While the Galaxy S10 looks very specialindeed, Samsung has something much more exciting (and a lot more expensive) coming very soon. Unfortunately, it won’t be anything like the release you were expecting…
‘Great Secret Features’ and ‘Nasty Surprises’ are my regular columns investigating the best features / biggest problems hidden behind the headlines.
Samsung’s folding Galaxy F (concept) will not be mass producedPHONE DESIGNER / NIEUWEMOBIEL
Impressive detective work by the ever-reliable PatentlyApple, brings us news that Samsung cannot mass produce its potentially game-changing Galaxy F folding smartphone. And, consequently, this will have a major impact on price and availability.
Why? Perhaps inevitably, it all comes down to the folding display.
Since traditional makers of tough glass, like Corning, cannot produce flexible panels, Samsung had to develop a ‘polyimide transparent plastic film’ (a flexible and durable clear adhesive) to bond to the folding glass instead. The production giveaway, however, comes from Samsung’s choice of supplier.
PatentlyApple reveals Samsung has ignored major South Korean supplier Kolon Industries in favour of smaller Japanese firm Sumitomo Chemical. The reason: “because they could meet small supply orders” whereas Kolon is focused on mass-market.
And, as anyone who has studied business knows, production scale is what determines price. The more you build of something, the greater the scale of economy (and profit margins). As a result, the Galaxy F looks set to hit the market for an eye-watering $2,000.
But not all is lost.
Folding Galaxy F conceptPHONE DESIGNER / NIEUWEMOBIEL
Perhaps the most interesting aspect to the Galaxy F launch (despite repeated delays), is Samsung’s confidence in the phone. Samsung’s Mobile Division CEO DJ Koh has been particularly vocal in recent months saying “It’s time to deliver” and stressing the company wants to be first to market.
Of course, as any Apple fan will tell you, being first to market is far less important than bringing the product to market when it’s fully realised. And looking at the Galaxy F, that now seems limited to generation two.
That said, with Samsung hinting the Galaxy F could be unveiled as early as November, the company deserves the benefit of the doubt. And PatentlyApple says Samsung has laid the groundwork to use Kolon as a mass-market producer for future generations, should the Galaxy F impress as much in reality as it does on paper.
Until then, however, it is the Galaxy S10 is where consumers should really focus their interest. With Koh promising “significant upgrades”, and leaks revealing everything from a subtle shape change, triple rear camera and ’ultrasonic’ in-display readerto 5G support and a true Face ID rival, it is this 10th-anniversary phone which really has the potential to shake-up the market.
Especially while Samsung continues to work out the kinks in its foldable phone…