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LG strikes deals to sell curved smartphone in US

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 11:21am
The Associated Press

LG spokesman Frank Lee talks about the LG G Flex curved smartphone battery during the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Las Vegas. The phone, already available in some foreign markets, will debut in the United States in the Spring. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — LG Electronics is bringing its smartphone with a curved six-inch screen to the U.S. later this year.

The deals announced Monday with wireless carriers AT&T Inc., Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. will give U.S. consumers their first chance to buy LG's "G Flex." The device is being touted as the first step in the smartphone's evolution from a rectangle that doesn't bend into a device that someday will be able to roll up like a scroll or fold like a wallet.

The G Flex is a long way from reaching that goal. Besides a concave screen, the G Flex's other distinguishing features are a curved battery and a special coating designed to automatically repair minor scratches to the exterior.

LG Electronics began selling the G Flex in South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong late last year.

The precise timing of the G Flex's U.S. release or how much the phone will cost hasn't been disclosed yet. Those details are expected to come in the next few weeks.

The G Flex has been selling for more than $900 in other markets, but major U.S. wireless carriers routinely reduce the upfront cost of smartphones in return for two-year commitments to Internet data plans.

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