High demand for MIM hinges for foldable smartphones

April 24, 2019

According to Taiwan’s Digitimes, the demand for MIM hinges for the next generation of foldable smartphones may outstrip production capacity in the near term. It was reported that sources at hinge makers have indicated that the tolerance for the high level of use that the hinges would be subjected to, compared to the MIM hinges in a lapbook computer, meant that they would need to be at least ten times stronger.

In addition, it was stated that the hinges used in foldable smartphones need to be thinner and more compact. For these reasons, the volume production of hinges may not be achievable until 2020. While smartphone vendors may adopt different folding technologies – for example in-folding designs by Samsung, out-folding by many of China’s vendors, and a Z-folding method proposed by Google – the designs of the hinges themselves remain similar, said sources.

It was also stated that MIM hinge makers may have to increase their investments in furnaces to ramp up their capacity to meet demand. Taiwan-based hinge makers, including Shin Zu Shing (SZS) and Jarllytec, are reportedly targeting the foldable smartphone sectors.


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