Samsung has received a highly encouraging response from its customers about the Galaxy Z Fold5 and the Z Fold5 as the market demand for foldable smartphones is growing exponentially, according to its senior official.
Fadi Abu Shamat, Head of the Mobile eXperience Division at Samsung Gulf Electronics, said Samsung foldables are setting the standard and revolutionising industry and how people interact with their devices.
“The influence of Samsung's foldable innovation drives incredible mainstream excitement around what is possible from these powerful pocket-sized devices,” Abu Shamat told Khaleej Times during an interview while referring to the launch of Z Fold5 and Flip5.
He said Samsung is the clear leader in the foldable segment and the company’s ultimate goal is for foldables to achieve mainstream popularity so that more users can experience the advantages foldable form factors provide.
Below are the excerpts of the interview.
Samsung recently launched Galaxy Z Fold5 and Flip5 globally. How is initial feedback from tech-savvy customers?
The Galaxy Z Flip5 and the Z Fold5 pre-orders have been highly encouraging. Based on this initial performance, we are prepared for an even more significant increase in demand from last year and have ramped up manufacturing capabilities accordingly. We are targeting 77 per cent increase in Fold and Flip 5th generation devices in anticipation of fantastic demand from the local market, especially from our younger generation.
One of the prime reasons is that consumers are investing in quality above everything else; they prioritise purchases from brands they trust to be high-quality, reliable and ready for the future. At Samsung, especially with the foldables, we are proud to have pioneered the category and led it for five generations, innovating with every new lineup. Our consumers have come to accept and appreciate our tech innovations, empowering us to reshape the smartphone market while solidifying Samsung as the clear foldable leader.
The demand cuts across other devices, such as tablets and wearable devices, and we see an incredible market opportunity to drive additional growth across these devices.
What do you expect from latest flagship devices from Samsung?
Samsung has redefined what is possible from a smartphone by pioneering the foldables category, demonstrating a history of delivering world-firsts that bring people closer together– a core philosophy of Samsung innovation. As a result of innovative design and constant refinement, foldables have evolved to meet the needs of younger generations by providing unique experiences powered by new form factors that offer larger screens and more pocketable devices. Samsung foldables are setting the standard and revolutionising industry and how people interact with their devices.
In fact, the influence of Samsung's foldable innovation drives incredible mainstream excitement around what is possible from these powerful pocket-sized devices. With Counterpoint estimating that in 2027, over 100 million units of foldable smartphones will be sold globally, it is clear consumers are ready too.
How do you compare Fold4 and Fold5 in terms of features such as camera, battery, processor, design and price?
The Galaxy Z Fold5 delivers bigger screens and battery than the original Fold launched in 2019 and weighs 23 grams less, enhancing portability while providing the most powerful performance yet. Multi-tasking has also advanced significantly since the first model, evolving from Multi Window and App Continuity to now a wide range of features, including Taskbar, drag and drop and full optimization of third-party apps. This was enhanced further by adding the S Pen Fold Edition to the third-generation Fold in 2021 in response to consumer demand.
The Galaxy Z Fold5 offers an incredible camera experience optimised for the foldable form factor. With FlexCam, for example, users can frame up the perfect selfie using the 12MP rear camera and enjoy capturing shots hands-free from a variety of creative angles thanks to the folding functionality.
Compared to earlier versions, the hinge in the Z Fold5 now folds completely flat when the phone is closed. This makes the phone 2.4mm thinner and 10 grams lighter than the Fold4.
The Fold5 is powered by the powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for the Galaxy platform. Graphics-intensive tasks such as gaming are now a breeze, and coupled with the big screen, gaming on the Fold5 is a joy to behold. This year Samsung introduced Vision Booster technology, and now users have no trouble seeing the display outdoors, even in direct sunlight.
The price of the Galaxy Z series will vary by market and is determined based on the economic trends impacting respective global markets and the overall smartphone market. We strive to provide more consumers with the best innovation and experiences through optimal price setting.
How was Fold4's sales performance since its launch last year? Which are the key markets for Samsung foldable smartphones?
In 2022, Samsung sold nearly 10 million foldable devices, with the more popular Flip accounting for 64 per cent of that figure, while Fold accounted for 36 per cent. Moreover, and for us at Samsung Gulf Electronics, sales for the generation 4 of both devices recorded a 50 per cent growth over the previous version. A major reason for this growth is that consumers love the phone’s portability in that they get the convenience of a large screen in a compact size.
Additionally, a foldable phone enables customers to run multiple apps simultaneously on different parts of the screen. Further, a foldable phone enhances the versatility of photos and videos; Users can utilise the main rear cameras for selfies or vlogging, seeing themselves on the front screen when the phone is unfolded. Customers can also use the hinge of the phone as a tripod or adjust the angle of the screen for different perspectives.
Samsung's ultimate goal is for foldables to achieve mainstream popularity so that more users can experience the advantages foldable form factors provide. The markets across the GCC are extremely important to us and we remain committed to ensuring that our customers in these markets experience foldables to meet today's ever-changing lifestyles.
How is the competition in the foldable smartphone segments?
The market demand for foldable smartphones is growing exponentially, with the competition becoming fierce. According to IDC, the worldwide foldable phone market will reach 21.4 million foldable phones in 2023, up 50.5 per cent from the 14.2 million units shipped in 2022. Total foldable shipments worldwide will reach 48.1 million units by 2027, resulting in a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.6 per cent for 2022–27.
Samsung is the clear leader in the foldable segment. Counterpoint Research states that Samsung has the highest stickiness in terms of foldable preference, with 92 per cent of Samsung users planning to stick with the same brand when making a foldable smartphone purchase.
At Samsung, we believe a healthy product category requires competition. As the foldable market grows, we believe the future of our products lies in delivering new and exciting experiences in a range of form factors. We’re confident that Z series delivers the best foldable on the market not just in terms of design but also because we provide an open ecosystem built on the strength of our collaborations with leading industry partners.