Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) may be about to announce a curved smartphone with a plastic display called the Galaxy Round, reports Lance Whitney for CNET. Unfortunately, the phone itself will still be rigid; it’s only the screen that will be flexible.

Samsung galaxy s5

Samsung has already trademarked the name Galaxy Round

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) has already trademarked the name Galaxy Round, although that doesn’t reveal much about the device itself. The Korean news site Asiae has said that Samsung will reveal more information about the phone on October 10, and Samsung has previously hinted at a flexible display smartphone, but there is still a lot of speculation at this point.

Aesthetics aside, it’s not obvious what advantage a rigid, curved phone would really have over a standard rectangular phone. It might be slightly more comfortable when held against the face, but smartphones are used at least as much for their apps as for placing calls and typing on a curved surface could be annoying. If the curve is too pronounced it would also be awkward to put into a slim pocket or purse, so the curve will probably be fairly subtle.

Galaxy Round is going to be a one shot fad

If it sounds like the Galaxy Round is going to be a one shot fad, destined for internet mockery, bear in mind that a curved, rigid version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is also in the works and LG is expected to release a flexible display smartphone called the G Flex by the end of the year, so this may become a trend.

Whether curved or straight, the one major advantage that a flexible display would have over glass is that it can better absorb a shock and is less likely to break. Many people who own a smartphone or tablet carry it in some sort of case to absorb the shock of a fall, but that may be unnecessary with these new phones. If the display is also more resistant to scratching, that could be enough of a benefit to really push sales.

And for anyone who is unimpressed by the idea of a slightly curved phone, at least we are now one step closer to having fully flexible tablets that can be rolled up and carried along like a newspaper.