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Samsung's foldable smartphone shipments to be around 7 mln units this year: analysts

All News 16:11 August 12, 2021

By Joo Kyung-don

SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co's foldable smartphone shipments are expected to be around 7 million units this year, about three times more compared to a year earlier, analysts here said Thursday, as its new models come with cheaper price tags even with upgraded features.

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Z Fold3 and the Galaxy Z Flip3 at the Unpacked online event on Wednesday, highlighting upgraded displays, durability and functionality. They are scheduled to be launched globally on Aug. 27.

The Z Fold3 is Samsung's first foldable smartphone to support the S Pen stylus, while housing an under display camera on the main screen for the first time. The Z Flip3 comes with a larger cover screen than its predecessor along with a slimmer design.

With the latest models, local analysts predicted Samsung's foldable smartphone shipments to be 6-7 million units this year, more than triple from a year earlier, with the clamshell-type Z Flip representing about 60 percent of its sales.

Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy Z Fold3 (L) and Galaxy Z Flip3 foldable smartphones are displayed at KT Square in Seoul on Aug. 12, 2021. (Yonhap)

"Sales of two new foldable smartphones appear to be better than expected," Lee Kyu-ha, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities, said. "Despite upgraded performance and functionality, their prices are maximum 400,000 won cheaper than predecessors and that will expand consumers' accessibility to the products."

In the United States, Samsung said the Z Fold3 5G will be sold from US$1,799, down $200 from the Z Fold2 5G's initial price last year. The starting price for the Z Flip3 5G has been set at $999, sharply down from the Z Flip 5G's launching price of $1,449.

"With the foldable category in its third year, shipment volume has become larger, while its yield rates have improved," Cho Chul-hee, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities, said. "Samsung is presumed to have lowered prices, even reducing targeted operating margin, in a move to popularize the foldable smartphone sector."

Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy Z Fold3 (L) and Galaxy Z Flip3 foldable smartphones are displayed at KT Square in Seoul on Aug. 12, 2021. (Yonhap)

Analysts said Samsung's dominance in the foldable market would continue, with some expecting 12 million Galaxy Z series shipments in 2022.

Industry tracker Counterpoint Research recently estimated Samsung to account for 88 percent of the global foldable smartphone market this year and its market share to stay around 75 percent till 2023.

"Unlike Chinese firms, whose foldable phone sales are concentrated in the domestic market, Samsung is selling its foldable devices across various countries," Lee Chang-min, an analyst at KB Securities, said. "The company has also relatively diversified its foldables product portfolio and therefore can satisfy needs of various consumers."


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