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Would a lower-priced Galaxy Fold be enough to persuade you to buy a foldable phone?

Is a Cheaper Galaxy Fold All That Would Take to Convince You to Get a Foldable?

As you may know, the world of Samsung foldables is quite an expensive place. The latest Galaxy Z Fold 5, announced last summer, starts at a hefty $1800, just like its predecessor, the Z Fold 4. Samsung’s foldables started at an even higher price point, with the OG Fold starting at an eyebrow-raising $2k back in 2019. But the winds are changing now, and a recent rumor points to Samsung working on a cheaper Fold, aimed at competing with the likes of Huawei, OnePlus, and Oppo in the Chinese market. Can a cheaper Fold by Samsung actually kick the foldable phones into the mainstream? Could you be persuaded to get a foldable if it comes at a more affordable price?

Samsung’s foldables, pricing, competition

Samsung started its foldable era back in 2019, when it first introduced the OG Galaxy Fold. It was a rather experimental device prone to inconsistencies when it came to durability, but still, an exciting innovation. The first foldable by Samsung was, as I already mentioned, quite the purchase. Starting at $1980, it was a very exquisite device… and with the foldable market still being quite new back then, it didn’t exactly transform smartphone sales numbers.

The prices went down with the introduction of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Instead of $2k, the foldable was now starting at $1799. In 2021, Samsung stated (without giving any numbers though) that in the first month after the introduction of the Fold 3 and Flip 3, it sold more foldables in the US than in the prior two years. Actually, the company said US consumers bought five times more Z Fold 3 units than Z Fold 2 units in the previous year!

Even without the actual numbers provided by Samsung, five times more Fold 3 purchases than Fold 2 purchases does mean something, doesn’t it? The elephant in the room: a $200 price cut.
But the prices remained the same since then, and it seems Samsung may be in for some challenges in the foldable market.
A Counterpoint Research report from July of 2023 shows that global foldable smartphone shipments grew 64% YoY to 2.5 million units. However, the report highlights that this growth was mainly driven by Chinese phone makers and their foldable phones, including Huawei and Oppo.

This pretty much means the competition is getting intense. A report from DSCC from July last year shows that Samsung was still holding 72% of the market share (in Europe) on foldables, followed by Huawei. But the percentage has gone down from 2022’s 86%.

All in all, Samsung seems to be in deep waters, and in order to fight off the likes of Huawei, Oppo, OnePlus, Vivo, Honor, or Xiaomi, the company should probably offer an entry-level Fold.

The theoretical $1200 Samsung Galaxy Fold as your first foldable: what could this be?

It’s pretty understandable that not everyone has gone for a foldable phone just yet. Given the fact that foldable technology costs more to produce, the price of the foldable is understandably higher. Not everyone is willing to spend $1799 on a phone.
Actually, what we see from the DSCC report shows that the Z Flip 5 took 45% of Samsung’s foldable market share in July 2023. Could this be because the Flip 5 costs $999? Of course, other reasons such as the more compact form factor are a thing, I’m not completely discarding them, but I’m just focusing on the possibility that… as with anything in life, price does play a role.

Now, imagine you get to use the convenience of a 2-in-1 tablet and phone (like the Fold 5), but for, let’s say, for $1200, like the rumor is saying. It still is expensive, but it’s more competitive with the Honors and the Oppos.

Cutting costs, of course, would mean some compromises. You should still be getting the multitasking possibilities thanks to that big unfolded screen and all that foldable form-factor fanciness like Flex mode and the like.

Thinking along the lines of a Fan Edition option, at $1200, the cheaper Fold 6 could be getting a flagship processor that’s a year old (should still be plenty capable though!)
Maybe we would also be seeing some compromises in terms of camera or probably build quality (maybe a less durable glass back, like on the Galaxy S23 FE?).

But when you think of it, we all know processors are crazy fast these days nonetheless (yesteryear’s flagship processor is still extremely capable today), you really don’t buy a foldable for its camera prowess, and it could still have good-enough durability (the Galaxy S23 FE still has an IP68 rating, for example).

Are you willing to buy a possible Fold 5 FE, if Samsung decides to make such a product for outside of China? Would you be interested in spending $1200 to get that 2-in-1 tablet and phone experience, those excellent work and play capabilities, and the countless creative possibilities (without you having to carry around a tablet)? Many people, I reckon, would be saying yes, or at least, I would be, for one.

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