The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is a very unique smartphone that required the Korean company to perfect numerous manufacturing processes in order to make it a reality. One of the biggest achievements is the so-called 3D Thermoforming technology, which allowed the company to create the double-edge display of the device.
However, 3D Thermoforming isn’t an easy process and rumor now has it that Samsung might be struggling with yield issues. To compensate, the Korean tech giant is apparently on the lookout for additional suppliers.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge: Low 3D Glass Yield
Apparently, Samsung’s initial plans were to manufacture 8-8.5 million 3D glass units in Q2 2015, but now because the yield is rumored to account for less than 50%, it’s estimated that the company’s supplier will not manage to ship more than 6-6.5 million units.
Obviously 50% of 8-8.5 million units is less than 6-6.5 million, but there’s a general rule that the expected amount of product is called “theoretical yield”, whereas the amount of product that is actually manufactured is called “actual yield”. With that being said, it’s logical to assume that the initial 8-8.5 million target was not calculated at 100% yield.
Whatever the case, it now looks like Samsung is looking for more suppliers to compensate for the low output as the 3rd party tasked with manufacturing the product is struggling. 3D Thermoforming is a very sophisticated process that involves the insertion of glass between two molds (as seen above), and heating the material to a temperature of 800 degrees Celsius, allowing it to be pressed into a symmetrical shape.
The source says that this 3D glass is also not cheap at all – 25-26 USD.
Hopefully Samsung will succeed in increasing the yield by the time the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge will be ready for the market, else the company might have to launch the device in limited quantities and / or only in certain regions initially (more so when taking into account the record initial volume of Galaxy S6 and S6 edge units that Samsung is trying to ship).
We’ll keep an eye out for more information to emerge so stay tuned.