Samsung Electronics’ newer generation foldable smartphones, the Galaxy Z Flip and the Galaxy Z Fold 2, use Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) that has been developed by Samsung Display. However, the company has plans to develop its own foldable glass technology, and to that end, it has collaborated with Corning.
Samsung is at the forefront of the foldable smartphone segment, and it wants to internalize the development of key materials for such devices. Foldable glass is a critical component for foldable phones. It is being reported that the South Korean smartphone giant is developing foldable glass using Corning’s substrate. In comparison, Samsung Display’s Ultra-Thin Glass panels are made using German firm Schott’s glass substrate.
Apparently, Samsung Electronics chose Corning as Schott signed an exclusive supply contract with Samsung Display. Corning has been reportedly developing bendable glass internally, but its development started later than Schott’s. Now, the American glassmaker has received large orders from Samsung Electronics for glass substrate.
Corning’s spokesperson told ETNews that it is currently supplying bendable glass substrate to a firm, but they can’t reveal the name of its client. Samsung’s smartphone division is reportedly looking to develop its in-house foldable glass and force Samsung Display to lower the price of its panels. However, it could be difficult for Samsung Display to lower prices further as it is currently difficult to improve the yield in the substrate cutting process.
Samsung Display currently only supplies UTG to Samsung Electronics, but it is expected to diversify its client list in the future and reduce the reliance on Samsung Electronics. Huawei seems to have recently placed orders from Samsung Display for its future foldable smartphones. Samsung’s display manufacturing arm is pegged to be the number one foldable display panel supplier for a few years.