Samsung is a pioneer in collapsible smartphones and has just released the Galaxy Z Fold2 as its third collapsible device. Earlier, it was reported that Samsung Electronics has partnered with Corning to develop foldable glass.
The display, the display cover and hinges are the three key hardware components of a collapsible smartphone. The original Galaxy Fold used CPI (colorless polyimide) as a screen-overlay material, but it was not as durable as the UTG (ultra-thin glass) used by the other two devices, Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Z Fold2.
In fact, Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display are two separate companies. The latter provides OLED panels for almost all devices produced by the former, with the exception of the upcoming Galaxy M51.
Samsung Display also provides UTG for Samsung Electronics, so Samsung Electronics has to pay a significant fee for display and display cover supplies.
Back in April, a report by ETNews in South Korea noted that Samsung Electronics was seeking to produce its own UTG to reduce the overall manufacturing costs of its collapsible products. The report notes that the UTG used in the Galaxy Z Flip costs $40 per unit, while the flat glass used in a regular smartphone is $2.
This is one of the reasons that collapsible products are expensive. But that could change as Samsung Electronics and Corning work together to develop their own UTG technology. That means Samsung Electronics will continue to increase its production in the coming months, allowing it to become self-sufficient and compete with Samsung Display. In the coming years, this will further lead to competition among other glass panel manufacturers, ultimately reducing the overall cost of collapsible smartphones.