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Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge to be in short supply this year

That's the word from Samsung mobile chief JK Shin, who says that carriers are changing their orders to request more of curved-edge smartphones.

Samsung's tapered screen makes it harder to produce. Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge, set for release Friday, will be in short supply all year long due both to its expected popularity and to the difficulties in crafting its screen, which flows over both sides of the smartphone.

Samsung mobile chief JK Shin told reporters Thursday that the company is seeing "some carriers...switching existing orders to get more of the S6 Edge," according to Reuters. At the same time, Samsung's suppliers are having a hard time manufacturing the Edge's curved screen. Thus, the S6 Edge could be in short supply "throughout this year," Shin said.

There's a lot riding on the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, which was unveiled last month to critical acclaim and will hit the worldwide market on Friday. Samsung hopes the ensuing buzz will reverse its flagging fortunes in the smartphone market, where it has ceded market share to competitors over the last year.

The latest entries into the Galaxy S line are designed to be Samsung's answer to products like Apple's iPhone 6 lineup and the HTC One M9 . The Galaxy S6 itself is a standard smartphone design, featuring a small bezel around its flat display, a metal finish and Samsung's own Exynos octa-core processor built-in. The Galaxy S6 Edge comes with all the same features, with the exception of the screen.

Shin predicted that the flagship S6 line will set a Samsung record for unit shipments, though he didn't offer any projections.

Last year was troubling for Samsung's mobile division, which saw revenue and market share slump in the face of Apple's iPhone and China-based Xiaomi's lower-cost smartphones. Samsung has said it will reduce the number of smartphone models it sells in 2015 by a third to concentrate its resources and efforts.

According to Reuters, Shin said he expects the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge to help the company achieve its goals of improving revenue and profits. High demand for both products is due in large part to the overwhelmingly positive reviews they have received.

The Galaxy S6 Edge, for instance, earned a score of nine out of 10 from CNET's Reviews team. CNET Reviews called the Galaxy S6 Edge The smartphone is so appealing, in fact, that CNET Reviews editors argue that it "has the beauty, brains, and brawn to take down the iPhone 6 and all the Android competition."

Success for the S6 would stand in contrast to the Galaxy S5, the current flagship line. According to reports late last year, Samsung sold 40 percent fewer Galaxy S5 smartphones than the previous S4 models in the devices' first three months on store shelves, respectively. Things didn't get better for the S5, which didn't see any dramatic design changes and clung to cheaper-feeling plastic materials relative to its high-end competition.

Shin focused solely on smartphones during his talk with the press on Thursday, according to Reuters. He also noted that Samsung is working hard on new wearables, including an update to its Gear smartwatch.

Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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