The Wireless Business Division started investing in the line for producing its own metal cases.
Samsung Electronics will put the metal case design on its premium smartphone Galaxy series.
The consumer electronics giant tries to reinforce the premium brand image by enhancing the design competitiveness. As Samsung Electronics shifted the focus of the exterior materials for smartphones from plastic injection molded cases to metal cases, the downstream industry seems likely to have a huge upheaval.
According to the industry on August 29, the Wireless Business Division of Samsung Electronics decided to build a line for producing metal cases, e.g. magnesium and aluminum, in Gumi plant by the end of this year.
The purpose of this move is to apply metal cases to the premium smartphone model to be released early next year. Sample development and pilot production will be done in the Gumi plant, and it seems that mass production will be done in the Vietnamese plant.
To produce the metal case, Samsung Electronics is known to have recently dispatched a large number of mold design engineers to the Vietnamese plant. “Mold engineers above class A were recently temporarily transferred to Vietnam one after another,” said a Samsung official. “Currently, considering the manpower resources of the Vietnamese plant, there seems to be no problem with building the production line in six months.”
Over the years, only Apple has used metal cases. The late Steve Jobs, Apple founder, insisted on metal to emphasize the futuristic feeling of the iPhone and iPad series.
Other smartphone makers including Samsung Electronics have used plastic cases in most cases. Metal cases are more expensive than plastic cases and it is difficult to meet the required process yield. They may cause noise in surrounding circuitry parts like the antenna. A typical example is the ‘death grip’ that became an issue when Apple released iPhone 4.
More than anything else, metal cases are suitable for the mass production model. No company has sold more single models than the iPhone series.
However, since the release of Galaxy S3, Samsung Electronics has acquired the economy of scale with a single model, and became capable of using metal cases. Samsung Electronics is planning to apply the metal case to some premium smartphones starting early next year, and then to several other models.
If the design of the Galaxy series smartphone was changed, the downstream materials and parts industry is expected to be greatly affected. Currently only a handful of domestic companies can make metal cases. For existing injection molding companies to produce metal cases, large investments are required. As only a few injection molding companies can make additional investments, Samsung Electronics seems to be leaning toward finding new external vendors.
“A new supply chain for supplying metal cases will be formed,” said an industry official. “Overseas companies including Chinese vendors are on the watch for Samsung Electronics’ move to apply metal cases to smartphones.”
طبق آخرین اخبار، غول صنایع تکنولوژیک کره جنوبی، سامسونگ، سرمایه گذاری در خط تولید بدنه های فلزی برای محصولات سری گلکسی را شروع کرده و سال ۲۰۱۴، سال دگرگونی خواهد بود.