012.

“The flexible display, we are looking to introduce sometime in 2012, hopefully the earlier part,” said spokesman Robert Yi during an earnings call. “The application probably will start from the handset side.”

Nokia recently debuted its take on flexible screen technology at Nokia World in London. The Finnish smartphone giant’s Kinetic devices could be bent and twisted in different positions to control portions of the user interface. Whether or not Samsung will connect physical manipulation with their phone user interfaces is uncertain.

Flexible screen technology is certainly a cool concept, though its place in the mobile landscape is a bit nebulous. Would consumers be able to adapt to a phone that looked like it walked out of a Dr. Seuss book? And the sudden gold rush to the technology by two of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers is rather peculiar. Is this where smartphones and tablets are headed? Are we taking a few shortcuts on our path to nanotechnology, as conceptualized by Nokia’s Morph demonstration? Only the future will know.

[Via: PC World]