Two years have passed since the market debut of the first folding smartphones. The two big names in the Android world were fighting each other on the front of the new technology: Samsung and Huawei. Many doubts dampened the initial enthusiasm – someone will remember the accidents that occurred with the protective film of one of the debut models – and the massive spread of increasingly light and performing tablets and laptops seemed to make pleonastic devices as bulky and expensive as folding smartphones.
In these two years, many things have happened: the pandemic has completely upset the way of working remotely and the ban imposed by the United States on Huawei has effectively put one of the two competitors in the corner.
Yet, on the day when the third generation of Samsung’s foldable leaflets debuts – the Galaxy Z – this technology that seemed to be the prerogative of an elite willing to spend between one thousand and two thousand euros, seems more alive than ever. The idea that it was just a way to revitalize a market mired in the repetition of models that are all the same has now been set aside and the bet on folding seems to make more sense than perhaps two years ago.
Today, users expect foldable smartphones designed to last and for this reason Samsung aimed to improve build quality for example with the IPX8 water resistance certification, the Armor Aluminum and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus body, in addition to the protective film made of elasticized PET, 80% more resistant than that of the previous versions and shorter bristles.
To understand what are the real market spaces and the prospects of a technology such as that of folding smartphones, ` interviewed Paolo Bagnoli, Head of Marketing of the telephony division of Samsung Electronics Italia.
When the first leaflets were launched, they looked like a gadget destined to revitalize the smartphone market with a novelty reserved for an elite. Today we are in the third generation, how has the folding smartphone market changed? Who is it for? How did you better define your target?
Two years ago, we ventured into the revolutionary world of foldable smartphones, a new format that opened up endless possibilities for functionality, productivity and entertainment. Throughout this time we have continued to listen to consumers, improving our Galaxy Z series in response to their real needs and expectations, enabling new ways of experiencing mobile apps and user interfaces, thanks also to our collaborations with industry leaders.
With the new Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and Galaxy Z Flip3 5G we introduce important innovations desired by users, which make them even more resistant, performing and functional, all enclosed in an iconic and elegant design. The new foldable smartphones offer users new opportunities to work, play and watch content with increasingly engaging entertainment experiences.
In particular, Galaxy Z Fold3 is designed to offer maximum productivity and entertainment: a device designed specifically for multitasking, thanks to superior performance, the 7.6-inch Infinity Flex display without interruption and the introduction of the support of the S Pen. The Z Flip3, on the other hand, features an elegant, compact and pocket-sized design, as well as improved photographic capabilities and a larger external display, and is dedicated to lovers of style and practicality.
With Fold3 and Flip3 we intend to redefine the possibilities offered by folding smartphones once again, offering the flexibility and versatility needed to keep up with our lives. We expect this generation of leaflets to be the best-selling ever: the market demand for this type of format is growing exponentially and according to many analysts in 2021 it will reach 6.5 million units globally, triple the ‘Last year.
By offering Flip3 at a starting price of just over a thousand euros, we intend to allow an ever-growing audience of consumers to access the innovative foldable experience and confirm our role as a leading supplier in this market.
The ban imposed by the United States on Huawei has effectively removed the other big competitor in the field of folding smartphones. Yet Samsung has not given up on this segment and this technology. Is Folding Really the Future of Mobile Telephony?
The many feedbacks that emerged from research and received from our customers confirm user satisfaction with the foldable format, which guarantees a practical and natural smartphone experience in everyday use. We are witnessing an evolution in the way we use our smartphones, both at work and in free time, which is destined to last over time.
Counterpoint expects Samsung’s 2021 foldable smartphone shipments to grow significantly. This increase is driven by improved designs and hardware as well as a competitively priced range. By 2023, a 10-fold growth in foldable smartphone shipments is expected. And we are approaching the near future as a leader in this segment.
We look favorably on the introduction of innovation by all manufacturers because it pushes us to always find new solutions and improve the current ones. With three generations of leaflets under our belt, we have obtained the necessary know-how and collected valuable consumer feedback, useful for creating increasingly innovative experiences and responding to user needs.
Ever wider and sharper folding screens and ever better performing cameras. Is the future of smartphones in image and entertainment or rather in professional use? They still cost a lot, is it a technology whose price is destined to reduce or remain the prerogative of the few who can spend 2,000 euros for a device?
As for the price, our commitment is to make innovative folding technology ever more accessible and with the Z Fold3 and, in particular, the Z Flip3, we have made the Galaxy Z experience even more affordable.
With our new foldable devices, we intend to offer both the best in productivity and immersive and engaging entertainment experiences. Galaxy Z Fold3 offers cinematic viewing experiences and allows you to better view and interact with your favorite apps. In addition, thanks to the introduction of support for the S Pen and the improved features of the Flex mode, the Z Fold3 is confirmed as the perfect device for multitasking.
Working closely with Microsoft we have been able to enrich the Galaxy experience with the latest in productivity and with the best connectivity with Windows PCs. For example, Galaxy Z Fold3 and the S Pen allow you to take shared notes during a video call with colleagues in Microsoft Teams, while also taking advantage of the experience optimized to fit Flex mode.
Galaxy Z Fold3 also allows you to manage multiple instances of your favorite Office apps, such as PowerPoint and Excel, or to read individual emails in Outlook in a complete way, returning the preview of the others on the opposite side, just as it would happen from the desktop, to get the maximum productivity even on the move.
Thanks to the introduction of more innovative photographic features, Galaxy Z Flip3 users, on the other hand, can take even more incredible selfies even without hands, with the Flex mode, or directly from the external screen with the device closed. And, thanks to the adaptive 120Hz refresh rate, scrolling and sharing are extremely smooth.
Z Flip3 is ideal for relaxing and watching YouTube vlogs or TV shows without having to use your hands, taking advantage of the Flex Mode Panel feature for a more convenient viewing experience, moving the video to the top half of the screen and showing controls, such as brightness or volume, in the lower half. Finally, thanks to the new and updated Stereo Speakers with Dolby Atmos®, the Z Flip3 delivers immersive sound with incredible clarity, depth and spatial effects.