In a press conference held on Wednesday in New York, Roh Tae-moon, the head of Samsung Electronics mobile, stated that the South Korean tech giant seeks to target wider audiences with its Galaxy foldable phones in an effort to address the slow growth of its premium smartphones and macroeconomic headwinds.
The combined shipments of the two models by the world’s largest foldable phone manufacturer, the clamshell-style Galaxy Z Flip and book-style Galaxy Z Fold, will surpass those of other Galaxy premium smartphones, including its flagship Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, and S22 Ultra — which replaces its Note lineup — in three years, according to Roh.
By 2025, foldable products will account for more than half of all premium smartphone sales from Samsung [KRX: 005930] , Roh told reporters on Wednesday. “Foldables will replace smartphones as the next industry standard.”
The briefing was held shortly after the newest foldable Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4 were introduced earlier on Wednesday by the world’s largest smartphone maker by shipping. Starting on August 26, the two variants will be sold in a few nations throughout the world, including Korea and the US.
As Chinese rivals Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi, and Vivo have been releasing new foldables for the domestic market, Samsung has maintained its position as the undisputed leader in the foldable smartphone industry.
According to statistics from industry watcher Omdia, shipments of Samsung’s foldable predecessors, Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3, which debuted in August 2021, totaled 7.1 million devices through 2021, with Z Flip 3 taking the lead with 4.6 million shipments. Then, the two phones saw a hardware update and a price reduction.
These had a significant impact on foldable shipments globally, which increased by up to 9 million devices (309 percent from 2020) according to Omdia statistics.
The combined shipping of the Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3 made up 2.6% of Samsung’s 2021 total of 271.5 million devices.
Even while Samsung had a 20 percent global market share advantage over Apple in terms of overall smartphone sales last year, Samsung’s influence in the premium market has been waning.
According to industry researcher Counterpoint Research, Apple’s premium market share increased by 5 percentage points to 60 percent, while Samsung’s premium market share decreased by 3 percentage points to 17 percent.
Jene Park, a senior analyst at Counterpoint, estimated that Samsung will sell about 9 million Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4 devices this year. Additionally, Counterpoint predicted that the number of foldables shipped annually will increase to 16 million in 2022 and 26 million in 2023.
The Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4 are the first smartphones to be unveiled since the electronics behemoth came under criticism for the benchmark performance-rigging controversy that resulted in the removal of the majority of Samsung devices from the lists of benchmark organizations.
Source: Korea Herald