Samsung launches high-end foldable smartphones in China
Samsung Electrionics has launched foldable smartphones in China, with Chinese partners such as Baidu, to enter into the high-end market segment.
The entry of Samsung, the world's No. 1 smartphone vendor, will boost the penetration rate of foldable smartphones – still a niche market with high prices and limited models.
Samsung has launched its new foldable Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G and Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G. With new materials and a thinner and lighter body, they feature improved portability and durability.
Both products can withstand up to 200,000 openings and closings based on durability tests, certified by third-party organization Bureau Veritas.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G costs 14,999 yuan (US$2,344) while the Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G is priced from 7,599 yuan. That compares favorably with other foreign brands in China.
Huawei, Xiaomi and Samsung have all launched foldable smartphone models in the high-end market. Apple hasn't yet launched foldable iPhones.
The foldable display market is growing rapidly with improved technology. Foldable screens will become mainstream technology in 2022 or 2023, say researchers IHS Markit and Counterpoint Research.
In 2021, foldable screen smartphone sales will hit 9 million units, triple last year's sales, says Counterpoint.
Samsung has increased its production of foldable screens to 25 million units annually. It has built new foldable panel plants in several countries, according to earlier media reports.
Besides smartphones, Samsung also launched smart watch and wireless headset to establish an ecosystem, for consumers to "connect to each other and modern lifestyle."
It has joined Chinese partners including Baidu and Kingsoft Office to provide search and software services for its products.