With the Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung introduced the Ultra Thin Glass panel to protect the foldable phone’s screen from scratches. The new protective material offers a glass-like feel, something that was missing from the Galaxy Fold’s plastic protective layer.
The Ultra Thin Glass and the foldable OLED panel used in the Galaxy Z Flip are developed by Samsung Display, the South Korean firm’s display manufacturing arm. Samsung Display is the major shareholder in Dowoo Insys, which manufactures foldable glass using German firm SCHOTT’s base material. The Ultra Thin Glass is then merged with the foldable OLED panel, which is then supplied to Samsung Electronics as a single module.
Samsung Electronics wants to develop thicker and cheaper foldable glass
It is now being reported that Samsung Electronics, the business division which makes smartphones, is planning to manufacture foldable glass on its own. There are two reasons why the company wants in-house development of foldable glass: better performance and lower price. Samsung Electronics reportedly wants a more durable foldable glass, which is at least twice as thick as the current version of Ultra Thin Glass. The company reportedly thinks that its current supplier can’t make such a foldable glass.
Moreover, each Ultra Thin Glass panel used in the Galaxy Z Flip costs $40, while the tempered glass used in other phones cost just $2. Samsung Electronics wants to improve the yield of foldable glass and reduce the manufacturing cost. The company has reportedly started working with various foldable glass manufacturing companies for the development of foldable glass. If Samsung Electronics succeeds in making a relatively thicker and cheaper foldable glass, it would be a game-changer.
Samsung Display plans to supply Ultra Thin Glass panels to other smartphone manufacturers who are planning to launch foldable phones. The Galaxy Fold 2, which is expected to be released later this year, will reportedly use Ultra Thin Glass as well.
Only time will tell if Samsung Electronics succeeds in making better foldable glass than Samsung Display. Still, we will surely see a tough competition between the two companies in the future.