Last week, the analysts at Trendforce created some buzz in the tech community by suggesting Samsung intends to produce a “more competitively priced foldable phone” in 2024.
The buzz intensified when the leaker Revegnus claimed that Samsung was looking to the $400 to $500 range — a claim that even the tipster accepted was a “very aggressive goal.”
Frankly, it always felt a bit too good to be true, given the Samsung Galaxy A54 comes in at $449 with a regular non-folding panel, and now we have confirmation that it’s not happening from the company itself.
“We don't plan to manufacture foldable smartphones that are priced in the midrange, and the latest rumors are groundless,” a Samsung spokesperson told Korea JoongAng Daily.
Of course, $400 to $500 isn’t exactly mid-range by 2023 standards, given Samsung’s smartphone prices range from $160 for the Galaxy A03s, all the way up to $2,160 for a Z Fold 5 with 1TB of storage. In other words, the statement doesn’t completely rule out a cheaper foldable, even if it’s still at the high end of the market overall.
With that in mind, the site asked about a Fan Edition or ‘FE’ model as seen with the Galaxy S series, where the outside looks similar, but there are savings made on the internal components. “There's nothing decided on the matter,” the spokesperson said.
That’s not a ‘no’, and it would seem like a sensible direction for Samsung to take if it wants to make foldables more mainstream, as it has previously indicated.
In the four years since Samsung released its original Galaxy Fold, the company has made some progress on pricing, but foldables remain out of the price range of most consumers.
The Galaxy Fold cost $1,980 at launch, while the latest Galaxy Z Fold 5 starts at $1,799 — a drop of 9%. Samsung’s flip phones have dropped by even more: the original Galaxy Z Flip cost $1,380, but the Galaxy Z Flip 5 comes in at $999 — down 27.6%.
Competition is hotting up, with Motorola’s 2023 Razr proving that foldables can be made for as little at $699 with an older chipset and a small cover display. Perhaps that’s the model Samsung should pursue if it decides it does indeed want to produce a Galaxy Z Flip FE.