The ubiquitous smartphone form factor of today could well be a thing of the past in five years’ time if a prediction by the co-president of Lenovo's mobile business group, Mr. Aymar de Lencquesaing, holds up. According to Mr. de Lencquesaing, smartphones with flexible displays could very well be commercially available by then. What’s more, such devices are also expected to bring along a whole host of new opportunities hitherto unexplored by the consumer technology industry. The company had recently showed off a concept Android device called the CPlus, which comes with a flexible 4.26-inch display and can be wrapped around the wrist just like a regular wristwatch. Although the device is just a prototype and a commercial version is unlikely to see the light of day any time soon, Lenovo indicated that it is bullish about the prospects of such devices becoming commonplace in the not-too-distant future.
Speaking to CNBC at the Viva Technology conference in Paris last week, the head of Lenovo’s mobile business refused to give an ETA for its bendable smartphones, but said that five years is a very realistic time frame, given that Lenovo has already been working on such devices for a while now. He, however, was quick to mention that in spite of Lenovo's work with flexible display panels and their implementation in consumer oriented products, “the equation of technology, novelty and price point” means that regular customers won’t get a chance to get their hands on Lenovo-manufactured bendable smartphones any time soon. While that may be the case with Lenovo, recent reports had suggested that Samsung may bring its own bendable smartphone as early as next year, although such reports have not been validated officially by the company.
Meanwhile, Lenovo is not just experimenting with bendable smartphones, but also with devices that come with support for Google’s augmented reality platform – Tango. The company recently launched the Phab 2 Pro, which, as the name suggests, is a phablet with a 6.44-inch display panel and is the first device to officially come with support for Tango. For the uninitiated, Tango originated in Google’s ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects) laboratories and uses 3D imaging technology to enable mobile devices to detect their positions relative to the world around them. The company, meanwhile, also hinted that it will soon look to expand its operations beyond the online channels in India, where unlike its laptop and desktop computers, its mobile products are sold exclusively on e-commerce sites like Flipkart and Amazon India.