- Apple’s decision to add titanium frames to the latest Pro iPhones has influenced Samsung’s plans to do the same with the Galaxy S24 Ultra in 2024.
- Samsung is currently in the final stages of securing the desired yield rate for titanium frames, which is more difficult and costly to produce compared to aluminum frames.
- Reports suggest that a low yield of titanium frames for the Galaxy S24 Ultra will increase the frame cost by four to five times compared to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, potentially making the phone more expensive.
- Switching to a titanium frame may not make the Galaxy S24 Ultra lighter, as titanium is heavier than aluminum. This could result in a stronger but not lighter flagship unless weight is cut in other areas.
Apple affects Samsung’s plans for titanium frames
Earlier this year, Apple launched the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max with titanium frames. It appears the move has made Samsung hurry to do the same. The Korean firm is now equipping the Galaxy S24 Ultra with a titanium frame too. The new flagship will arrive in January 2024.
Samsung worried about Apple’s “premium image”
Samsung has been researching the feasibility of incorporating titanium frames into its flagship smartphones for some time now. For at least two years, to be precise. The production complexities and the associated price increase mean the company didn’t hurry to make the change. It was already using aluminum, so a move to titanium wouldn’t have massively reduced the weight of the phones.
However, Apple’s decision to add titanium frames to the latest Pro iPhones seems to have affected Samsung’s plans. It is now all set to do the same with the Galaxy S24 Ultra next year. Noted industry insider Revegnus suggests that the Korean firm feared titanium iPhones would help Apple solidify its “premium image” in the smartphone market. It is following suit to keep up with its arch-rival.
Production challenges and costs for Samsung
According to the Korean media, Samsung is currently in the final stages of securing the desired yield rate for titanium frames. It is working with several firms in China and South Korea for the processing and production of the material. Since titanium has low heat and current conductivity, it is more difficult to cut and process. This increases the production cost. A low yield rate would further add to the cost.
Reports suggest a low yield of titanium frames for the Galaxy S24 Ultra will increase the frame cost by four to five times as compared to the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The latter features aluminum frames, which reportedly cost Samsung less than $20 each. It remains to be seen if the company passes this added cost to customers and makes the phone expensive or absorbs it to reduce the profit margin.
A titanium frame may not make the Galaxy S24 Ultra lighter
Apple managed to substantially cut the weight of its new iPhones by switching to titanium. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are almost 20 grams lighter than their respective predecessors despite packing bigger batteries. However, this may not be the case for the Galaxy S24 Ultra.
This is because Apple switched from stainless steel, which is heavier than titanium. Samsung, on the other hand, is moving from aluminum, which is lighter. A titanium frame may make the Galaxy S24 Ultra stronger but certainly not lighter than its predecessor. That’s unless Samsung manages to cut the weight in other areas. The new Galaxy flagships are rumored to go official on January 17, 2024.