Samsung could fix one of the more prominent Galaxy Fold imperfections next year, as sources cited by ETNews claim that the company will abandon its transparent polyimide solution in favor of flexible ultra-thin glass (UTG).
The source states that Samsung Display is already manufacturing the foldable displays for its next foldable smartphone model, adding that another company called DOWOO INSYS also began manufacturing the first batch of UTG panels for Samsung.
Samsung to have exclusivity over DOWOO INSYS' UTG solution
The recent report states that DOWOO INSYS and SCHOTT AG are the two best ultra-thin glass manufacturers in the industry, with the former having the upper edge and “the best technical skills when it comes to UTG” according to industry sources.
Interestingly, if the report is correct then DOWOO INSYS has already agreed to become Samsung's exclusive UTG panel supplier. Our favorite smartphone maker is currently the face of the foldable form factor and Samsung will likely want to maintain its favorable position in this market segment. Securing the best UTG panel manufacturer as an exclusive supplier could give Samsung another advantage over the competition.
UTG might not solve the flexible screen vulnerability issue, yet
One of the main reasons why Samsung might switch to an ultra-thin glass solution for the next Galaxy Fold is to eliminate the crease that forms on the flexible panel along the hinge.
One source believes the UTG material will be employed for Samsung's next clamshell foldable phone codenamed “Bloom,” but another unnamed industry insider isn't as hopeful. The problem with ultra-thin flexible glass is that, even though it may be more aesthetically-pleasing, it's even more fragile than transparent polyimide, whose characteristics already led to polarizing opinions and negative reviews. It's also costlier to produce while having a lower yield rate on the manufacturing line, and this wouldn't help Samsung in achieving less luxurious launch prices for its future foldable devices.
Having said that, some industry watchers are reserved and believe it may take “some time” for UTG to become a viable solution for Samsung's next commercial foldable phone. Nevertheless, UTG seems to be the way of the future for Samsung's foldable segment, but only time will tell if it will be implemented next year.