Samsung is reportedly planning to increase the production of foldable displays for smartphones. The company’s display manufacturing arm makes around 260,000 units per month, and it plans to increase it to about 600,000 units per month by the end of May 2020 and take the number even higher, up to a million units, by the end of the year.
Since the demand for phones with foldable screens is increasing, Samsung Display wants to supply foldable display panels not only to Samsung Electronics but also to other smartphone makers. The South Korean company is going to build additional facilities with its module plants in Vietnam. The company will continue to develop additional facilities to ramp up the production of foldable display panels.
Philoptics, a display production equipment manufacturer and the only brand to supply cutting equipment to Samsung Display, has announced that it plans to supply $13.8 million and $5.84 million worth of equipment by the end of May and July, respectively. These timelines match closely with Samsung Display’s schedule for an extension of its facilities.
While the manufacturing process of foldable screens is said to be similar to that of normal flexible OLED panels, it differs when it comes to module manufacturing step when components and materials are attached to it. Hence, the company is also investing in the expansion of its module lines.
The smartphone market is going through a stagnation phase, and Samsung wants to grab this opportunity to have the upper hand over its OLED display manufacturing rivals such as BOE and LG. Right now, the company has achieved a breakthrough in foldable displays as it has been able to create Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) that can bend and offer better protection against scratches compared to plastic layers.
Samsung is using foldable screens in the Galaxy Fold, which was launched last year, and the Galaxy Z Flip that was launched last month. The company plans to bring a successor to the Galaxy Fold later this year, and the phone is expected to feature Ultra Thin Glass, which is also used in the Galaxy Z Flip.