Samsung will reportedly continue to use heat pipes with its 2018 major smartphone releases, according to a new report out of DigiTimes which in turn credits "sources from upstream supply chain" for the information. While also noting how suppliers of these heat pipes have already started production on the parts.
This is following on from rumors which have suggested Samsung might not include heat pipes in its upcoming phones next year. The main reason given for this is that they just are too expensive for what they are. However, due to the fundamental nature of heat pipes acting as an additional measure to stop a smartphone from overheating, some alternative form of cooling would need to be in place instead. This is where vapor chambers come in. As the report does make it clear that a number of smartphone brands are already testing out vapor chambers with a view to including them in their upcoming models. Although the report also specifies that in spite of the seemingly high interest in this alternative technology, no orders have been placed as of yet. With the suggestion being that 2019 is more likely to be the time when vapor chambers start to show up in smartphones.
While the report points out that vapor chambers will likely be more expensive than heat pipes when they do arrive, this is thought to still be a more appealing option due to their increased ability at dissipating heat. Which inherently will make them much safer options in the long-term. One aspect that is likely to be a factor in the adoption of vapor chambers on smartphones in general, is their size. As these are understood to not quite yet be at the desired size for inclusion in a smartphone without adding bulk. Something which the current report notes vendors are continuously working on improving with signs that the size of vapor chambers is nearing a more smartphone-accommodating level. For reference, Samsung started using heat pipes with the release of its Galaxy S7 (and Edge) smartphone and has since employed heat pipes with each release of its major Galaxy S and Note offerings.