[ET NEWS] Samsung SDI has recently succeeded in developing the world’s first optically clear adhesives for foldable panels that are expected to be used first for Samsung Electronics’ upcoming foldable smartphone, according to industry sources on Sept. 11.
OCA tapes are used to bond panels, mobile devices and touch screen displays. They are considered essential in adding superior strength and durability while improving optical clarity and picture quality. Samsung SDI is the first to mass-produce the tapes for foldable phones.
Sources say Samsung SDI, the battery-making unit of Samsung Group, started developing the tapes four to five years ago and the firm has recently been selected as the material supplier for Samsung outpacing the potent rival and industry leader 3M.
“Samsung SDI will be the sole supplier of OCA tapes for Samsung. 3M may have to wait until Samsung diversifies suppliers after the phone launch,” an industry source told ET News on condition of anonymity.
Samsung is highly likely to unveil its first foldable phone in November as the first smartphone maker to do so. Upon the phone’s pending debut, Samsung SDI is also expected to win the official “world’s first” title.
Industry watchers are paying keen attention to foldable phones that could replace both smartphones and tablet PCs in the current market depending on their marketability and usability.
The initial shipment of the Samsung phone is estimated to reach some 100,000 units per month. The Korean tech giant plans to expand production after gauging the market reaction.
A Samsung SDI official admitted the firm was developing OCA tapes for foldable phones but declined to further elaborate on other details, including the supply deal with Samsung Electronics.
By Yoon Kun-il and Oh Dae-seok
This story was co-produced by ET News and The Investor.