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Samsung is working on new hinges and thicker Ultra Thin Glass for for next-gen Foldable Devices to reduce wrinkles in the crease, an Apple requirement


The Elec reports this morning that Samsung Electronics has increased the thickness of the Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) cover window of the upcoming Galaxy Z Flip 6, a new clamshell foldable phone scheduled to be released in the second half of this year, to around 50 micrometers (μm). The thickness of all Samsung Electronics foldable phone UTGs released until last year was 30μm.

Increasing the UTG thickness not only increases the hardness of the surface, but also makes wrinkles in the center of the foldable panel less visible.

Samsung Electronics began applying a waterdrop-shaped hinge for the first time in the Galaxy Z5 series last year to make wrinkles on their larger foldable panel less visible.

Using a waterdrop-shaped hinge allows both screens to adhere tightly when the foldable phone is folded, and wrinkles in the area where the product is folded can be reduced. It is called a waterdrop hinge because the part where the product is folded becomes round as the hinge-related axis moves.

Samsung Electronics is known to be designing a new hinge structure and a new UTG structure in next year's Galaxy Z Flip 7 model so that fewer wrinkles are visible in the center of the foldable panel than in this year's Z Flip 6. The UTG thickness, which was thickened to around 50μm in this year's Z Flip 6, may become even thicker in next year's Z Flip 7 model. For UTG to become thicker, changes in the hinge structure must be supported. Samsung Electronics is expected to finalize next year's model specifications in consideration of market response and technological advancement.

Reducing wrinkles in the center of the foldable panel is also a requirement of Apple. Apple has been working on the development of foldable products with Samsung Display and LG Display for several years. Apple has requested domestic panel manufacturers to remove wrinkles in the center of the foldable panel.

While a time-frame for a foldable iPhone remains a mystery, in March Ming-Chi Kuo posted a report pointing to an Apple Hybrid Foldable, such as an iPad-MacBook style device, expected to go into mass production in 2027. By then, Samsung will have likely succeeded in dramatically reducing noticeable fold crease marks that Apple is demanding.

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