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Samsung Exec: Foldables Will Become ‘New Standard’ for Phones in 3 Years

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Samsung is now on its fourth generation of foldable phones with the release of the Galaxy Z Fold4 and Flip4, and it expects its successors to outsell even the Galaxy S lineup. Roh Tae-moon, the head of Samsung’s mobile division, predicted in a new interview that foldables will make up more than 50 percent of Samsung’s premium device sales by 2025. With sales last year increasing three-fold, that may actually be a reasonable assertion. 

Samsung’s early foldable efforts were troubled by issues with display reliability — it even had to recall review units of the original Fold due to high failure rates. Ever since then, it’s been relatively smooth sailing. The Korean smartphone maker regularly reports rising sales of foldables, even with prices still in the stratosphere. Roh believes this trend will continue, and foldables will become the new standard for smartphones. 

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Roh says that Samsung has been seeing a “meaningful percentage” of users switching from other phone brands, like Apple and Xiaomi, to Samsung’s foldables. He also told the Korea Herald that Samsung is projecting that foldables are on track to become its biggest mobile product. “By 2025, foldable items will take up more than 50% of Samsung’s total premium smartphone shipments,” Roh said. 

The newly announced Galaxy Z Flip4 and Z Fold4.

Coincidentally, recent reports point to a budget-oriented Samsung foldable launching in late 2024. Whether or not this report is accurate, a cheaper foldable is a prerequisite for Roh’s predictions to come true. Foldables are genuinely amazing pieces of technology, and their true multitasking capabilities can completely change the way you use a phone. However, even the best mobile computing experience isn’t worth $1,800 to most people. That’s why the cheaper clamshell-style Flip3 was substantially more popular than the Fold3 last year — it’s only $1,000. 

Samsung’s commitment to foldables is also evident in its launch strategy. It’s doing everything it can to goose the numbers by offering hefty pre-order bonuses. You can trade in multiple old devices to help defray the high price of foldables, and Samsung offers “enhanced” values during the pre-order period. For example, last year’s Flip3 will net you a $900 discount on the new model, which is only $100 less than it cost in 2021. There are also free memory upgrades, free cases, and Samsung store credit. Carriers are also offering steep discounts for anyone willing to trade in an old phone. Even at a starting point of $1,800, Samsung is giving up a lot of profit to entice people to give foldables a try. If you’re interested, you still have time to get those sweet pre-order bonuses.

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