Demonstrations of 'bendable' screens have been a staple of technology shows ever since there were screens small enough for us to carry.
This week, Samsung has given the strongest sign yet that the hi-tech devices might become reality.
The company demonstrated 'bendable' AMOLED screens 4.5 inches across and just 0.3mm thick in January this year.
Reports this week hint that phones using the technology - which can be 'rolled up' and survive hammer blows - will appear in the second quarter of next year.
The technology relies on atom-thick layers of 'graphene' - sheets of carbon atoms - sandwiched together, protecting a layer of liquid crystal 'screen'.
Earlier this year, reports leaked that Samsung had the capacity to manufacture large amounts of the screen by 'early 2012' - but no one knew what they might be for.
Samsung later released pictures of a concept phone using the technology - the Galaxy Skin.
The phone would be no mere novelty.
Phones using Graphene screens would be practically unbreakable, and offer an instant advantage over every other smartphone on the market.
Now, according to reports in the International Business Times, the handsets could be on sale early next year.
The report was remarkably specific, stating that the handset would offer specifications including a high-resolution 800×480 flexible AMOLED screen, eight megapixel camera and 1Gb of RAM as well as a 1.2GHz processor.
Those specifications sound suspiciously similar to the spec of Samsung's current flagship, the Galaxy S II, however.
Will Findlater, editor of Stuff magazine told Mail Online today, 'AMOLED is already the mobile screen technology to beat, so if it’s as good as promised, flexible AMOLED could put an end to smashed smartphone displays - and tablets, which are even more fragile.'
Samsung's Galaxy Skin - unveiled as a concept earlier this year - could be on sale as early as Spring 2012, according to recent reports.
Layers of 'Graphene' - atom-thick layers of carbon - will be used to create paper-thin 'foldable' screens in the Samsung Galaxy Skin.
The potential for tablets that can fold to the size of a smartphone is especially exciting – you could have two gadgets for the price of one,' says Findlater.
It's perhaps wise to be a little sceptical however.
Samsung has made no official announcement regarding the product, and while they definitely can manufacture the technology - it was freely on show earlier this year - the 'gulf' between that and a working phone ready to go into mass production is huge.
'Flexible' screens have been demonstrated in various forms since as early as 2004 - with tech insiders suggesting that laptops or e-Book readers might one day take the form of a 'pen' housing a processor with a 'sheet' of paper-like screen wrapped around them.by "environment clean generations"