It’s been three months since the rumor mill first churned out an unusual Galaxy M41 render, and there’s finally an update on Samsung’s upcoming budget smartphone. Despite being an otherwise pretty blanket entry-level product, it now appears the device will mark a major milestone for the South Korean tech giant. Namely, the Galaxy M41 should become the first Samsung handset with an OLED panel from someone other than Samsung (Display) itself.
That someone would be TCL’s China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT). Industry insiders from the Far East claim Samsung already decided on utilizing the said screens, though it’s also still in the process of sampling alternative modules made by BOE, another major panel manufacturer from the same country.
An end of an era for Samsung Display
The display earmarked for the Galaxy M41 reportedly features a 6.67-inch diagonal with support for FHD+ resolutions up to 2,340 by 1,080 pixels, which amounts to Samsung’s well-established 19.5:9 aspect ratio. For added context, that would be the same CSOT-made OLED panels already adopted by the Xiaomi Mi 10 and Motorola Edge earlier this year.
Assuming everything goes well, the Galaxy M41 will mark the beginning of the end of Samsung’s utter dominance in this mobile display niche. While one would assume Samsung Display won’t be too happy about that, Samsung Electronics certainly won’t mind the inevitable decrease in smartphone manufacturing costs. That’s because it’s still bidding on its sister firm’s components like any other OEM, so some added competition from China is bound to improve its profit margins – if only to a minor degree. Yet every little bit helps in the entry-level price range for Android smartphones, a fiercely contested segment in virtually all parts of the world whose profitability is debatable at best.
The Galaxy M41 should be official in a matter of months. Industry sources previously claimed the Galaxy S21 line will use BOE OLEDs, though it was recently reported that wouldn’t be the case as BOE’s displays didn’t pass Samsung’s testing process.