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Foldable phones expected to get substantially cheaper this year

Samsung's current gen foldables could get their prices slashed by 35%. (Image Source: Samsung)
Samsung's current gen foldables could get their prices slashed by 35%. (Image Source: Samsung)
A new report coming from DigiTimes is suggesting that Samsung's current gen foldables could get their prices slashed by at least 35% in anticipation for the next gen models. The South Korean giant also plans to boost foldable sales to 13 million units this year.

Since foldable phones are still quite new to the market and not too many handheld producers offer such devices, their launch prices have remained high, isolating them in a premium niche. According to a new DigiTimes report, this situation is expected to change in 2022, especially with Samsung’s models. Samsung was the first to introduce mass produced foldable phones, so if the South Korean giant is working to lower entry prices for this niche, all of the other producers should follow suit in order to stay competitive.

DigiTimes notes that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 models seem to have been a success and Samsung plans to boost the foldable smartphone sales in 2022 by 88% on year to 13 million units. Before launching the next gen models, Samsung wants to further lower the prices of the current gen, so the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is already down to ~US$716 in Taiwan, around 35% more affordable compared to its launch price back in August 2021. South Korean telecom channels are also enticing potential customers with free Galaxy Z Flip 3 units when purchasing certain contracts. This type of discount is expected to be applied by many telecom operators across the world this year.

Exact figures for the global foldable smartphone shipments are not out yet, but DigiTimes Research estimates these could reach 9.4 million units, up 20% over 2020 volume, but significantly lower than the 15.5 million units projected at the beginning of 2021. This was mainly due to the chip shortages that forced brands like Oppo and Huawei to release their 2021 foldables in late December. Moreover, Google had to push the launch of the foldable Pixel to 2022.

On the other hand, Taiwanese foldable hinge makers are getting ready for rising orders from smartphone producers in 2022. Hinges remain difficult to produce due to their complexity, and average sale price for such components is still much higher than notebook hinges for example, so producers need to account for this aspect when lowering the overall price of foldable devices this year.

 

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Bogdan Solca
Bogdan Solca - Senior Tech Writer - 1750 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I first stepped into the wondrous IT&C world when I was around seven years old. I was instantly fascinated by computerized graphics, whether they were from games or 3D applications like 3D Max. I'm also an avid reader of science fiction, an astrophysics aficionado, and a crypto geek. I started writing PC-related articles for Softpedia and a few blogs back in 2006. I joined the Notebookcheck team in the summer of 2017 and am currently a senior tech writer mostly covering processor, GPU, and laptop news.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 01 > Foldable phones expected to get substantially cheaper this year
Bogdan Solca, 2022-01-21 (Update: 2022-01-21)