Fold 3 will likely become first with tech
Samsung Electronics has scrapped its plan to put in under display camera (UDC) on the Galaxy S21 smartphones series launching next year, TheElec has learned.
The South Korean was postponing the application of the tech due to low production yield rate, people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Samsung will now likely try to apply UDC technology on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 launching in the second half of 2021.
The company initially aimed to put in the technology on Galaxy Z Fold 2 for the first time.
UDC allows the front camera to remain hidden under the screen of smartphones when they are not being used. This allows for a real full screen.
Samsung Display, the main OLED panel supplier for Samsung Electronics, has been using laser equipment called hole in active area (HIAA) to realize UDC on display screens.
It has two kinds of HIAA equipment __ HIAA 1 punches a hole on the screen in one shot, whole HIAA 2 punches many micro holes. Samsung Display has been using HIAA 2 to develop UDC technology.
Samsung Display also considered not punching a hole at all, and make the area of the screen where the camera should be transparent.
Both methods had low yield rate during testing, people familiar with the matter said.
For UDC technology, the camera module technology must also be developed specifically for it.
Flexible OLED panels uses yellowish polyimide (PI) substrates, which causes lights that passes through the hole to be distorted in color. The camera must have a software that restores the color to normal. The camera module must also become thinner to fit in under the display.
Samsung will now likely use the same hole display on the Galaxy S21 series as it did for previous flagship smartphones. The company first used the technology on the Galaxy S10 series launched last year.
Before hole displays, having a notch on the screen to place the cameras was the norm for smartphones.
Samsung Display first put in HIAA 2 equipment into its factory last year, raising expectations that UDC technology may soon be commercialized. The equipment uses Wonik IPS’s vacuum chamber and Philoptics’ laser to make.
Meanwhile, China’s ZTE launched the Axon 20 5G last month that had UDC technology applied.