In short: Samsung's first foldable Android smartphone will break industry conventions in a wide variety of ways, including its use of toughened cover glass. While Corning's Gorilla Glass series is now essentially the go-to solution for virtually every major phone maker in the industry, the unique form factor of its bendable device saw Samsung opt for a different supplier of such modules, with Korean media now reporting that role was ultimately given to Japanese chemical company Sumitomo Chemical. As the firm doesn't have an established manufacturing line for such products, it's expected to have its designs produced by a third party.
Background: While Corning already developed foldable cover glass prototypes, Samsung may have been looking for a more customized solution while finalizing the list of component suppliers for its seminal Android handset. Sumitomo and Samsung have been working together for years, with the latter's President and COO Masakazu Tokura confirming the Japanese firm is providing Samsung with touchscreen panels during an investor Q&A event held two years ago. Korean manufacturer Kolon Industries is also said to have been in consideration along with Sumitomo but lost out on the foldable phone contract for unknown reasons. Samsung is willing to reconsider the company in the future as it expands its bendable handset family to more models, industry insiders claimed earlier today.
Impact: Corning is unlikely to feel the effect of being ditched by Samsung's foldable phone project in the near term given how the device in question is unlikely to even clear a million lifetime sales and the American tech company will still get a chance to win over the world's largest handset maker with bendable cover glass in the future. Regardless, the upcoming Android device expected to be announced in November is likely to see Samsung and its suppliers pioneer a broad range of technologies such as consumer-grade flexible batteries and bendable OLED displays.