Foldable phones have been on the market for four years now, ever since the Samsung Galaxy Fold was unveiled in 2019. Prices for folding phones remain sky-high but according to a new report, Samsung intends to release a cheaper Galaxy Z foldable in 2024 as competition ramps up with Android rivals.
The Korean company’s Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 impressed Express.co.uk when we tried them out, but they cost £1,749 and £1,049 respectively – hardly pocket change.
Analysts at TrendForce have reported that Samsung intends to try and bring prices down on its foldables – perhaps to compete with Motorola, whose Razr 40 flip-style foldable costs just £799, and is already on sale.
“Samsung is planning to bring foldable phones to the mid-range market next year, further reducing price barriers and making foldable phones more accessible to a broader range of consumers,” TrendForce said.
It added that “other Android manufacturers are expected to follow suit, driving accelerated expansion in the foldable phone market.”
This is music to the ears of phone fans who may have been on the fence about a foldable given the eye-watering prices Samsung, Oppo, OnePlus, and others are currently demanding for the cutting edge tech. It is common in consumer electronics for new innovative products to start off very expensive but then come down in price as companies find ways to manufacture more cost effectively.
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In this instance, folding displays and their hinges need to decrease in price before consumers will see cheaper Z Flips and Z Folds on shelves – but it appears as though that will happen next year.
The report does not say if Samsung will target the Flip or Fold line with its cheaper foldables, but the reference to “foldable phones” – plural – in the report has us hoping it is both. The firm just launched the Galaxy S23 FE alongside tablets and earbuds also in the mid-range price bracket with the FE branding – perhaps we are in for a Z Flip FE and Z Fold FE?
Samsung could cut costs by taking away the outer displays, using plastic instead of glass, and putting mid-range chipsets in the devices. But foldable phones by their nature are complicated, expensive devices, so don’t expect to see prices hit rock bottom. But if Samsung could release a Galaxy Z Flip phone for, say, £699, that would shake up the market considerably.
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TrendForce mentions Honor, Oppo, Xiaomi, Samsung, Huawei, and Transsion as the Android makers who brought foldables onto the market this year. Interestingly the report does not once mention Google, whose £1,749 Pixel Fold was released in June. We called it “the best and worst foldable we’ve ever tested”, which may help indicate why the analysts deemed not to include the American firm in their thinking.
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