Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Samsung seeks patents for 3 screen covers for its foldables

Samsung Electronics, which already has two foldable smartphones in the market, seems to be upping the ante in this segment as the news is out that it has filed for patents to three different covers.

As of now, Samsung uses a plastic film over the Galaxy Fold’s foldable display and an Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) cover over the Galaxy Z Flip’s foldable screen. 

Samsung apparently was hamstrung by the set-up that its display manufacturing unit was dependent on materials from elsewhere. There were also reports that its display deals were affecting the foldable division's plans.

In the event, Samsung's research team got down to working on in-house display covers (foldable glass) for its foldable devices. It now emerges that the South Korean tech major is set to patent three different screen covers.

"Its film materials lab has filed a patent for polyimide film with the title ‘Poly (Imid-amide) copolymer’ with the Japan Patent Office (JPO). The material could be used on foldable phone screens, substrates for touchscreen panels, optical discs, and various other protective solutions," according to a report in SamMobile.

Samsung Electronics' new screen covers are to be made of polyimide. It has patented for three different types of cover and they are: 1. Polyimide film 2.Polyimide film + UTG 3. UTG

Most foldable phones available in the market like the Huawei Mate X, Huawei Mate Xs and Motorola Razr use a plastic cover for their flexible OLED panels. Samsung's Z Flip is the only device to feature UTG (Ultra Thin Glass), which is believed to be more durable.

Samsung Foldables to get cheaper?

Samsung Electronics outsources both the plastic cover and UTG for its foldables from Samsung Display, which is a separate company. According to reports, it costs Samsung around $40 to have UTG used on its Galaxy Z Flip compared to $2 for normal flat glass. It was reported to be the reason 

Now with the patents and in-house manufactre that cost can come down substantially if it find manufacturers or manfactures itself the new covers.  If it indeed happens, it is logical to expect it to have a positive impact on the prices of Samsung Foldables.

As of now, Samsung is expected to release two more foldables including a cheaper Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Fold 2 later this year.

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