Now is the era of foldable phones… Samsung’s eyes to the world

Galaxy Z Fold 4 expected images. Photo. Phone Arena Capture.

[데일리임팩트 최문정 기자] Samsung Electronics is throwing a win over the globalization of its ambitious foldable phone next week.

Samsung Electronics, which introduced its first foldable phone to the market in 2019, is planning to solidify its position by defeating its longtime rival Apple.

According to the electronics industry on the 7th, Samsung Electronics will hold a Galaxy Unpacked event under the theme of ‘Unfold Your World’ at 10 pm on the 10th (Korean time).

In the invitation, Samsung Electronics announced, “We will unveil a new Galaxy product that will change our daily life and open up a bigger change.”

At this unpacked event, Samsung Electronics’ fourth-generation foldable phone lineup, the Galaxy Z Fold and Flip 4, is expected to unveil wearable products such as the Galaxy Watch 5 series and Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.

Through this Galaxy Unpacked event, Samsung Electronics aims to develop a foldable phone into the company’s flagship smartphone model.

According to the parts industry, Samsung Electronics is said to have set its sales target for foldable phones this year at 15 million units (Fold 4 5 million units, Flip 4 10 million units), double the sales target of last year.

Considering that the ‘Galaxy Note’ series, which was incorporated into the ‘Galaxy S Ultra’, a bar-type smartphone flagship product this year, recorded shipments of 10 million units, Samsung Electronics’ strong will for foldable phones can be seen.

Tae-Moon Roh, Samsung Electronics MX Business Manager (President).  Photo.  Samsung
Tae-Moon Roh, Samsung Electronics MX Business Manager (President). Photo. Samsung

In a recent article in the company newsroom, Roh Tae-moon, head of Samsung Electronics’ Mobile Experience (MX) business division, said, “Last year, global foldable phone shipments reached 10 million units, more than triple that of 2020, and this rapid growth is expected to continue. “The foldable phone, which started as a product for a small number of consumers, is rapidly reborn as a trend, and now true popularization is approaching.”

Samsung Electronics started researching the development of a mobile phone equipped with a foldable display for the first time in 2005. After that, in 2008, it succeeded in developing a foldable display and laid the foundation for the foldable phone business. After 11 years of research, in 2019, the world’s first mass-produced foldable product, the Galaxy Z Fold, was released. In the following year, in addition to the ‘fold’ that unfolds like a book, the ‘Galaxy Z Flip’ series, which opens and closes like a seashell, was launched and succeeded in design diversification.

As Samsung Electronics dominated the early foldable phone market, its market share is also overwhelming. According to DSCC, a global market research firm, shipments of foldable phones worldwide totaled about 7.9 million units last year. Among them, Samsung Electronics accounts for 87.8%.

Samsung Electronics is planning to use its foldable phone as a stepping stone to solidify its position in the premium market. In particular, it plans to focus on securing profitability, surpassing Apple, which dominates the global premium market.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2022 invitation image.  offer.  Samsung
Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2022 invitation image. offer. Samsung

Currently, Samsung Electronics ranks first in global smartphone shipments. According to market research firm Omdia, global smartphone shipments recorded 293.7 million units in the second quarter. Samsung Electronics ranked first with a total shipment of 62.2 million units, followed by Apple with 48.9 million units.

However, if you narrow the scope of comparison by premium market share, the rankings of the two companies are reversed.

According to market research firm Counterpoint Research, Apple took the top spot in the premium market share of over $400 (about 520,000 won) in the first quarter of this year. The share reached 62%. Samsung Electronics ranked second with a 16% share, but the gap is considerable.

In addition, the total smartphone shipments are also decreasing due to production disruptions due to the re-spread of the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19), the prolonged war in Ukraine, and inflation.

According to Omdia’s survey, smartphone shipments in the second quarter of this year decreased by 4.6% compared to the first quarter. Samsung Electronics’ shipments fell 15.7% QoQ, while Apple’s shipments fell 13.3% QoQ.

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This soon led to a drop in performance. In the second quarter of this year, Samsung Electronics’ MX and network division achieved sales of 29.34 trillion won and operating profit of 2.62 trillion won. Compared to the same period of the previous year, sales increased by 29.42%, but operating profit fell by 18.84%. Compared to the previous quarter, both sales and operating profit fell by 9.36% and 31.41%.

Kim Ji-san, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said, “Inflation has a more negative effect on the sales of low-end phones than high-end phones, so the proportion of low-end phones under $100 (about 130,000 won) (12%) has fallen to the lowest level of the year.” “Samsung The former will try to increase sales of high-value-added models such as foldable phones and flagship series in order to preserve sales.”

Combining the information about the Galaxy Z Fold and Flip 4 leaked through foreign media and IT industry tipsters, the series seems to focus on improving the user experience rather than the design compared to its predecessor. In particular, it is known that the hinge, which is a key part for opening and closing the display, has been redesigned to be a ‘single hinge’ to improve the liquid crystal wrinkles that occur when opening and closing the foldable phone.

Both the Galaxy Z Fold and Flip 4 seem to be equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus 1st generation as an application processor (AP). Both Z-Fold and Flip 4 are expected to support 25W fast charging instead of the existing 15W charging speed.

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is expected to have improved specifications such as a weight of 263g, a 50-megapixel image sensor, 3x optical zoom, and a 10-megapixel front camera. The Galaxy Z Flip 4, which has received many requests for battery performance, seems to have increased the battery capacity from 3300 mAh to 3700 mAh to 400 mAh.

Kim Seong-koo, managing director of Samsung Electronics’ MX Business Division, said in a conference call for the second quarter of this year, “We are making every effort from product perfection to supply so that foldables can be firmly established as a more important category in the flagship market through the successful launch of a new foldable model in the second half of this year. “We will secure enough quantity to be released so that we can deliver the product without any actual equipment from the time it is released,” he said.

An outdoor advertisement for the 2022 Galaxy Unpacked is appearing in Piccadilly Square, London, UK.  Photo.  Samsung
An outdoor advertisement for the 2022 Galaxy Unpacked is appearing in Piccadilly Square, London, UK. Photo. Samsung

Currently, Samsung Electronics is betting its life on global marketing ahead of the first Galaxy Unpacked event since the endemic. Since last month, Samsung Electronics has been conducting outdoor advertisements related to Galaxy Unpacked in Times Square in New York, Piccadilly Square in London, and Taikuri in Chengdu, China.

A Samsung Electronics official told Daily Impact, “As the risk of the spread of Corona 19 still remains, this year’s Galaxy Unpacked will also be conducted through online real-time streaming.” There will also be a number of plans,” he said.

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