Japan’s Kaneka will no longer be the sole supplier of PI film for Samsung Electronics, with SKC Kolon PI scheduled to provide the film for 5G smartphone antennae, industry sources said on Jan. 2.
During the first half of this year, SKC Kolon PI will be supplying PI fim for the Galaxy S 11’s 5G antennae FPCB, alongside of Kaneka, which had exclusively supplied the film for the Galaxy S10.
The Modified PI (MPI) created by SKC Kolon PI allows for less antenna FPCB loss, which in turn leads to less power loss and lower battery consumption. It is likely to be pitted against Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP), since Apple used LCP from Murata Manufacturing for its iPhone 8 model launched in 2017.
“MPI was designed to withstand high temperature, but it may have lost some of this durability when it was modified,” said one industry expert.
Meanwhile, SKC Kolon PI has been increasingly taking out patents on its newest and latest products and technology. According to patent search engine KIPRIS, 58%of the patents held by the firm were taken out between 2017 and 2019. “Companies are rushing to take out patents after seeing that they can be used to protect their assets and rights in lawsuits,” said one industry watcher.
Market estimates put SKC Kolon PI’s sales for last year at KRW 228 billion, down 6.9% on-year. Operating profit was projected to have fallen 33.9% to KRW 40 billion. This year, however, revenues were expected to pick up on new contracts and a wider range of products.
On Dec. 24, Korea PI Holdings – a special purpose company set up by local private equity fund Glenwood PE – signed a 608 billion won (US$523 million) deal on Dec.24 to acquire a controlling stake in SKC Kolon PI.
The Elec is South Korea’s No.1 tech news platform.