Samsung Electronics Decides to Introduce Its Foldable Smartphones only to Its Customers and Not to Public

Feb 09, 2017

Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display are not going to introduce their foldable Smartphones and foldable displays to public at MWC (Mobile World Congress) that is going to take place in Spain in this month. However they are going to introduce their new foldable Smartphones and foldable displays to other companies that are invited to MWC at a private room. Their plan is to predict demands for foldable products after looking at responses from markets with its customers at the center.
According to industries on the 8th, Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display have decided to introduce their foldable Smartphones and foldable panels to its customers and not to general public at MWC.
Both companies have been preparing foldable displays, which are major components of foldable Smartphones, in order to introduce them to general public at MWC. Although they finished preparation internally by making videos of new prototypes and others, they have decided only to introduce their prototypes to their customers at the end.
Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display are planning to introduce both in-foldable products that bend panels inwardly like books and out-foldable products that bend panels outwardly to their customers. Although there is a higher chance that out-foldable products will be commercialized, they want to find out responses from markets by introducing both products.
There is a possibility that device manufacturers might think about purchasing foldable displays after looking at Samsung’s foldable prototypes. Generally supply contracts of panels are prepared at least one year prior due to timing of production and supply. Samsung Display can predict demands for its displays in the future by examining responses from the markets towards its foldable displays at MWC.

Concept of foldable Smartphone introduced by Samsung Electronics (Picture = capture of Samsung Electronics’ YouTube page)
<Concept of foldable Smartphone introduced by Samsung Electronics (Picture = capture of Samsung Electronics’ YouTube page) >

Samsung Electronics has not decided on timing for commercialization of foldable Smartphones yet. However it is heard that it has secured technologies that are able to mass-produce flexible substrates that are major components, CPI (Colorless Polyimide) film that will replace cover glass, and instrument modules.
However because this is the world’s first attempt on flexible displays and flexible Smartphones, Samsung is coordinating on appropriate timing for mass-production in order to maximize credibility of quality of its products and to secure clear appealing points for users.
“Major partners are hoping that Samsung Electronics will commercialize its flexible products as soon as possible because they believe that quality and performance of components that are supplied for foldable Smartphones are at a level where these components can be commercialized.” said a representative for an industry. “Timing on commercialization will depend on what kind of responses Samsung Electronics get from MWC.”
Although LENOVO introduced a prototype for its foldable Smartphone in last year, experts from these industries saw that performance and credibility of major components did not meet the level where they can be commercialized. They pointed out that level of completion was still lacking as parts that are bent when Smartphones are folded or laid out were not smooth and there were gaps in between. They also suggested that LENOVO’s foldable Smartphone could not be seen as a definite foldable Smartphone since it did not use CPI and used regular polyester film.
“After Samsung introduced an image of a concept of a foldable Smartphone in 2014, it has been preparing to commercialize foldable Smartphones on full-scale.” said a different representative for an industry. “Expectations towards commercialization of foldable Smartphones have grown as Samsung Electronics’ technologies have developed significantly in the past three years.”
Regarding how Samsung Electronics is going to only introduce foldable products to its customers and not to public at MWC, a representative for Samsung Electronics said that Samsung Electronics cannot confirm any information.
Staff Reporter Bae, Okjin | withok@etnews.com

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