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Samsung rumored to develop lower-priced Galaxy Z Fold6 to increase penetration and expand market share in China

Jessica Tsai, Taipei; Jack Wu, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: DIGITIMES

To increase the penetration rate of foldable models in the smartphone market and expand its market share in China's foldable smartphone market, Samsung Electronics is rumored to be considering the development of a more affordable model of the Galaxy Z Fold6.

Citing industry sources, TheElec stated that Samsung is considering developing an affordable version of its new foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Z Fold 6, with an estimated launch in the second half of 2024. This is the first time Samsung has considered developing an affordable, left-right folding smartphone.

One thing to note is that the market uncertainties in 2024 will determine how well this new product performs. If the smartphone market is struggling, demand is expected to go towards the two extremes of high-end flagship models and low-end cheap models. An affordable model of a foldable smartphone caught in between may not benefit the profitability of Samsung's smartphone business.

Since launching its first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, in 2019, Samsung has introduced a new generation of foldable smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold/Flip series, each year. If Samsung decides to launch an affordable version of the Galaxy Z Fold6 in 2024, it is expected to be launched alongside the flagship left-right folding Galaxy Z Fold6 and the up-down folding Galaxy Z Flip6.

If Samsung's affordable model strategy works, it will increase the penetration rate of its foldable products in the smartphone market and maintain its technical lead in the sector. In addition, the affordable model can help boost its foldable smartphone shipment volume and market share in the Chinese market, and expand its influence in China's smart home market.

Currently, Samsung holds less than 1% market share in the slate smartphone sector in China, but it has a double-digit market share in the foldable smartphone sector. According to statistics from Omdia, in the third quarter of 2023, Honor ranked first in China's foldable smartphone market with a 28% market share, followed by Huawei with a 26% market share. Samsung ranked third with a 19% market share.

Some observations speculated that Samsung is considering the Galaxy Z Fold6 for its affordable model rather than the Galaxy Z Filp6 because the Galaxy Z Flip series is already relatively affordable and has a stable sales performance. Moreover, Galaxy Z Fold has more potential from a production efficiency perspective.

According to data from DSCC, the shipment volume by model for foldable smartphones in 2023 has Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip5 at the top spot, followed by Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold5 and Flip4, then by Honor's Magic V2 and Huawei's Mate X5.