LG Strikes Deals To Sell Curved Smartphone In U.S.

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/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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