Samsung has been one of the only brands to date to have been able to launch multiple iterations of its foldable smart phones. And it looks like the South Korean tech giant is ready to test the waters for more economical models.
According to a report (opens in a new tab) by Korean technology publication Naver, Samsung has started working on the development and design affordable foldable devices. The report says the project was started by Samsung Electronic’s Mobile Experience (MX) division. There were previous reports that the company was targeting a launch in 2024.
Samsung aims to bring an affordable Z Flip and Z Fold version to the international market. In India, we might see smartphones available at around Rs 60,000. Samsung’s existing foldable range of the Z Flip 3 costs Rs 84,999 while the Z Fold 3 is priced at Rs 1.49,999. than the prices of the base models.
If Samsung is indeed working to lower the price by more than 20%, there will certainly be differences in the hardware. It was also previously hinted that Samsung would add these foldables to the A-series smartphones. These would feature the core features that complement the foldable device and its software. The most premium features will remain exclusive to the high-end Z-series products.
Samsung isn’t the first company to dabble in the affordable foldable smartphone. Rumors suggest that Oppo was also working on launching a budget foldable smartphone. These reports came shortly after the company launched the Find N.
Sacrificing premium features for a still expensive device
Foldable smartphones are yet to become mainstream devices not only in India but also internationally. Anyone who buys a foldable will surely turn heads and attract attention for sure. But, a foldable device that looks and feels like any other device on the market and at a premium price will also raise eyebrows.
For one thing, foldable smartphones are still in their infancy. They still have a long way to go in terms of the technology used. Considering budgeting even this early is a big commitment and milestone to achieve. There is no doubt that Samsung will be able to pull it off within the timeframe it has set itself. But, it would seem more practical to expect the company to tease the device by 2024. They could then launch it a few years later after fixing all the shortcomings.
The second and biggest concern is with the hardware and features of the device. Especially at the price you are going to pay. Even at Rs 60,000, you can opt for the Galaxy S series. The A series is supposed to be premium features at affordable prices. Unaffordable features at premium prices. If someone really wants to get a foldable device, the premium Z series is the only logical choice.