According to Korean online publication The Bell, Samsung Electronics is going to rely more on Chinese suppliers for the manufacturing of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10 flagship, at least in regards to certain antenna parts and camera lenses. Reportedly, Samsung believes that the quality of parts from China has increased to the point where the manufacturer doesn’t see much reason in paying more for parts of similar quality which it mostly procured from its home country up until now. The report also suggests that with this transition to Chinese suppliers, Samsung hopes to increase its earnings amid stagnation attributed to elongating smartphone replacement cycles.
Up until now, Samsung Electronics’ flagship phones have relied heavily on antenna parts supplied by Korea-based Amotech, such as 3-piece combos featuring NFC, MST, and WPC components, but the Samsung Galaxy S10 might be the first premium device to make use of antenna parts supplied from China. Similar collaborations with Chinese partners have been made in the past for the manufacturing of low and mid-range models, but reportedly, Samsung believes that the quality of components hailing from China is now good enough to be used in higher-end products. Likewise, the OEM’s top-tier devices have generally been equipped with camera lenses manufactured by its own Samsung Electro-Mechanics division, but with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 flagships, the OEM already transitioned to camera lenses supplied by China-based Sunny Optical Technology. In other words, Samsung is seemingly able to get lower prices on components from Sunny even compared to its own electronic component division. As a result, the trend will reportedly continue into 2019, with the release of the OEM’s tenth flagship phone in the Galaxy S series.
While Samsung intends to lower production costs without hurting the quality of its mobile products, this transition to more Chinese suppliers could have a negative impact on local companies that have collaborated with the tech giant in the past. Samsung is the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world and one of the most influential tech companies in Korea, so any changes affecting the local supply chain will likely have an effect on other domestic companies and their earnings. Acquiring camera lenses from the Chinese market for the latest generation of high-end mobile phones may have been only the beginning, and if Samsung will see its profits increased due to this change in strategy, it could continue to rely more on components supplied from China in the coming years. The Samsung Galaxy S10 series is expected to be introduced early next year and the lineup could include more than two variants.