Samsung is reported to have sold fewer than 10,000 of its Galaxy Round smartphones – the vendor’s first to feature a curved screen – with claims it is to end production after an initial batch of 50,000.
According to BusinessKorea, the vendor was not looking for Galaxy Round to generate large sales, but instead enable it to land the crown of first vendor to use a flexible screen in a commercial device (although LG Electronics has run it close with its G Flex).
The report also cited an industry observer who noted that because Samsung has not been able to mass-produce curved batteries, the middle part of Galaxy Round is thick, and that the screen is “not perfect, with additional tempered glass, making the product thick and heavy”.
This means its only selling point is its grip, which taking into account the high price, means it is not setting the world alight.
While Samsung has been accused of offering copycat devices by some critics, it does have a track record of working with new technologies, and in the past has developed devices that have not seen full commercial release.
With Galaxy Round being its first to use flexible display technology, it can be seen as a proof-of-concept targeting consumers who desire cutting-edge technology, rather than a mass-market proposition.
What will be more significant is when Samsung begins adding curved screens to its mass-market devices, including how it markets the potential benefits above and beyond unusual form factors.
The same BusinessKorea report also said that Samsung had sold just 50,000 of its Galaxy Gear smart watches – a number that the vendor has subsequently disputed.
Like Galaxy Round, this device is something of a toe-in-the-water for Samsung, although it is more widely available and is being more heavily promoted.