Samsung Electronics has widened the use of adhesive glue for sealing the top board and the middle frame together for its smartphones, including the Galaxy S11 models that are to be launched in 2020, according to industry sources.
This year, Samsung applied adhesive glue to all Galaxy A and Galaxy M series – unlike before when it also used double-sided tape. This meant a switch from its South Korean tape suppliers Ndfos and Anyone to US-based HBFuller and China’s Weldbond.
Compared to tape, which usually requires more space, glue allows smartphone makers to minimize the display bezel. It also helps cut production costs because tapes require more processing, and they also most parts of the tape are discarded. Glue, on the other hand, can be directly applied via dispensers.
On the other hand, tape is far more waterproof than glue, and is also easier to replace. Simply applying heat to the smartphone allows the tape to come off to allow the boards to be separated.
Adhesive glue, however, has made big strides in terms of durability, according to industry watchers. “In terms of being water-proof and repairs, glue has come a long way,” said one market watcher. “Chinese smartphones makers have been using more and more glue over the past few years.”
According to market research firm CounterPoint, the best-selling Samsung smartphone in September this year was the Galaxy A50, which sold 3.1 million handsets. The other top four including the second best-selling A10 were all A series models.
In sixth place was the Galaxy Note 10+ that sold 1.18 million units, followed by the Galaxy S10+, the Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy Note 10.
Samsung’s mobile unit has been increasingly using adhesive glue to these best-selling A series, along with the budget M series, especially in 2019 – this led to adding Weldbond as a supplier.
The Weldbond CEO said in a recent interview with the Chinese press that out of 700 million smartphones manufactured in China, around 500 million use the glue from Weldbond. He added that in 2020, he plans to establish a research lab in Seoul.
Samsung is also gradually upping the use of glue in the premium lineups of the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note series. Glue was adopted in parts of the Galaxy Note 10 models launched in August this year. This policy will also be applied to the upcoming Galaxy S model next year.
The Elec is South Korea’s No.1 tech news platform.