The US vs. China isn’t the only trade war in town, and a similar dispute is brewing between two other major world economies, Japan and South Korea. And the whole thing might be affecting the imminent Galaxy Note 10 launch, Samsung’s next smartphone flagship. Samsung already announced a launch event for August 7th, with the Note 10 expected to hit stores on August 23rd, according to recent rumors. Samsung is already mass-producing the phone in anticipation of its launch, of course, but the company might have to adjust its schedule following the trade tensions between its home nation and Japan.
“This month, Samsung has cut by 10 percent the target production of the Exynos, a mobile processor that will be used for the Note 10,” a Samsung official told local broadcaster JTBC (via The Investor). “The missing 10 percent will be produced next month.”
Samsung fears it’ll run out of a few essential chemical products that are currently being restricted by the Japanese government, including fluorinated polyimide, hydrogen fluoride and resists. These chemicals are needed to mass-produce products including smartphone displays (fluorinated polyimide) and processors like the Exynos chip that will power Note 10 versions sold in international markets.
The report notes that Samsung starts operating its display and chip facilities at full throttle a month before the launch of a flagship phone, and then ramps up smartphone production gradually as it works with more vendors for components. Reducing Exynos chip output by 10% doesn’t sound like a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it might hurt Note 10 sales initially, especially if the phone is as well-received as the Galaxy S10 was a few months ago.
That said, the report says that Samsung will go forward with its August 7th announcement, although the company is yet to confirm that rumored August 23rd release date.