Supply chain integration essential for ramping up foldable smartphones, says DigiTimes

While the release of high-priced foldable smartphones is still in the initial stage of testing market reaction, handset brands will need to overcome issues including securing steady supply from the upstream and integrating the use of related new materials before the market can take off.

Samsung Electronics led the industry by unveiling its Galaxy Fold and said that the foldable gadget, built with its in-house-developed Infinity Flex Display technology, brings together materials, engineering and display innovations.

The Galaxy Fold has a display size of 4.6 inches when folded, and after the model is extended, it looks like a tablet with its screen size enlarged to 7.3 inches. The Galaxy Fold will be available in the US in the second quarter of 2019 with a suggest retail price starts at US$1,980.

The price of the Galaxy Fold is lucrative and should encourage other smartphone vendors, particularly China-based players, to jump on the bandwagon, according to some industry observers who estimate first-year shipments of the Galaxy Fold are likely to reach about one million units.

With respect to new technology and materials, Samsung said it invented a new polymer layer and created a display around 50% thinner than the typical smartphone display. The new material makes Galaxy Fold flexible and tough.