Samsung Hits Manufacturing Snag With S5 Camera

Written by Katie Allen on Tue, Mar 18, 2014 10:32 AM

Whispers about a possible delay on the current April 11th release date for the Samsung Galaxy S5 have been flying round for a few weeks since it emerged that there had been a large fire at the company’s PCB supplier plant.

Having assured consumers that the fire would not affect supply, it now looks like Samsung may have hit another snag, as it has come to light the Korean manufacturer is having difficulty with the yield of the S5’s huge 16MP camera…

The problem, according to sources within Samsung, lies not with the camera sensor itself but with the lens optics. Korean media has reported that the company is using a complex 6-element lens for the new S5, and that moulding them has been something of an issue. The S4 used a 5-element lens, and fitting the additional component into the same size camera module has necessitated thinner, more accurate components.

An industry insider gave more details about the difficulties in supplying these tiny, precise parts.

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

Achieving this accuracy has taken longer than planned. At present, with that April 11th launch date looming closer, supply of the optics parts is apparently only around 20-30%, despite the fact manufacturing was supposed to hit full capacity last month. If supply continues to be an issue, consumer demand might not be met, and delays looks like they could be a possibility.

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