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Samsung lens production issues could delay Galaxy S5

Problems with the Galaxy S5's lens production process could lead to a delayed introduction of the new model in some markets.

With its 16MP ISOCELL 1/2.6-inch sensor, F2.2 aperture, 4K video, reflector integrated LED-flash, water-resistant body and hybrid AF-system, the recently announced Samsung Galaxy S5 looks like one of 2014's hottest options for mobile photographers. 

However, it now looks as if the worldwide market release of the new device, which was originally projected for the 11th of April, could be delayed due to problems in the manufacturing process of the S5's new 6-element lens. The Korean website reports that currently only around 20 – 30% of the produced units are usable. The Galaxy S5's predecessor, the S4, used a 5-element design and it appears the new model's additional lens element causes problems because it has to fit in the same slim camera module dimensions as before. 

The individual elements have to be thinner which makes molding and alignment a more difficult task. An industry insider commented:

“On a thin lens, even the slightest flaw results in a considerable optical distortion. To make plastic lens thinner, a more accurate mold technology is necessary.”

According to ETnews Samsung is being criticized for having brought this crisis upon itself.  In the past, lens suppliers were in control of both the making of molds and the plastic injection process. However, some years ago Samsung decided to produce molds in-house and now provides them to its suppliers where only the plastic injection is carried out. When problems with molds are now detected at the lens manufacturers' sites it is a lengthier and more difficult process to solve them.

As you might imagine Samsung is working tirelessly on solving the issues but if the problems continue it might well be the case that the Galaxy S5 introduction will be delayed at least in some regions. 

Source: ETnews | Via: Phonearena



Total comments: 15

Rumours were the Samsung would use a new liquid-based lens, but they evaporated.


It might be best as good and reasonable reporting of this, to at least include this last paragraph; “The camera module for Galaxy S5 is an integration of ultra compact and ultra thin technologies,” explained a Samsung Electronics insider. “There may be difficulties in the earlier phase of production. However, we will be able to increase the yield within a short period of time.” (from your own link)

Less likely to incite panic by making it appear there is actually a problem big enough to keep smartphones from launching on time! ^_^

Lars Rehm

I don't think we made anyone panic. I am sure the phone will be out soon and be very good, as usual with Samsung. You do like them very much, don't you? ;)

1 upvote

I can't see why a 20-30% yield rate would force them to delay Galaxy S 5 from arriving in most stores. Apple was having a 35-40% yield problem on Authentec fingerprint sensors & Apple actually moved availability up to compete w/ Samsung Note 3 arrival for iPhone 5s. Even then supplies only limited some markets for a couple of weeks.

Kind of ridiculous to think Samsung making their own plastic molds would have anything to do w/ a delay either. We're talking about Samsung Cheil Chemical & Industries, not some newb having never made a plastic molds before!

They make the Infino Brand Highest Quality Optical grade polycarbonate materials beads to supply Medical, the entire Luxury Automobile Industry & optical grade plastics for Optometrics too. Not to mention the optically clear materials in the roof of their own eMX Concept car and the removable roof on the Bugatti Veyron convertible!

This is Samsung #1 end to end smartphone maker on the planet! :D ....60yrs in Plastics Experience!

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote

dumb question but is this a fixed 2.2 aperture?


On cell phones, aperture usually is fixed.


Yes, when you consider the DoF, no?

Comment edited 11 seconds after posting

f/2.2 with a crop factor of about 6.3 is the equivalent to f/14 on 135 format. There wouldn't be much of a point in stopping down, and fitting a diaphragm in there would make the lens much thicker (and more expensive and more prone to mechanical failures).


I was going to put off ordering an S5 until I knew for sure if there was going to be an S5 Prime coming later, and now here's another reason to wait, to make sure Samsung gets this problem solved correctly.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting

Is Samsung taking a cue from Apple fabricating an artificial product shortage stunt? This is the second story I've read warning of S5 delays. The other one claimed it would be due to a fire at the factory.


Good, I know many a company that would release the product with the issue then apologise later


SameSong could buy Nokia, they know how to make a phone camera.


MS was faster.

vladimir vanek

thanks god...


Apple should learn with both.

Total comments: 15
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