Samsung testing new display panels, could open door to flexible tablets and digitizer-less styluses

December 4, 2013
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Back in November Samsung’s CEO JK Shin revealed that their long-term goal was to dethrone Apple in the tablet market and become the “most beloved” company in the world. In order to accomplish this feat, Samsung is obviously going to have to step up its game a little.

So how will Samsung’s tablet strategy differ going forward? For starters, the company is rumored to be preparing to introduce larger-sized (12.2-inch+) displays in the not-too-distant future. Samsung’s ambitions in the tablet space don’t end there, either.

According to the Korean media, the company is planning to replace the indium tin oxide touch panels it uses for its tablets in favor of metal mesh panels. These metal mesh panels are allegedly 20% to 30% cheaper than current indium tin oxide-based panels, and are also said to be easier to produce. This could help with any possible supply and demand issues when it comes to producing panels.

If all goes well, the goal is to release a tablet with a metal mesh panel as early as the first half of 2014.

With less production costs involved with the display panels, Samsung may even be able to deliver better products at even cheaper price points – though that’s speculation on our part.

Aside from lowering production costs, metal mesh displays have a few other advantages. For one thing, they have low surface resistance, which allows them to bend easily, meaning they could be used for flexible tablet displays in the future.

Another benefit of metal mesh is that these panels will reportedly make it possible to create a pen stylus technology that doesn’t need a digitizer embedded in the touchscreen to work. This means that adding S-Pen tech to a Samsung device would be cheaper, and could even open the door to budget devices equipped with styluses.

So when might we see a Samsung tablet with a metal mesh panel? If the Korean media proves correct, Samsung has already received 7 and 8-inch metal mesh touch panels from domestic and oversea suppliers and is conducting tests as we speak. If all goes well, the goal is to release a tablet with a metal mesh panel as early as the first half of 2014.

Keep in mind that Samsung has yet to confirm any of this, so speculation is advised.

It’s also important to note that Samsung isn’t alone when it comes to experimenting with metal mesh touch panels. Just last month, LG Innotek also showed off their own metal mesh touchpanel, though LG has yet to reveal any devices that will use the technology.

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