Budget Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Lite may not arrive this year

Budget Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Lite may not arrive this year
Samsung is only going to launch two foldable smartphones this year, according to SamMobile.

The outlet claims that the South Korean giant will only release the successors of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Z Flip 5G and it doesn't look like the rumored Galaxy Z Fold Lite and dual-hinged device are on the cards for 2021.

Samsung evidently has high hopes for its foldable phones. The chaebol has decided not to launch a Note phone this year, presumably to replace it with foldable Z series handsets. Reports also allege that the company wants sales of foldable phones to reach Note series levels, something which analysts don't see happening.

Foldable phones are still something of a niche product and they are prohibitively expensive. A cheaper foldable handset could help Samsung target a wider audience. Reports had suggested that Samsung's relatively affordable bendable phone would cost between $900 and $1,100.

A budget foldable phone could also help Samsung maintain its dominance in the face of new competition from Xiaomi, and supposedly Google, Oppo, and Vivo.

A research company had reported last year that the Galaxy Fold Lite would be here by March 2021. That report was contradicted by an industry insider, who said the company will launch a stripped-down Z Flip in the second half of the year.

A recent report had said that a dual-folding Samsung smartphone was under development and it might arrive by the end of 2021. It now appears that its release has been pushed to an indefinite date.

In short, as far as novel form factors are concerned, Samsung will likely only release the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 this year. Per rumors, they will be unveiled in July.

Chip shortage could be the reason behind the delay in the release of the Galaxy Z Fold Lite 

It's unclear why the rumored Galaxy Z Flip Lite / Fold Lite has been delayed, but the ongoing chip crisis could be behind it. Samsung is already struggling because of the shortage and the Google Pixel 5a will apparently have a very limited release due to the the same issue. 

If it's any solace, Samsung has permanently reduced the prices of the Z Fold 2 and the Z Flip 5G and their successors are unlikely to start higher. The baseline Z Fold 2 now costs $1,799 and the entry-level Z Flip 5G goes for $1,199.

At one point there were also reports that Samsung will launch a rollable phone in 2021. Those rumors have since died down.

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