The race to develop a working foldable display technology has apparently grown so intense that some of the players resort to corporate espionage.
The prosecutors in South Korea have indicted nine people suspected of having leaked details regarding Samsung's flexible display technology. According to Reuters the leak included a sale of documents to China with the relevant information for the equivalent of $ 13.85 million. Of course, China is the homeland of Huawei, which, like South Korea-based Samsung, wants to launch a folding display device soon.
In fact, Huawei confirmed in October that the foldable phone will be equipped with a screen that flexes as well as 5G connectivity. Samsung is expected to showcase its expensive purchase of a foldable smartphone at the Mobile World Congress in February and will be the first to make it available in March.
Per Reuters The Suwon District Procuratorate in South Korea has advised the CEO and eight employees of the supplier Toptec Co. Ltd. The sale of information on Samsung's OLED panels will be charged earlier this year. "The group is accused of setting up their own business, which received information on the use of equipment and drawings from panels received from Samsung subsidiary Samsung Display, and some of the documents in China for 1
Toptec, a provider of equipment needed to make display displays for smartphones, denied the charges. In a statement, the company shot back: "Our company has never provided Samsung Display with industrial technology or trade secrets to a Chinese customer. Our company will fully cooperate with court cases to find the truth in court. Of course, Samsung said the incident had led the company to increase the security of its technology and its secrets.
Reuters also noted that, according to prosecutors Samsung Display, over six years spent over $ 133 million on the development of leaked technology, which the bureau called "a national core technology."
As a Phone Arena shows today that launching the foldable phone will heat up next year – in a few months even. And Samsung and Huawei are the most important company names to look at. Samsung makes its own displays while Huawei buys them from Chinese manufacturer BOE. Whether Samsung's secrets have landed there or not, this is just another indication that the competition between folding phone players is actually hard.