With design changes already seen in the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, news that the rumored Samsung Galaxy S5 will feature a metal chassis continues to circulate.
A recent research note from Barclays analysts reported on by the Taipei Times indicates that Samsung is in the process of finalizing suppliers for the metal exterior for “at least one of its high-end smartphone models.” One such supplier is expected to be the Taiwanese company Catcher, which is known for producing metal chasses for such devices as the HTC One and the iPad. According to the Barclays research note, Catcher is in the running to be a supplier of 10 to 30 million units for Samsung, an order which the Korean manufacturer will finalize in 2014 depending on the bids it receives. We will likely see the Samsung Galaxy S5 release sometime in second quarter of 2014, as per the report as well as Samsung’s usual release pattern.
Due to the high demand of Samsung’s Galaxy S series flagship devices, the manufacturer is expected to have several suppliers produce components for the supposed Samsung Galaxy S5 in order to ensure suitable inventory supplies. To do so, Samsung will likely split production between its own facilities and many outside suppliers, from South Korea as well as other countries, such as Catcher in Taiwan, Android Authority notes.
Rumors of a metal chassis for the Samsung Galaxy S5 have circulated for many months now. In June, a report indicated that Samsung was developing a new look for the Galaxy S5 called “Design 3.0,” which would include the use of aluminum in order to give it a premium look similar to rival devices like the HTC One and Sony Xperia Z. In late August, another report indicated that Samsung was expected to begin production on its metal Galaxy S5 by the end of 2013, with samples of the metal chassis being developed in Europe in preparation for mass production in Vietnam.
While these reports remain unconfirmed; the debate between metal vs. plastic vs. glass for as materials for high-end smartphones rages on. Samsung has been heavily criticized for the plastic designs on its high-end devices, which cost upwards of $500. But the company argues the plastic chasses make for quick and efficient manufacturing that enables release of a new flagship device each year, each selling better than its predecessor. The most recent Samsung Galaxy S4 has notably sold more than 20 million handsets since its late-April release, despite complaints about the plastic casing.
The upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 3, while still made of the usual components, features texturized plastic imitating leather on its back panel, which could indicate that Samsung is open to experimenting with different looks for its devices other than a glossy plastic finish. We have also seen Samsung test out metal components in its water-and-dust resistant Samsung Galaxy S4 Active handset, which released in June. The device got rave reviews for its change in material, which could likely be a stepping stone to the manufacturer incorporating more metal into its devices in the future.
So you think a metal exterior for the Samsung Galaxy S5 is a good idea? Let us know in the comments below.
Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.