The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 are just around the corner, with an unveiling expected in the next couple of months. But even before the phones are in early adopters’ hands, details have begun to emerge of their foldable successors: the Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5.
Korean site The Elec has the first details of the handsets, and while not exactly surprising, the details do show continued year-on-year improvements.
As you might expect, the handsets are set to feature Qualcomm’s next big chip — the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. That’s the only detail for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, but the larger foldable gets additional intel on the camera front.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 will reportedly feature a triple-camera array led by the company’s Isocell GN3 — a 50MP sensor with a pixel size of 1.0μm. That’s a big step up from the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, but likely not from the upcoming Fold 4 which is also tipped to be bumped to 50 megapixels.
The report also mentions a 12MP front-facing camera, but there’s no mention of a second one as seen on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. That might just be because the details aren’t confirmed, but it could mean that Samsung has decided the weak performance of the under-screen camera on the Z Fold 3 wasn’t worth replicating in a future model.
Granted, these aren’t the most intriguing details, but it’s extremely early days. And these are actually minor details in the wider report, which is more about Samsung’s sales expectations for its future foldables — which are interesting, to say the least.
At a glance, the sales figures look bullish, with Samsung predicting to shift 10 million Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 units in 2023. That’s a strong figure when you consider that A) foldables only accounted for an estimated 7.1 million of all smartphone sales last year, and B) the phone will likely only be available for five months of that period.
But the same report suggests that Samsung is forecasting foldable sales of 15 million units in 2022. In other words, demand is going to drop next year, even by Samsung’s own estimates.
Why the drop? Familiar factors are expected to combine, weakening personal finances and demand for consumer electronics in general.
“Uncertainty about demand for IT and home appliances, including smartphones, has increased due to rising raw material prices due to the prolonged Russia-Ukraine war, deepening concerns about stagflation, and the re-spread of Covid-19,” the (machine translated) report says.
With that in mind, the numbers revert to appearing bullish again. Time will tell if that optimism is justified, or badly misplaced.