Bigmouth – and no one to catch it? Until now, there has been no talk of a large market for Samsung’s foldable-screen smartphones. The Koreans have only sold a four-digit number of the innovative but very expensive Z series in Germany so far. But that is about to change. The seriousness of the electronics group on this subject is clear from a series of strategic decisions: for the first time in many years, Samsung is not introducing a new version of its Note series of smartphones with an integrated stylus this summer. This product line has had a respectable, if not huge, fan base to date. Instead, the new smartphone with a large foldable display, the Z-Fold3, can now be used with a stylus.
In addition, specifies the German marketing director Mario Winter, various barriers to the purchase have been removed. On the one hand, there is the price. The smaller of the two foldable phones, the Z Flip3, is now available starting at $ 1,049, the large one with a screen almost as big as a tablet, now starts at $ 1,800. In addition, flip phones are now protected against water.
The first two versions, says Winter, tested whether there was a market for such devices and whether they would prove their worth. This backfired on the first model, some of the early testers destroyed the screen, and the hinge mechanism was found to be vulnerable as well. But you learned from that, says the marketing manager. The Z-series must now evolve from a product aimed primarily at technically savvy people, called early adopters, to a product intended for the mass market.
Samsung has high expectations for the Z Flip3, the smaller of the two foldable phones. In terms of price, it is now comparable to other premium smartphones, but offers a few additional functions due to its unusual form factor. For Samsung, says Winter, the Z series is “extremely important.” He identified around ten million people in Germany as potential customers, and studies have shown the market could triple.
Samsung sees itself in a good position here, as the Koreans are one of the few suppliers that can manufacture such devices. As a result, the statement: “We want to sell four of these devices out of five.” A great advertising campaign doesn’t just have to ensure that it works. All cell phone providers would now include flip-flop cellphones prominently in their lineup, “there will also be cellphones for a dollar,” says Winter.
The Z Fold3 has a high resolution screen with a good diagonal of 19 centimeters (2640 x 1080 pixels) and can run several applications in parallel. The front screen measures just under 16 centimeters, but is very narrow. When opened, the Z Flip3 has a screen with a diagonal of 17 centimeters, but the outer screen is only a peephole of just under two centimeters due to the form factor. The Z Flip can be configured in an L-shape, making it ideal for selfies or watching movies.