Seoul - South Korea's LG Electronics said on Tuesday it would start selling its first curved-screen smartphone - seen as a first step to fully flexible products - in Europe next month.

The G-Flex was introduced in Seoul in October and will hit stores in some 20 European nations, including France, Germany, Britain and Sweden, the firm said in a statement.

The G-Flex is curved on the vertical axis of the handset, which LG says offers a more immersive viewing experience and fits the contour of the face.

LG said the new phone - already available in Asia - would also be introduced in the United States by the end of March.

LG, the world's fourth-largest smartphone maker, did not provide any pricing details.

Curved screens are still at a nascent stage in display technology, which is shifting towards flexible panels that are bendable or can even be rolled or folded.

Handset makers including Samsung have launched curved-screen smartphones recently as they seek to stoke consumer interest in the increasingly saturated market with a new technology.

Samsung launched its first curved smartphone - the Galaxy Round - in October to a tepid reception from consumers disappointed by the largely experimental device. - AFP