Samsung unveils new foldable smartphones, seeks to maintain leadership in the growing market

SEOUL, Aug. 10 (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) It unveiled its latest foldable smartphone on Wednesday, keeping prices at the same level as last year in a bid to cement its leadership in an expanding niche market.

The smartphone maker has priced the clamshell Galaxy Z Flip4 at $999.99, and the 5G-enabled Galaxy Z Fold4 with a 7.6-inch main screen to start at $1799.99 in the US, the same launch prices as last year’s models.

“We have successfully transformed this category from a radical venture into a flagship device family enjoyed by millions around the world,” said TM Roh, Head of Mobile Experience at Samsung Electronics and Head of Mobile Experience at Samsung Electronics.

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The Galaxy Z Flip4 and Z Fold4, as well as the latest earbuds, the Galaxy Buds2 Pro, will be generally available from August 26 in select locations such as the US, parts of Europe and South Korea.

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

Although the overall smartphone market is shrinking this year as consumers spend less, foldable smartphones are likely to fare better, with the quirky form factor, large screens and portability attracting interest, analysts said.

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

Samsung said it aims for sales of foldable phones to outpace sales of its previous flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note, in the second half. Read more

“Foldable devices have helped Samsung differentiate itself… Apple will be Samsung’s main competitor in the future, and we expect Apple to launch a foldable device in 2024 or 2025,” said Counterpoint Senior Analyst Jene Park.

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

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Prepared by Joyce Lee. Editing by Jerry Doyle

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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