Samsung unveils new foldable smartphones, looking to stay ahead of a growing market

SEOUL, Aug 10 (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) unveiled its latest high-end foldable smartphones on Wednesday, keeping prices at the same level as last year in a bid to cement its leadership in a niche market by expansion.

The smartphone maker has priced its clamshell Galaxy Z Flip4 at $999.99, and the high-end 5G-enabled Galaxy Z Fold4 with a 7.6-inch main display starts at $1,799.99 in the States. States, the same as the introductory prices of last year’s models.

“We have succeeded in transforming this category from a radical project into a line of consumer devices loved by millions of people around the world,” said TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile Experience at Samsung Electronics.

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The Galaxy Z Flip4 and Z Fold4, along with its latest headphones, Galaxy Buds2 Pro, will be generally available from August 26 in select locations such as the United States, parts of Europe, and South Korea.

Counterpoint Research predicts that global foldable smartphone shipments will reach 16 million units this year, just 1.2% of the 1.36 billion expected smartphone shipments, but a jump from the 9 million foldable devices shipped Last year.

Although the overall smartphone market is expected to decline this year as consumers spend less, foldable smartphones should fare better as their quirky form factor, large screens and portability drive interest, analysts said.

Samsung held a 62% market share in foldable smartphones in the first half of 2022, followed by Huawei at 16% and Oppo at 3%. Counterpoint expects Samsung’s second half share to be around 80% after new releases.

Samsung said it aims for foldable phone sales to overtake those of its former flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note, in the second half. Read more

“Foldables have helped differentiate Samsung…Apple will be Samsung’s biggest competitor in the future and we expect a foldable to come out of Apple in 2024 or 2025,” said Jene Park, senior analyst at Counterpoint.

Samsung said the latest models make it easier for phone owners to use popular apps like Instagram and Microsoft’s Outlook (MSFT.O).

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Reporting by Joyce Lee. Editing by Gerry Doyle

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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