Samsung Electronics reportedly plans to bring glass for its next-gen foldables in-house
The Galaxy Z Flip is a second-generation foldable phone in which protective ultra-thin glass (UTG) saw its debut. This slight yet potentially significant addition to this device category's flexible display could become essential to their uptake among consumers, thanks to improved confidence in their durability. This may be why a report claiming that Samsung now plans to make its own UTG in the future.
The OEM sourced this material from Dowoo Insys, who in turn bought it from the German firm Schott in order to turn it into finished components for the Galaxy Z Flip. These parts were then incorporated into complete OLED panels for the same device by Samsung Display, which sent them to the separate Electronics division of the same company for assembly.
Now, however, ETNews has asserted that Samsung Electronics intends to cut at least some of these parties out of the supply chain for the Z Flip's successors. Ironically, the Display division acquired a major share in Dowoo Insys for similar reasons in 2019.
Therefore, it would seem that the Electronics division has little enough reason to want to manufacture UTG independently. On the other hand, it is possible that this ability would reduce costs in the production of foldable phones for Samsung in the future.
In addition, as bad as such a development might be for companies like Schott, it could have a more positive impact on competition in the market in question. For example, other mobile-device OEMs would have an additional supplier to consider when making first-gen foldables of their own.