The first Samsung foldable device, the Samsung Galaxy Fold, features an inner display covered in plastic. This plastic is so sensitive that even Samsung admits a hard fingernail press could potentially damage it.
It appears this problem could be a thing of the past for future Samsung devices. Based on industry rumors surrounding an ultra-thin glass (UTG) supplier Samsung has heavily invested in, we could see a Samsung foldable with an inner glass display sooner rather than later.
According to sources speaking with ETNews, Samsung UTG supplier Dowoo Insys is looking to dramatically expand its operations. It is looking for more funding from Samsung — which has already invested 12 billion South Korean won (~$10.3 million) in the company — as well as making plans to build a second factory.
While this news in and of itself isn’t too remarkable, it does suggest that Samsung is ramping up its needs for UTG supplies, which of course suggests a Samsung foldable device with an inner glass display is imminent.
Recently, the company hinted at a clamshell-style Samsung foldable device during the Samsung Developers Conference. It’s possible this device could feature a UTG panel
Information suggests that Dowoo Insys is capable of producing ultra-thin tempered glass that has a thickness of less than 100µm, or about the thickness of a coat of paint. The company allegedly can produce 500,000 panels of this type each day — but not all of those panels are actually commercially viable. If Dowoo Insys is going to supply panels for a future Samsung foldable, it’s going to need to ramp up both its production rate and quality control, which is why today’s news is pretty interesting.
Keep in mind that UTG has more applications than just smartphones. Laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices could benefit from foldable displays, so Dowoo Insys could be slated to become a big player in the glass manufacturing world if Samsung’s interests are sound.