Samsung Elec fears phone supply disruption if row with Japan drags on

2019.08.08 15:44:42 | 2019.08.08 15:52:06

[Photo provided by Samsung Electronics Co.]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by Samsung Electronics Co.]

If the spat with Japan drags on to influence or further disturb shipments of high-tech supplies to Korea, Samsung Electronics may have to worry about production of not just chips but also smartphones, according to mobile chief Koh Dong-jin.

“We usually have four months of stocks in materials necessary for our production. The curbs from Japan therefore won’t affect our second-half supply quota and schedule for new phones (Galaxy 10, Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Fold),” Koh told reporters after the unpacking ceremony for Galaxy Note 10th anniversary phones on Wednesday in Brooklyn, New York.

“But it is hard to say what can happen three to four months later,” Koh said, claiming these days were the hardest times since he had took helm of the mobile business in 2015.

Samsung Electronics has been the biggest victim to export curbs from Japan. Japan exempted three chemicals necessary in silicon wafer fabrication, or chip and display production, from simplified and fast-track clearance when being shipped out to Korea from July 4. The measures were imposed even as Korean producers who dominate global memory and OLED market are the biggest customers of Japanese suppliers of the three chemicals.

“I never spoke of crisis, but I may have to towards the end of the year as global market conditions have become difficult to predict, “he said.

Japan last week officially delisted Korea from white country that benefits from simplified procedures of over a thousand items falling under strategic and sensitive category, but so far has not named additional commodities requiring case-by-case approval beyond the three chemicals.

He said the company will be readying slightly less than 1 million units in Galaxy Fold that will come out in September after delays from April due to multiple issues. The bar-raising foldable display will be released in Korea and 19 other countries.

By Jang Yong-seung and Lee Ha-yeon

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