Samsung has set up a partnership with a carbon specialist to develop carbon materials for its products, which have been criticised for the cheap feel of their plastic exterior in the past.
Carbon fibre is tougher, more lightweight material and the move suggests Samsung will begin using less plastic on its Galaxy smartphones and tablets. President & chief executive of Samsung Petrochemical Yoosung Chung said Samsung would use the partnership to become a leader in carbon products.
Mr Chung said in a statement: “Lightweight materials have become an important factor not only in industrial applications but also the consumer end markets such as digital media. “This partnership will position Samsung as a leading player in the development and application of carbon fibre-based products.”
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 was criticised for its plastic case in comparison with aluminium designs on Apple’s iPhone 5 and HTC’s one, but the company defended its use of plastic as efficient.
The South Korean company’s materials arm, Samsung Petrochemical, has established the joint venture with carbon manufacturers SGL Group and will own 50 per cent of the joint company, Samsung SGL Carbon Composite Materials.
In a joint statement, the two companies said they planned to develop new electronic applications built with carbon composite materials. The deal with SGL group will give Samsung access to an exclusive long-term supply of carbon materials
Samsung said it planned to use the materials for products such as “such as consumer electronics, medical devices and engineering applications”. The statement said Samsung’s joint venture would target markets in Asia, where the carbon market is growing.