The manufacturer capitalizes on its dominant position on foldable smartphones

Samsung is bending over backwards to solidify its dominance in the foldable smartphone market, a sector that is still nascent but is growing rapidly. Four years after the launch of its first models, the Korean manufacturer announced, Wednesday, August 10, the global version of its fourth-generation devices, as is the case for previous devices, with a compact version called Galaxy Z Flip 4, in addition to an additional device. Globally, Galaxy Z Fold 4.

“We created this part in 2019, and it took”, Francois Hernandez, Vice President of Samsung Electronics France responsible for mobility appreciates. Global sales of foldable smartphones quadrupled in 2021, reaching 10 million units. This segment could still grow 73% in 2022, according to research firm Counterpoint Research, while its colleague Strategy Analytics expects to sell 75 million devices worldwide in 2025. However, it’s a marginal level given the 1.3 billion phone number. Intelligent sold worldwide in 2021.

Read also: We tested … Oppo Find N, a well-thought-out foldable smartphone

little competition

The inventor of the concept, with a prototype unveiled in 2009, Samsung crushes the competition. South Korea has 99% of the French market for foldable smartphones, but slightly less globally, about 80%, according to Counterpoint’s predictions for the end of 2022. Its biggest competitor, Apple, has not taken off in this area. South Korean LG cannot hack, just like Motorola, the US brand of the Chinese company Lenovo. As for its Chinese competitors, Huawei, Oppo or Xiaomi, they have retreated to their home markets since the 2019 US sanctions against Chinese tech companies.

The design of this type of device, differs from the classic smartphone design, except by the presence of a joint between the two screens, which generates weaknesses in use, and requires more research and development. “Requires a lot of industrial and logistical capabilities”confirms François Hernandez to explain the time in advance for the Korean brand.

Read also: On the Samsung Fold and Flip, the foldable screen turned out to be fragile

Samsung is taking advantage of this competitive advantage to make its foldable, selling between €1,109 and €1289 for the Z Flip 4 and between €1,799 and €2159 for the Z Fold 4, a weapon to increase value. “In France, foldable devices represent 15% of our sales of high-end smartphones. We intend to increase this share to 25%”Let’s get to know François Hernandez, accordingly “Even at these price levels, we know how to sell in large quantities, as with the Galaxy S22.”Samsung’s bestseller, “which fall into the same price category”.

price increase

This rise in value makes it possible to counteract the erosion in the size of the global smartphone market, which is expected to decline by 3.5% in 2022, to 1.31 billion units, according to IDC. In France, where Samsung says it sold six times more foldable devices in the first half of 2022 compared to the same time last year, this effect on prices can be seen since the first entry of 2020, prompting the French to redirect part of their usual spending. At leisure or for a walk on electronic devices. According to GFK, the average smartphone price in France increased from €417 in 2019 to €492 in the first half of 2022. Samsung says it is working with distribution chains to help with financing, increase support and finally bring high-end smartphones back within reach of the general public. .

But the manufacturer is mainly relying on the features promised by these foldable screens to appeal to a wider audience. “Foldable devices not only offer a new smartphone design, but also more screen real estate. This aspect is becoming increasingly important as smartphone use cases expand, particularly in media, entertainment and work.”, explains Jane Park, an analyst at Counterpoint Research. Samsung has also taken care of the photography and video features of two new devices, adapting them to social networking uses.

Read also Samsung Flip and Fold: Is it time for foldable screen smartphones?

A new laptop-like taskbar has been added to the Z Fold, with the ability to split the screen into three when opened, turning the device into a small computer with a 7.6-inch (about 18 cm) screen. The collaboration with Meta (the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) and Google has been pushed to adapt their apps to these foldable screens. “We don’t want a catch-all effect because that could lead to disappointment” And they kill the market, as François Hernandez admits. Hence Samsung’s desire to stay, for the time being, on expensive and high-quality hardware.

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