Samsung is reportedly developing an entry-level model of its new foldable phone, the Galaxy Z Fold 6, this year. The goal is to increase the penetration rate of the foldable phone market and expand the share of the Chinese foldable phone market.
This is the first time that Samsung Electronics is considering developing an entry-level foldable phone model. After launching its first foldable phone, the Galaxy Fold, in 2019, Samsung Electronics has been releasing one foldable phone series, the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip, each year from 2020 to 2023. The 2023 models include Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5. If Samsung Electronics decides to release the low-end model of the Z Fold 6 this year, we can expect the launch of three types of foldable phones, including the Z Fold 6, the low-end model of the Z Fold 6, and the Z Flip 6.
According to market research company Omdia, Samsung Electronics ranked third in China’s foldable phone shipment share in the third quarter of 2023 with 19%. Honor was first with 28%, and Huawei was second with 26%. In the third quarter of last year, Honor (July), Samsung Electronics (August), Xiaomi (August), and Huawei (September) launched new foldable phones.
The reason Samsung Electronics is considering developing the Z Fold 6 entry-level model rather than the Z Flip 6 is presumed to be a result of the evaluation that the Z Flip series is relatively established. In Samsung Electronics’ foldable phone series, Z Flip shipments are ahead of Z Fold. The Z Flip is small and light, and is popular among women and younger age groups thanks to its compact design, but its short battery life is a disadvantage. In addition, because the Z Fold has potential in terms of foldable form factor productivity, Samsung Electronics’ task is to increase Z Fold shipments.
Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Z Fold 5, released last year, was 13.4mm thick when folded. The thickness of the Mate X3, released by Huawei in April last year, is 11.8mm, and the thickness of the Mate Compared to the 8.25mm thickness of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, a bar-type smartphone released by Apple last year, Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Z Fold 5 is 1.6 times thicker and Huawei Mate X5’s is 1.3 times thicker. Xiaomi’s foldable phone MixFold 3, released in August last year, was 10.9mm thick.
It is reported that Huawei plans to release an entry-level version of its flip-type foldable phone (P Pocket series) in the first half of this year at a price of less than 1 million won. Huawei has aggressively planned its foldable phone business this year.