Quite a few companies have been working to develop flexible and foldable displays for smartphones and Samsung is one of them. The Korean company is now ready to bring smartphones with foldable displays in the market next year. Samsung Display, an affiliate of Samsung Electronics, has announced during the Samsung Investor Forum 2014 held in New York that the company plans to launch smartphones with a flexible display that can be folded in half.
Speaking at the forum, Lee Chang-hoon, VP of business strategic team, Samsung Display, said, “We will secure production capacity of 30,000 to 40,000 [flexible displays each month] by the end of next year. There will be no company [except Samsung] that has this great production capacity by 2016.”
The positive response received by Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge which has a display that curves around the side, has prompted the company to come out with other flexible-display smartphones. LG is its biggest competitor and last year it had launched LG G Flex, the world’s first smartphone with a curved display. After this, Samsung launched the Galaxy Round which too had a curved display.
In order to remain competitive, Samsung is planning to decrease the production costs of its AMOLED displays so that they can compete with LCD displays which are cheaper. This will help to increase the sales of AMOLED devices. “AMOLED is similar in price to LCD, but better capability wise. We are confident that more people will buy AMOLED,” says Lee. “Within three years, we will balance captive account and outside account to 50:50. We will be able to increase volume [sold to others] comprehensively,” he added.
Samsung also plans to reduce the number of its smartphone models by 30% next year. Having too many different models has increased the costs and has also weakened the brand image in absence of proper product identities.
“[Lowering the model number] will allow us a chance to lower the prices of [remaining models] through mass production,” said Robert Yi, senior VP at Samsung Electronics. “In low- to mid-end products, price is the most important, and for high-end products, it is innovation.”
“For high-priced smartphones, innovative factors such as flexible display will be important,” he added.
Lee of Samsung Display hinted that the company may go for a multi-edged smartphone as a successor to the Galaxy Note Edge.