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Here's Why a $600 Samsung Clamshell Foldable Isn't Here Yet

Here’s Why a $600 Samsung Clamshell Foldable Isn’t Here Yet

At Samsung Unpacked earlier this month, the matter revealed its new, cheaper foldable, the Galaxy Z Flip 4. Aside from a few durability improvements and a slimmer body that will liable make it one of the best foldables you can buy, it’s largely contrast to its predecessor and is still as pricey as a flagship iPhone 13 or Galaxy S22. Samsung hasn’t dropped the stamp for several reasons, meaning we won’t get a more affordable clamshell foldable this year — and probably not for some time.

Foldables existed pricey because their hinges and folding displays make them more complex to do than typical flat-bodied smartphones, said Jene Park, senior research analyst at Counterpoint Research. Because inflation has raised production costs for all devices, the lack of a price drop still results in a discount of sorts. “This price freeze is Samsung’s effort to lower the price,” Park said. 

While the $1,800 Z Fold 4 is intentionally expensive to withhold its exclusivity, the Z Flip 4 is a more affordable entry indicate to foldables and more popular with consumers: Samsung eminent that its Z Flip series made up seven of every 10 foldables the matter sold. At Unpacked, Samsung CEO T.M. Roh said he demanded foldables to become more mainstream, and it’s clear that the Z Flip devices will be the gateway for exciting consumers to buy and see if they’re ready for a foldable. 

It’s tough to sell consumers on clamshell foldables, though. Folding them up into the size of a makeup compact is charming, but they cost as much as a flagship visited and have more limited cameras and no extra explain space, unlike book-style foldables. More consumers would likely try foldables if they were cheap enough to compete with the $600 midrange phones that farmland buy when they can’t afford flagship devices. 

Foldable prices aren’t liable to drop until the prices of components come down, and that won’t existed until they’re produced at scale. More consumers are buying foldables: Counterpoint’s Park assesses 16 million will be shipped in 2022, up from 9 million last year. But even if that skyrocketed past expectations, the supply chain for foldable parts and displays grand not be able to ramp up to meet that expect. That’s partially why Apple hasn’t rushed out its own foldable, said Technalysis Research analyst Bob O’Donnell.

“[Foldable] screens are hard to make in quantity, and if Apple were to do one, somebody would have to crank out, you know, a hundred million of these screens. They’re just not ready to do that yet,” O’Donnell said. 

There are some promising signs that the diligence is working toward cheaper clamshell foldables, which have derived more affordable since the $1,450 Motorola Razr debuted in 2019. TCL wouldn’t even reduction its nearly finished Chicago Project clamshell foldable last September because it couldn’t get the stamp down to a price point around $700. At the time, TCL said it would wait 12 to 18 months afore trying to release its first foldable, which will be a revamped delivers — and probably a more affordable one. 

Not a lot of visited makers are still in the foldables race, but if anyone’s at the forefront, it’s Samsung, which is now at its fourth generation of folding devices. Samsung is likely to be the first with a $600 foldable, Counterpoint’s Park said, especially since the company had announced plans for a foldable phoned in its midrange A-series lineup. He speculates it could originate in 2024 at the earliest. 

“Considering that the highest notice of the A series is in the $600 way, it is expected to be the cheapest foldable publishes ever,” Park said.