Is Samsung Ditching Its Cheap Foldables?

Source: Mashable

For quite some time, whispers circulated regarding Samsung’s plan to introduce inexpensive foldable phones. Speculation even hinted at the Galaxy A series potentially embracing foldable technology. Presently, Samsung’s foldable offerings are solely nestled within the premium Galaxy Z lineup. These devices firmly reside in the top-tier category, with the entry-level Galaxy Z Flip 5 commencing at $999, while the top-tier Galaxy Z Fold 5 hits $1,799.

Samsung has found its rhythm with these foldable designs, now in their fourth iteration. Each year, the brand effortlessly launches new models, presenting meaningful enhancements in functionality and durability. The latest iterations have significantly bolstered consumer confidence, establishing these devices as feasible daily drivers. With an ambitious sales target this year, Samsung seems poised to reach its goal.

Samsung to Launch Budget-Friendly Foldables to Compete with iPhone - Tech
Source: Mashable

Emerging Competition and Market Dynamics

While currently dominating the foldable smartphone market, Samsung faces mounting competition, especially from Chinese OEMs. Although these competitors aim to challenge Samsung’s supremacy globally, their presence in the US market remains limited. Consequently, Samsung enjoys a relatively less competitive landscape in one of the world’s most profitable markets.

However, when Chinese manufacturers enter the arena, a race to the bottom often ensues. This trend has played out in the low-end and mid-range segments, enticing price-conscious consumers with aggressively priced phones flaunting competitive specs—at least on paper. Despite unyielding competition, Samsung’s Galaxy devices maintain a stronghold in major markets like India, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

The Impracticality of Affordable Foldables

Anticipating a similar trend in the foldables segment, speculations arose about Samsung delving into affordable foldable phones. Yet, crafting a foldable phone within the $400-$500 range seems impractical. The foldable panel and hinge are among the costliest components, and achieving respectable specs at such a price point seems unfeasible without compromising key areas.

Samsung isn’t merely producing foldable phones for the sake of it; there’s a vision driving this initiative. The brand aims to revolutionize smartphone perceptions and unlock new use cases, demanding a baseline of quality and capability. Consequently, Samsung refuted rumors about mid-range foldables, emphasizing its commitment to elevating the foldable phone potential beyond mere affordability.

Samsung’s Vision Beyond Affordability

For the foreseeable future, Samsung intends to retain its foldable phones as premium products, delivering high-end experiences with cutting-edge technology. Although more affordable foldables might be a possibility in years to come, the current tech landscape doesn’t support this move. Until then, Samsung’s strategy involves launching new models yearly and possibly adjusting the pricing for the Galaxy Z Fold models, maintaining their competitive edge.

Samsung says it sold more foldables in Galaxy Z Fold 3's launch month than in all of 2020 - CNET
Source: CNET

Moreover, Samsung continues to simplify purchases by offering attractive trade-in values on its high-end foldable phones, effectively reducing the overall cost for consumers. With these strategies in play, there’s little merit in Samsung pursuing a short-sighted approach of cheapening its foldable lineup.

Samsung’s Incentives and Consumer Strategy

As Black Friday approaches, Samsung’s Shop Samsung app offers exclusive deals, incentivizing purchases through additional discounts and perks. These limited-time offers, including significant discounts on flagship phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 5, make downloading the app a worthwhile move for prospective buyers seeking savings on premium devices.

Ultimately, Samsung’s decision to steer clear of cheap foldables at present aligns with its commitment to quality and innovation. As the tech landscape evolves, Samsung remains vigilant, ready to adapt when the time is right to expand its foldable portfolio without compromising on excellence.

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