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July 20, 2019

Delayed launch of Samsung Galaxy Fold affects panel industry

PUBLISHED : June 21, 2019 - 13:01

UPDATED : June 21, 2019 - 13:01

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As launches of foldable smartphones are being delayed, the sales volume of foldable smartphone panels will likely fall short of market expectations, according to market research firm IHS Markit.

“Anticipated foldable panel sales have been adjusted from the previous 1.5 million to 1 million this year, as the foldable smartphones made by Samsung Electronics and Huawei have been postponed,” said Kang Min-soo, a researcher at IHS Markit, during a presentation at a display conference in Seoul on June 20.


Related:
Samsung Galaxy Fold is now ready for launch: Samsung Display exec

Samsung’s first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, was initially scheduled to hit the market on April 26 in the US and in May in Korea, but the launch has been postponed due to technical glitches in the screen and a hinge that allows the device to open and close.

It is rumored that the folding device will debut in July before the unveiling event of the company’s flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 10, reportedly set for Aug. 7 in New York.

Meanwhile, Huawei, beleaguered by the US government’s sanctions, has pushed back the release of its foldable phone Mate X for further upgrades.

The IHS researcher said the delayed launches would slow down growth of the entire foldable smartphone market, with hype surrounding the phones consequently cooling.

“The buzz around the phones reached fever pitch before they were showcased, but people now say the phones seem too heavy, bulky and expensive compared to conventional smartphones,” he said.

If those issues are not solved, the market is forecast to grow to 30 million units by 2025 in terms of sales, down from a previous estimate of 50 million, he added.

Samsung has not announced a new launch schedule yet, but there have been signs that consumers may soon be able to get their hands on the foldable smartphone.

Samsung Display Vice President Kim Seong-cheol said in a conference that the issue with the screen getting creases after repeated folds has been ironed out, and the Galaxy Fold is ready for commercialization.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)

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