Foldable phone aren't cheap, especially the kind that open up like a book to reveal a much larger screen inside. But as part of its upcoming smartphone plans, Samsung could be looking to change things with this year's Galaxy Z Fold 6 thanks to a cheaper way of producing the phone.
Samsung gets the screens for its phone from Samsung Display. And that subsidiary may have decided on a new method for adding the bezel to upcoming foldable phones, including the Galaxy Z Fold 6, according a report in Korean publication The Elec.
In previous models, Samsung worked with supplier Segyung Hitech on Micro Dry Process Decoration (MDD) to make the bezels on foldables like the current Galaxy Z Fold 5. That technology used films that would be cut to create the bezels on the devices.
Now, though, Samsung is turning to inkjet printing to create its foldable screen bezels, according to The Elec. With inkjet printing, Samsung Display will still use film and cut it to create bezels, but the film is much longer, allowing for more bezels to be cut from a single source film. That means less material which would create less cost, allowing Samsung to produce the Galaxy Z Fold 6 more cheaply.
Bezel production is especially important on foldable phones because they’re used to hide internal components. But due to how critical they are — and that bezels aren’t so easily created on a foldable screen — the process of actually making them is quite costly. Indeed, Samsung has been pushing Samsung Display to specifically focus on reducing bezel costs for quite some time, according to TheElec’s sources.
Then again, lower production costs don't automatically mean a drop in prices. The Elec’s sources only said the company would save on manufacturing; they didn’t say if the savings would cause a price drop.
Still, you'd think Samsung would be under pressure to produce a lower-cost Fold, which currently starts at $1,799. Among the best foldable phones, the Pixel Fold also costs $1,799, while the OnePlus Open undercuts those phone by $100. Being able to lower their price would give any of those phones an edge over their rivals.
For its part, Samsung hasn’t commented on its Galaxy Z Fold 6 plans, but that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from speculating. Last month, a report said Samsung is planning to offer larger internal and external screens in this year’s model, though it stopped short of saying just how big the screens will be. Samsung is also reportedly planning a design upgrade that could be used in future handsets, including next year’s Galaxy S25.
Look for much more on Samsung’s foldable plans in the coming months as more reports surface. And look for the Galaxy Z Fold 6 to finally hit store shelves sometime in the second half of the year.
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Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.