Demand high for Samsung’s new folding smartphones

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SEOUL, Sept. 2 (UPI) — Samsung Electronics’ new generation of folding smartphones are gaining customers across the United States, China and South Korea.

South Korea’s mobile operators said Thursday that demand for the Galaxy Z Flip3 and the Galaxy Z Fold3 remain strong. Sales hit around 270,000 on the day of their launch on Aug. 24, and total sales are estimated to have topped 1 million.

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Samsung Electronics America said last month that pre-orders for the two devices are “outpacing total sales for Galaxy Z devices to date in 2021,” although the company refused to reveal more details.

The tech giant is offering the 6.7-inch Galaxy Z Flip3 for $999 and the Galaxy Z Fold3 for $1,799. Both models are built with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus and Armor Aluminum.

Wait list orders for the two devices stand at around 1 million on Chinese e-commerce sites such as JD.com and Tmall.

The products’ popularity in China is an encouraging sign for Samsung, which has tried to turn the tide in the world’s biggest smartphone market.

Samsung was originally a front-runner in China in the early 2010s. In 2013, its market share for mobile phones approached 20 percent.

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However, it has struggled over the past half-decade. During the first six months of this year, Samsung accounted for less than 1 percent of the Chinese smartphone market, according to Cinno Research, a research and consulting company in Shanghai.

Observers say that the global demand for folding smartphones will rise at an exponential rate.

Samsung Securities predicted in a recent report that shipments of folding phones will reach 7.5 million this year and surpass 20 million in 2023.

Additionally, Counterpoint Research predicted that shipments of folding phones will be around 9 million this year, while Display Supply Chain Consultants predicted that shipments of displays for folding phones will more than triple to 10.38 million this year, from 3.25 million last year.

Samsung released two folding phones in 2019, but combined sales of the products came out to just 500,000. It did better last year with the launch of the Galaxy Z Flip2 and the Galaxy Z Fold2, which sold up to 1.5 million in total.

Sales of the company’s third generation of folding phones are expected to rise, as they will hit the markets in around 130 countries by the end of next month. Currently, the new folding phones are available in about 40 countries.

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“Samsung will be able to secure hegemony in the smartphone market by popularizing these folding phones,” Kim Ji-san, the head researcher of Kiwoom Securities, an online trading securities firm in Seoul, told UPI News Korea.