- by Chris Smith - BGR - Monday, March 4, 2019
The Galaxy Fold is hardly the best looking foldable smartphone of the first wave of foldable devices that were just unveiled, but that doesn’t mean Samsung doesn’t have a significant advantage over Huawei. The Korean giant develops its own smartphone display tech, whereas Huawei has to buy it from other suppliers. And Samsung Display happens to be the market leader of OLED smartphone screens. Therefore, it’s not surprising to hear that Samsung is ready to support foldable iPhone and Pixel phones, as it has supplied foldable screen samples to both Apple and Google.
Apple is widely expected to launch its own foldable iPhone at some point in the near future, but not sooner than 2020. This year’s iPhone XS successors will keep in place the same design used last year.
Google, meanwhile, has already worked with Samsung on optimizing Android for flagship handsets and is developing a third operating system that would work on any mobile device in the future, including foldables. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a foldable Pixel phone in the years to come.
Samsung is interested in winning orders from both companies, a report from Korean site ETNews suggests.
Samsung has reportedly supplied Apple a 7.2-inch foldable display for iPhones, a screen that’s 0.1-inch smaller than the Galaxy Fold’s display. Samsung also sent a sample to Google, the same report notes.
Samsung isn’t interested in keeping its foldable screen tech exclusive to the Galaxy Fold series, as it did before with flexible OLED screen tech used in the Galaxy S and Note lines. The report says that Samsung has also pitched its foldable screen tech to Huawei and Oppo, two Chinese smartphone makers that have unveiled or teased their own foldable handsets.
Samsung can currently manufacture some 200,000 foldable display units per month or up to 2.4 million units per year. The Galaxy Fold, meanwhile, isn’t expected to exceed one million units in the first year, as Samsung is going to test the market with the first foldable handset. But Samsung can expand screen production considerably and reach up to 10 million units per year if there’s demand for foldable devices.
A separate ETNews story says that the Galaxy Fold’s 7.29-inch OLED screen cost 2.04 times more than the Galaxy S10e’s 5.8-inch display, citing research from Ubisearch.
With that in mind, it makes perfect sense to see Samsung shop its foldable screen tech around, as there’s plenty of money to be made by supplying Apple, Google, and other companies looking to make foldable iPhones, Pixels, and other devices.