Samsung Electronics is prioritizing foldable phones, beginning with a large advertising effort in the second half of this year to offer the premium form factor to a wider audience.
The South Korean manufacturer of the Galaxy family of mobile devices went even further and bolder in its commitment to the foldable category when discussing its profits on Thursday. In the second part of the year, executives promised a “full-scale flagship marketing” push, led by a smartphone the company plans to introduce on August 11th. The Galaxy Z Fold3 is largely thought to be the latest model.
Samsung usually releases new phones in the weeks leading up to Apple’s yearly iPhone line-up refresh in September, but with the Fold, the company is displacing the Note series. At the company’s earnings press conference on Thursday, executives dodged a question about the Galaxy Note, saying only that it is “dynamically addressing the various needs of consumers.” It has already stated that its next foldable device will include the S Pen, which is a fundamental feature of its Note handsets.
“At a time when it faces severe competition from Chinese companies in the low- to mid-price segment, Samsung is putting foldable smartphones front and centre to become a dominant player in the premium market,” said Jene Park, senior analyst at research firm Counterpoint. “This year’s lack of the Galaxy Note series will be beneficial to Fold3 sales.”
Samsung will have to lower the price of the Galaxy Z Fold series in order for it to become a mainstream product. The current Fold2 model is more expensive than the most expensive iPhone or Galaxy S flagship Android alternatives, starting at $1 999. Still, Samsung needs a premium but an affordable device to compete with Apple’s new iPhones in September, especially in a year when it delayed the Galaxy S’s regular launch date to January, widening the gap between its release and Apple’s latest.
According to Counterpoint, global sales of foldable smartphones will rise to 15.4 million units in 2021, up from 8.6 million in 2021 and three million in 2020.
In its presentation, Samsung emphasized the need of “mainstreaming” the foldable category as a whole, as well as seeing it as a long-term successor to its Galaxy Note series and a big differentiation from rival goods. Foldable phones will start adding to the firm’s bottom line in the second half of the year, according to the company.
Samsung also talked about its display technology advancements. It wants to release an under-display selfie camera that will do away with the front-facing camera’s dedicated screen cutout. The camera will be able to take images while sitting behind the display panel thanks to the new technology.