Samsung Electronics is said to consider using Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) in its future foldable smartphone instead of the plastic, transparent polyimide screen used in the Galaxy Fold.
Current foldable phones use plastic screens, simply because traditional glass screens and protective layers (e.g. Gorilla Glass) aren’t able to fold.
ET News reports that Samsung’s next foldable phone will use ultra-thin glass (UTG) as the cover for the screen. The report claims that the new smartphone will adopt a clamshell form factor, and will possibly be released in the first half of 2020.
The design of Samsung's new foldable smartphone is expected to be similar to that of foldable feature phones in the past. It will be folded at the center where there is a horizontal fold. However, it is said to be longer and narrower than Galaxy Fold, making it easy to handle.
Samsung Display has started producing foldable displays for a clamshell design while DOWOO INSYS, the supplier of the UTG, has reportedly initiated production of initial supply.
The material for the foldable glass layer is reportedly developed by Schott. Schott claims that its glass is thinner than rival's Corning offering and can be chemically treated to be stronger.
Although UTG is excellent when it comes to aesthetics, it could still take some time to be used on smartphones as it is more fragile than transparent PI, and its production is more expensive.