Samsung is looking to extend its lead in the foldable smartphone market with a new and improved UTG, which will be developed in collaboration with Corning, the makers of the popular Gorilla Glass.
For its first foldable, Samsung resorted to using polyimide plastic for the flexible display, but it didn’t age too well. Plastic panels are very susceptible to damage and scratches. On the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, it implemented a new species of ultra-thin glass which brings the best of both worlds — durability of glass and the flexibility of plastics. This was a big step in the right direction, and is expected to make an appearance on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 as well.
To further its implementation on future foldables, Samsung is in talks with Corning to set up a new UTG supply chain in the US, claims a Korean insider. This will allow Samsung to not only reduce the component price, but also bring down the weight of the film. The one on the Z Flip is sourced from Dowoo Insys and Schott, and is apparently a little too heavy for its liking.
Corning has been working on its own folding glass for flexible displays, and is expected to unveil its first UTG later this year. It already has a monopoly for smartphone displays with its Gorilla Glass, but had been absent from the foldable smartphone scene. It will look to bring its expertise with durability and scratch-resistance to a new form factor.
This development also confirms that ultra-thin glass is going to be a big part of Samsung’s foldable future. We could see Corning UTG-touting foldables as early as 2021, with the Galaxy Fold 3 supposed to be one of the beneficiaries of this partnership.