Samsung Galaxy S6 to sport all-metal design?

Samsung Galaxy S logoAfter years of using plastics for its smartphones and tablets, even for flagship ones, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Alpha earlier this week. While specifications alone point to more of a mid-range device, its metal frame suggests that Samsung is getting serious about giving some of its devices a more premium finish. Recent rumours suggest that the Galaxy Note 4 that will be unveiled on September 3 may also sport a metal frame. Now comes word that the Galaxy S6 could go one further and sport a metal unibody design, much like the HTC One (M8) and older HTC One (M7) already do.

Sources in Samsung’s supply chain suggest that Samsung’s biggest challenge in offering an all-metal smartphone will continue to be the capacity of its suppliers to meet the volume demands. Apple has reportedly locked many of them to exclusive contracts or left them with insufficient capacity to meet much additional demand. In a bid to change that, Samsung has reportedly begun to pressure suppliers to expand their production capacity.

Samsung may also face competition from other manufacturers looking to jump on the metal bandwagon. For example, the report suggests that China’s Xiaomi is also planning to go with an all-metal design for its next flagship smartphone.

It appears that China’s BYD Electronics and Taiwan’s Eminence Precision Industrial Co. are the current front runners to secure Samsung orders for the metal cases it needs. It remains to be seen though if the two of them will be enough to meet Samsung’s demand.

Limited supply and more competition for it will likely translate to higher component costs and potentially higher smartphone costs. With the handset business as cutthroat as it is, any such increase may be enough to sway a manufacturer to instead continue using plastics.

If nothing else, it appears that a growing number of manufacturers may turn to metal in a bid to differentiate their high-end smartphones from those of the competition.

Sources : Sina // G for Games