****Update: Samsung president Young Sohn surprised the industry a couple of days ago at an event in Germany when he said that the company's first ultra-luxury, $2,000 Galaxy Fold sold a whopping 1 million units. Sohn also said that such high sales were a proof that Samsung did the right thing by re-launching the Fold with fixes after the first wave of devices crashed in reviewers hands. But there was one problem with all of that: Samsung never really sold 1 million Galaxy Fold units. The company took to Korean Yonhap news agency to clarify that it has not reached the 1 million units sales mark and that Sohn was incorrect.
To start with, the 1 million number was shocking and raised a flag simply because Samsung itself had previously set an estimation that it would sell up to 500,000 units of its foldable phone. Outdoing its already highly set target would be really strange and doubling on it would be downright shocking.
In either case, we at least now know that no company has yet reached a million sales of its foldable phone and that milestone is still one to reach out for in 2020.****
Samsung Galaxy Fold show that there is substantial consumer interest in foldables. Today, during an event held in Berlin, Samsung Electronics President Young Sohn said that the first foldable phone from a major manufacturer has sold one million units so far. Considering the $1,980 price tag and the delay in launching the device caused by several issues that Samsung needed to address, this figure would indicate that there is a strong interest in the foldable form factor. Based on Sohn's comment, sales of the Galaxy Fold have brought the company close to $2 billion in revenue since September.If the early foldable devices are a test run to see how the public responds to them, it would appear that sales of the
Originally set to launch in several markets on April 26th, Samsung put the kibosh on the launch after several influencers discovered issues with their review units. Several peeled off a plastic film that covered the large internal display despite warnings from Samsung that this action could damage the device. Others complained that debris was able to enter the internal screen and create a bulge through openings in the hinge. And some units just stopped working altogether. Samsung Electronics CEO DJ Koh admitted that the company tried to release the device before it was ready. Pre-orders collected by some U.S. carriers, Best Buy and Samsung were canceled.
Samsung revised the Galaxy Note Fold based on issues that were spotted on review units
Samsung revised the Galaxy Fold by tucking in the protective film under the bezels so that they could not be peeled off. And by capping both sides of the hinges, it prevented any dirt or debris from entering the phone. It also added metal slats under the internal 7.3-inch screen for extra strength. And on September 27th, the Galaxy Fold was finally released in the U.S. The device, which closes inwards around the vertical axis, is equipped with an external 4.6-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 720 x 1680. When opened, a 7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED display is revealed carrying a 1536 x 2152 resolution. The Galaxy Fold is powered by the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform and includes 12GB of memory and 512GB of storage. On the back is a triple-camera setup (12MP primary + 12MP telephoto + 16MP ultra-wide. Keeping the lights on is a 4380mAh capacity battery.
This coming February, Samsung is rumored to be unveiling its next foldable handset which will apparently resemble the Motorola razr. Instead of folding from a smartphone into a tablet, the Galaxy Fold 2 (for lack of a better name) will sit in a pocket until it is needed. At that point, it opens around the horizontal axis to form a tall and thin display. Like the razr, there also will be a small external screen for notifications that might also show the time, weather, and assist in snapping selfies. One major advantage that the Galaxy Fold sequel could have is with its price tag. Recent reports indicate that the Galaxy Fold successor will be priced at $840 USD. Compare that to the equivalent of $2,400 that Huawei asks for the Mate X, the $1,500 price for the Motorola razr and the $1,980 that the Galaxy Fold is priced at. Getting the price down is a major step toward making foldable phones available to more consumers. And other manufacturers are working on their own iterations as well including LG, TCL, Xiaomi and some of the other phone manufacturers. And don't forget Apple, which is said to be working on a foldable iPhone/iPad as well.
Along with consumers transitioning to 5G, the acceptance of the foldable form factor could give the moribund global smartphone market the shot in the arm that it needs.