Samsung Electronics unveils new foldable smartphones

Samsung Electronics unveils new foldable smartphones

South Korean smartphone maker Galaxy Z Flip 4 unveiled its latest high-end foldable smartphones, Galaxy Z Flip 4, on August 10, 2022. JOSEP LAGO AFP SEOUL Samsung Electronics unveiled its latest high-end foldable phones on Wednesday, keeping prices at the same level as last year's in a bid to cement its leadership in an expanding niche market.

The smartphone maker priced its clamshell Galaxy Z Flip 4 at US $999.99 and the 5 G-enabled top-line Galaxy Z Fold 4 with a 7.6 inch main screen to start at US $1,799. The launch prices of the models last year were the same as 99 in the United States.

We've successfully transformed this category from a radical project to a mainstream device lineup enjoyed by millions worldwide, said TM Roh, president and head of mobile experience at Samsung Electronics.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4 as well as its latest earbuds, Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, will be available in select places starting August 26th, including the United States, parts of Europe and South Korea.

Counterpoint Research predicted global shipments of foldable smartphones to grow to 16 million units this year, just 1.2 percent of the 1.36 billion smartphone shipments forecast last year, but a jump from 9 million foldables shipped last year.

The overall smartphone market is shrinking this year, as consumers spend less, foldable phones are likely to fare better, as their quirky form factor, large screens and portability attract interest, analysts said.

In the first half of 2022, Samsung held 62 percent of the market share in foldable phones, followed by Huawei at 16 percent and Oppo at 3 percent. The second half of Samsung's share will be around 80 percent after the new releases.

In the second half, Samsung aims to surpass that of its previous flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note.

The Foldables have helped Samsung differentiate itself. According to Counterpoint senior analyst Jene Park, Apple will be Samsung's key competitor in the future and we expect a foldable from Apple in either 2024 or 2025.

Samsung said the latest models make it easier for smartphone owners to use popular apps such as Instagram and Microsoft's Outlook.