The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 aren’t expected to be unveiled until next month – at Samsung’s next big hardware launch event – but now we have some rumors relating to the 2023 successors of these foldables.
According the electronics (opens in new tab) (through Android Center (opens in new tab)), both phones will come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile processor. That CPU has yet to be announced, but it should become official before the end of 2022.
Also, 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 foldables Samsung launches in 2023 may not be as easy to come by as their 2022 equivalents: the shipment target was “conservatively set” at 10 million units in total, compared to 15 million units for the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4.
The majority of those units will be the Flip, with Samsung expecting the clamshell foldable to account for 8 million of those 10 million sales. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 are believed to have moved just over 7 million units in terms of sales.
Elec cites rising raw material prices, economic uncertainty and the ongoing effects of the global coronavirus pandemic as reasons why the number of target shipments will be lower in 2023 – but there is still time for Samsung to raise its targets again.
Analysis: Price is the key to future folding success
Foldable phones are marvels of engineering, and it’s no surprise that the prices of early iterations of these devices were very high – with them having screens that actually fold in half without breaking.
At the time they were released, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 were selling for $1,799 / £1,599 / AU$2,499 and $999 / £949 / AU$1,499 respectively. New models due next month could bring those prices down a bit as Samsung’s production processes become more efficient, but if they do, 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 screen). A large proportion of people just won’t be able to justify the cost of a foldable phone, looking at where the price is now.
Costs are expected to drop over time – that’s often the case with technology – but issues related to the pandemic and global supplies could affect that. Until these foldables become more affordable, they will likely remain a niche choice.