Samsung is gearing up for the final release date of the Galaxy Fold
, after the few preview specimens it sent out to tech reviewers and assorted "influencers" were either abused or exhibited strange display artifacts. Korean media is reporting
today that it has actually managed to solve the two glaring problems that emerged during the real-life operation of the Fold.
The cover film has been packaged tighter with the flexible display, and the hinge gap from where dust and debris entered underneath the crease has been fixed, as Samsung's Lee Hyuk Lee has clarified in a presentation during the Electronics Tech Week conference in Korea.
According to the same report, Samsung will try and release the Fold next month in order to beat the Mate X
launch. Said Mate X, however, has now run into its own set of problems, tip insiders. The clear adhesive that Huawei's flexible OLED display supplier BOE uses to fuse the package together is supplied by the Americans from 3M, and that well has dried up when the White House forbade American companies to do business with Huawei. That doesn't bode well for the flexible phones' future in general, but Samsung's Lee is still optimistic:
We need a display that is about a third thinner than the existing OLED displays, and we need to develop software that can be used to create new applications, even if we fold it 200,000 times in three years. We will be able to buy a $1000 foldable phones within three years as the price of the display goes lower. We expect the market to expand to 1 million this year and 6 million next year.
Samsung has allegedly been postponing the re-release in order to better train the reps on presenting the device and teaching potential buyers how to use the phone. Like, for instance, not to scrape off the cover film which turned out to be an integral part of the flexible display underneath. Samsung slapped it there against scratches, even though it does not completely wrap around and fuse with the panel at the edges, making it look like a screen protector
How did Samsung go with a tough film that doesn't completely cover the corners, so it looks like a removable protector? Before the Fold's preview units were distributed, supply chain tips from Korean media hinted that Samsung has collaborated with the Japаnese from Sumitomo Chemical for producing a "luxurious" to the touch transparent polyimide (PI) that can be bent numerous times without any visible differences.
Korean media clarifies, however, that it is not only the transparent PI that Samsung used for the first Fold batch, but actually something new and extra that has the competition wanting in on the action. A previously unknown Hard Coat Anti-Fingerprint (HCAF) film sits at the very top of a PET layer, to which a Samsung SDI Optically Clear Adhesive (OCA) is applied that then gets fused to said transparent PI film.
That top HCAF layer is actually what provides the final protection of the Galaxy Fold
screen, as it best mimics the oleophobic glass cover we are used to on our phones, rather than if we only had the transparent and flexible but soft PI film.
Samsung fixed the Galaxy Fold
Previously, we thought that the PI film is simply attached to the OLED screen underneath with an extremely durable and flexible adhesive which should allow the package to bend at the middle by stretching a bit but not coming unglued and doing this many times while retaining its original size and form.
iFixit showed exactly how the hinge gap may affect the display, but Samsung has reportedly fixed this with an extra film layer
What Samsung has reportedly done now, is fuse the anti-fingerprint film tighter with the underlying package, and increased the corner overlap so that it doesn't look like a screen protector the invites you to peel it off. In addition, the hinge gap at the bottom has been remedied with an extra layer, and Samsung's Lee even joked about it:
I think it will complement the disadvantages of putting a new film between the display and the hinge. I put ten nails in this space on the Royole FlexPai, there is a difference...