Samsung is launching new foldable smartphones as it looks to stay ahead of the growing market

SEOUL, Aug 10 (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) It unveiled its latest range of high-end foldable smartphones on Wednesday, keeping prices the same as last year in a bid to cement its leadership in an expanding niche market.

The smartphone maker will start pricing its clamshell Galaxy Z Flip4 at $999.99 and the 5G-enabled top-line Galaxy Z Fold4 7.6-inch main screen at $1,799.99 in the US, similar to the launch prices of last year’s models.

“We have successfully transformed the category from a niche project to a mainstream device line enjoyed by millions worldwide,” said TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile Experience, Samsung Electronics.

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The Galaxy Z Flip4 and Z Fold4 and its latest earbuds, the Galaxy Buds2 Pro, will be generally available starting August 26 in select locations such as the US, parts of Europe, and South Korea.

Counterpoint Research predicts global shipments of foldable smartphones will grow to 16 million units this year, just 1.2% of the 1.36 billion smartphone shipment forecast, but an improvement from the 9 million foldables shipped last year.

While the overall smartphone market may shrink this year as consumers spend less, foldable smartphones are likely to do well as their quirky shape, large screens and portability draw interest, analysts said.

Samsung had a 62% market share in foldable smartphones in the first half of 2022, followed by Huawei at 16% and Oppo at 3%. A counterfactual forecast is that Samsung’s share will be around 80% in the second half after new releases.

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Samsung said it is targeting sales of the foldable phone to surpass its previous flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note, in the second half. read more

“Foldables helped Samsung differentiate itself…Apple will be Samsung’s main competitor in the future, and we expect a foldable from Apple to be released in 2024 or 2025,” said Counterpoint senior analyst Jean Park.

The latest models make it easier for phone owners to use popular apps like Instagram and Microsoft, Samsung said (MSFT.O) Outlook.

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Report by Joyce Lee. Editing by Gerry Doyle

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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