The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 aren’t expected to break through until next month — at the next big Samsung hardware launch event — but we’ve got some rumors right now about the successors to these foldables in 2023.
According to The Elec (opens in new tab) (via Android Central (opens in new tab)), both phones come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile processor. That CPU has not yet been announced, but should become official before the end of 2022.
What’s more, according to the sources The Elec spoke to, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 will likely come with a triple-lens rear camera, including a 50MP main sensor. The current Galaxy Z Fold 3 handset offers a 12MP + 12MP + 12MP rear camera.
Supply and demand
This new report also suggests that the foldable devices Samsung launches in 2023 may not be as easy to get as its 2022 equivalents: The shipment target has been set “conservatively” at 10 million units in total, compared to 15 million units for the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Galaxy Z Flip 4.
Most of those units will be the Flip, with Samsung expecting the foldable clamshell to account for 8 million of those 10 million sales. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 are said to have shifted just over 7 million units in terms of sales.
The Elec cites rising commodity prices, economic uncertainty and the ongoing effects of the global coronavirus pandemic as reasons why target shipments will be lower in 2023 – but there is still time for Samsung to raise its targets again.
Analysis: price is key to future folding success
Foldable phones are engineering marvels, and it’s no surprise that the prices for the first iterations of these devices were very high – while they have screens that bend in the middle without breaking.
At the time of their launch, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 were on sale for $1,799 / £1,599 / AU$2,499 and $999 / £949 / AU$1,499 respectively. The new models coming out next month may cut those prices slightly as Samsung’s manufacturing processes become more efficient, but if that’s the case, it’s unlikely to be much.
That’s a lot of money to spend on a smartphone, even if you get a lot in return (especially when it comes to the Z Fold 3 and its massive 7.6-inch display). A lot of people just won’t be able to justify the cost of a foldable phone looking at where the price is right now.
Costs should come down over time – that’s what usually happens with technology – but issues related to the pandemic and global supplies could affect that. Until these foldable devices become more affordable, they will likely remain a niche choice.