Ladies and gentlemen, our dreams of flexible digital newspapers are nearly within reach: LG just announced that it has begun mass production of a 6-inch, 1024 x 768 e-paper screen that can bend by up to 40 degrees. We haven’t been able to find a press release, but several Korean publications are reporting that the plastic-based screen is shipping to Chinese manufacturers to build e-readers right away, and devices based on the technology could be available in Europe as soon as early April. LG is boasting that at 0.7mm thick, the entire display is as thin as a protective film for a phone’s screen. According to the reports, LG conducted 1.5-meter (about 5 foot) drop tests with the screen and smacked it with a rubber mallet with no ill effect. We’re waiting for the other shoe (or e-reader) to drop, but that sounds positively fantastic. Maybe we’ll get some bendable batteries to go with the screen, some day.
LG competitor Samsung said it might be able to introduce smartphones with flexible screens early this year, but the company’s Liquavista electrowetting displays may not be ready until 2013.