Could Your Next Smartphone Be Made of… Carbon Fiber?

South Korean electronics giant Samsung just formed a joint venture with a German firm. The venture with carbon and graphite manufacturing expert SGL Group will provide Samsung with a steady supply of carbon fiber materials in return for marketing assistance to SGL across Asia, at first.

Sammy's smartphones are often knocked for their cheap look and feel, being made mainly out of standard plastics. On the other hand, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) iPhones are impeccable masterpieces of industrial design -- but being covered in glass on two sides, they're prone to cracked and shattered glass panels.

Will carbon fiber shells give Samsung a solution to the trade-off between tangible quality and ruggedness? The material is light but sturdy and looks like a million bucks if you treat it right. A perfect fit for high-end smartphones, right?

All of that is true, but Fool contributor Anders Bylund would still advise you not to hold your breath waiting for a carbon fiber Galaxy S5 from Samsung. This partnership is aimed at other markets, both in terms of geography and business applications. If this is the silver bullet for Samsung's low-end design values, Sammy isn't likely to fire it anytime soon.

So what might happen if Samsung does present a carbonite Galaxy model, forcing Apple to take action? Apple has a history of cranking out revolutionary products ... and then creatively destroying them with something better. Read about the future of Apple in the free report "Apple Will Destroy Its Greatest Product." Can Apple really disrupt its own iPhones and iPads? Find out by clicking here.


Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2013, at 10:30 AM, Fabe76522 wrote:

    I didn't see where the article came from before starting to read the article. The first paragraph was fine. I started the 2nd and thought it looked like the Apple marketing team The Motley Fool. Sure enough, it is. No need to read the rest of the sales pitch.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2013, at 11:44 AM, applefan1 wrote:

    I thought there was already a company putting out carbon fiber smartphones. It does make sense, the biggest problem is having the cases cracking around fairly sharp edges and how thin they can make the cases while still being durable. Typically, they have to have more than one layer.

    Apple does have a patent on mfg carbon fiber cases they submitted at least a year ago. So, people do know that Apple has been working with carbon fiber as a potential case material.

    The problems with carbon fiber is that once you drop it, the integrity can be compromised. Try crashing with a carbon fiber bike. While it is far more of a serious safety issue, People many times have to get a new frame if they crash on a carbon fiber bike.

    So, they have to do a considerable amount of testing to figure out how durable carbon fiber really is.

    Also, wasn't Apple working with the Liquid Metal patens several years ago? Wasn't that something they were working on as a potential case material? It would be nice if they can use it, since it's supposed to be stronger than steel and titanium and much cheaper to mfg.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2013, at 1:45 PM, twolf2919 wrote:

    "...but being covered in glass on two sides..." - Apple's current phone (iPhone 5) has aluminum on the back side.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2013, at 7:26 PM, herky46q wrote:

    Is there a glass side I don't know about?

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2013, at 9:06 PM, mdl00 wrote:

    Samdung coming out with a carbon fiber phone? Impossible, Apple hasn't made one yet.

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