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August 10, 2022
Samsung is upgrading its foldable phones with the debut of new Galaxy Z Fold4 and Z Flip4 foldable models. The new devices, debuting Wednesday at Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked product launch event, will start shipping later this month.
Both models are incremental upgrades from last year’s models. Samsung kept the pricing the same as well, meaning they remain expensive compared with traditional smartphones. The dual-display Galaxy Z Fold4, which has 7.6-inch and 6.2-inch screens and can function as a small computer, starts at $1,799. The smaller Z Flip4, starting at $999, has a 6.7-inch display and unfolds with a 1.9-inch screen.
The upgrades come as Samsung is looking to hold on to its dominant hold on the emerging market for foldable phones. In the fourth quarter of last year, Samsung has held an overwhelming 96% share of the global foldable market, according to Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC). TM Roh, president and head of Samsung Electronics’ Mobile eXperience business, said sales of foldable devices have tripled since the company launched its first model three years ago. Samsung sold 10 million foldables last year, Roh said during opening remarks of the Galaxy Unpacked launch, held as a virtual event.
Samsung CEO TM Roh at Unpacked 2022
“Now we are bringing it into the mainstream,” Roh said.
In the first quarter of 2022, Samsung’s share remained dominant, but fell to 74%, according to DSCC. Samsung ceded some of its dominant share to Huawei, which gained 20%, thanks to the launch of its P50 Pocket. DSCC said no other vendor has more than a 2% share of the foldable market. The fourth quarter of 2021 showed the fastest growth to date with 4.2 million units, up 571% year-over-year, DSCC reported.
DSCC is forecasting that the foldable market will grow 107% this year with units shipped topping 16 million. Ross Young, DSCC’s founder and CEO said Samsung could boost sales by lowering the entry price of the Z Flip4. However, Samsung has decided to maintain the entry price of $999.
“I do think the Fold 4 price has to come down to hit their volume targets,” Young said. “The Fold 3 shipped less than expected.”
Carriers announcing incentives include AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. AT&T is giving up to $1,000 to customers trading in an older Samsung Galaxy phone, or a free Galaxy Flip4 when purchasing a Galaxy Fold4. Verizon said it is offering $800 off either new phone with qualified 5G Unlimited plans and trade-ins. Verizon is also offering new customers switching from other carriers $200 in the form of a Verizon eCard. T-Mobile is offering the Galaxy Z Flip 4 free, or $1,000 off the Z Flip4 via for those trading phones it considers eligible, or for those adding a T-Mobile Magenta MAX plan line.
Besides the foldables, Samsung launched new earbuds. Descriptions of Samsung’s new products appear in the slideshow above.
Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.
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