The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge’s seductive curved glass screen may be its strongest selling point, but it may also be the reason why the technology giant could struggle to meet demand for the smartphone when it goes on sale on April 10. A Taiwanese news site reports that the complex process required to manufacture those curved displays has low yield and high costs.
Samsung uses a process called 3D Thermoforming to create the curved screen for the Galaxy S6 Edge. “This involves the insertion of glass between two molds, heating it to a pliable forming temperature of 800 degrees Celsius, and then allowing it to then be pressed into a symmetrical shape. In this process, the glass is shaped in three directions at once, giving it its curved shape,” according to the company’s blog post.
It seems that involved process has a yield of less than 50 percent, meaning about half of the glass put into the 3D Thermoforming process comes out unusable, according to TechNews. On top of the process outlined by Samsung, TechNews reports that polishing the curved display takes about 40 minutes alone.
The curved display not only requires a lot of complexity and time — it requires a lot of money too. While a flat Gorilla Glass screen costs as little as $3, Samsung’s curved display costs $25-26, according to TechNews.
All of this adds up to lowered expected supply. TechNews reports that while Samsung originally expected between 8 million and 8.5 million deliveries in Q2 2015, that forecast has been decreased to between 6 million and 6.5 million. The company may be looking for another supplier to help boost production.
Samsung has received 20 million preorders of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge from wireless carriers around the world — 15 million for the Galaxy S6 and 5 million for the Galaxy S6 Edge, according to The Korea Times.