Many rumors insist the Samsung Galaxy S5 will feature a metal exterior, making it the first smartphone from the Korean manufacturer to sport a "premium look" rivaling the designs of the Apple iPhone and the HTC One. Recent reports may back up this claim, as several metal component manufacturers have been named as suppliers for Samsung’s next flagship device.
In September, we learned that Samsung was in the process of selecting metal suppliers to produce the Galaxy S5 chassis, with the Taiwanese company Catcher in the front running. The supplier is known for producing metal chasses for such devices as the HTC One and the iPad. Now, Japanese publication EMSOnes claims that Samsung has selected Catcher as one of many metal suppliers for the Galaxy S5. According to the report, Catcher will be Samsung’s primary metal supplier, and will ship 10 million to 30 million metal chasses to Samsung later this month. Chinese company BYD and Taiwanese company Jo Teng have been selected as secondary suppliers, to produce metal components for Samsung thereafter.
While this news does not confirm that the Samsung Galaxy S5 will feature a metal chassis, many consider it pretty solid evidence. Rumors of metal exteriors have followed Samsung Galaxy flagships in their pre-release for several generations, yet time after time, the devices are announced with the polycarbonate exterior for which Samsung is famous. This is the first time such frequent evidence of a metal design has surfaced during a Samsung Galaxy pre-release.
According to the Korean manufacturer, using plastic ensures it will be able to develop new devices on a consistent basis. Consider that Samsung releases not one but two flagship devices each year, with the Galaxy S series and the Galaxy Note series, in addition to several mid-range and low-end Galaxy devices to satisfy a number of markets. In the past year alone Samsung has experimented with large-screen, mid-range devices like the Galaxy Mega, devices with many color options like the Galaxy J, and devices with new display designs like the Galaxy Round.
In comparison, Apple releases only one iPhone flagship per year with a premium metal design. With the iPhone 5c, the Cupertino, Calif., company’s branched out from its usual design and encased its first attempt at a mid-range Apple product in plastic, “unapologetically.” Even though HTC has released devices similar to its HTC One, with its aluminum unibody, the HTC One Mini and HTC One Max incorporate much more plastic in their design than the original One. It appears other manufacturers have now caught on to Samsung’s secret weapon to keeping its market options fresh and new with frequent plastic iterations.
More Evidence Of Metal For Samsung Galaxy S5
Other reports suggest that the Samsung Galaxy S5 will come in two design variants, one with a metal exterior, and another with a plastic exterior. Piggy-backing off this rumor was a component leak, recently discovered by French tech website No Where Else, which claims to have gotten its hands on the metal frame of the Samsung Galaxy S5. Many consider this additional proof that Samsung will release a metal device in the future, but has not exactly been linked to the Galaxy S5.
Not much detail followed the leak, so it is being considered lightly, but the metal rumors will continue to circulate for the Samsung Galaxy S5. Other rumors suggest that Samsung plans to introduce a new line, probably called the Samsung Galaxy F, which would feature a metal chassis for a “premium” look, while the Galaxy S series would remain in plastic and introduce new software features to the market. At this point, there is no telling which route Samsung will take, if any at all. As said, several previous devices, such as the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3, were rumored to feature a metal design and ultimately turned up in plastic.
Other Samsung Galaxy S5 Rumors
Recently, other reports suggest that the Samsung Galaxy S5 could begin mass production in January for a release in March or April. Perhaps if Catcher is planning to ship metal casings to Samsung in December, the Galaxy S5 could actually be ready for mass production by January.
Many patents have also been discovered recently, which have been linked to the Galaxy S5, including a multi-party conference call feature and a custom one-hand operation option. The likelihood that these features will actually end up on the Galaxy S5 is much more uncertain.
Meanwhile, other reports suggest the Samsung Galaxy S5 will feature either a Samsung Exynos or Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, as would be expected, as well as 3GB of RAM, a 4,000 mAh battery, and a 2-megapixel front camera in addition to the previously mentioned 16-megapixel main camera, which may or may not include optical image stabilization.
The Galaxy S5 is expected to run the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system upon release, and may also be paired with its own Samsung Galaxy Gear companion device, a next-generation Galaxy Gear, which would release at the same time as the Galaxy S5.
Do you think the naming of suppliers is sufficient evidence that the Samsung Galaxy S5 will feature a metal exterior? Let us know in the comments below.
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Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.