Samsung may launch cheaper foldable after Galaxy Z Fold 4

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Samsung is apparently planning to release sub-$800 foldables as a follow-up to this year’s revisions.

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 are anticipated to launch later this year, but Samsung has other foldable phone ambitions as well. According to a recent source, the phone manufacturer is preparing more affordable options as it seeks to increase its market domination in foldable phones.

According to a report from Korea’s ETNews(opens in new tab), Samsung plans to create cheaper foldables by forgoing some of the high-end capabilities seen on the Fold and Flip versions. According to reports, Samsung is aiming to sell foldable gadgets for less than 1 million won, or less than $800 in the United States.

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At $999, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the least expensive foldable phone on the market right now. However, it still puts the phone on par with expensive models like the iPhone 13 Pro and the Galaxy S22 Plus made by Samsung.

Samsung now holds a monopoly on the best foldable phone market, but it only does it with extremely pricey products. That runs counter to Samsung’s business model, which has allowed it to dominate the global smartphone industry. Samsung sells flagship Galaxy S models in addition to more affordable Samsung models. Samsung’s midrange Galaxy A phones actually outsell the Galaxy S flagships, as the ETNews piece points out.

Samsung apparently intends to create a lineup for the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip that is comparable to the Galaxy A lineup. A series phones, like the Galaxy A53 from this year, have weaker processors and less advanced camera technology so they may be sold for hundreds of dollars cheaper than the phone manufacturer’s flagship models. Consider the A53, which is $350 less expensive than the Galaxy S22 at $449.

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The ETNews article is consistent with other statements made by Samsung on the expansion of its line of foldable phones. Samsung Electronics President TM Roh laid out the company’s objectives for its phone business at the beginning of 2021, which included increasing its market share in foldable phones. In order to do this, Roh stated that Samsung wished to create foldables that were more “accessible” to a wider market—a statement that many saw as implying more affordable.

How did Samsung arrive there then? Turning to less expensive components for a less expensive foldable would undoubtedly be in order if the plan is to follow the Galaxy A blueprint. It is anticipated that the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 would both come equipped with Qualcomm’s top-tier Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 system-on-chip. A less potent chipset would most likely be used in a more cheap foldable.

But creating a foldable phone that is both affordable and appealing to a wider audience also requires overcoming the two issues that are most frequently raised about foldables: durability and battery life. With a new hinge design on its future foldables, Samsung looks to be addressing the first issue. This design is said to make the phones weigh less and leave less of a noticeable wrinkle on the portion of the screen where the handsets fold in half. Samsung’s foldables’ design advancements may trickle down to less expensive gadgets.

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The issue with battery life is one that persists. We weren’t really wowed by the Galaxy Z Fold 3 or Galaxy Z Flip 3’s battery life. The battery life of the Z Flip 3 was so bad, in fact, that it was definitely one of our least favorite aspects of an otherwise excellent phone. With the more power-efficient Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, Samsung is reportedly addressing it in the upcoming models. For any less expensive foldables it wishes to manufacture, though, it would have to find a different approach.

The business has some time to resolve everything. According to the ETNews article, Samsung won’t begin shipping any of its more affordable foldable handsets until 2024. Watch for the Galaxy Z Fold 4/Galaxy Z Flip 4 debut, which is anticipated for this August, in the interim.

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