Samsung confirms next Galaxy Unpacked will launch Z Fold 5 in Korea instead of US — here’s why

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 render half folded
(Image credit: OnLeaks / Smartprix)

Samsung has confirmed it will move away from the United States (or the United Kingdom) in favor of its home turf for the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event where it will reveal the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5.

TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile eXperience (MX) Business at Samsung Electronics, said: “Hosting Unpacked in Seoul holds great significance both as it is a city that has become an emerging epicenter of innovation and culture as well as the foldable category.”

A specific date, beyond "late July" wasn't given, but Roh confirmed the event will take place at COEX in Gangnam-Gu, Seoul.

Hosting Unpacked in Samsung’s native country is a slight departure from the company’s usual playbook. Traditionally, the half annual event has been held in Barcelona in February (to co-incide with Mobile World Congress) and in New York in August. But recent years, prompted by the pandemic, have seen a shift to a virtual conference held in Seoul and livestreamed around the world. 

That was the case in August 2022 when Samsung revealed the Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy Watch 5 and the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. Samsung often follows the livestream up with smaller “Samsung Unpacked experience” events hosted in New York and London offering workshops and a chance to view the products.

Now though, the company has decided to put its home city front and center.

"For over a decade, starting with the very first Unpacked in March 2010 in Las Vegas, Samsung has held Unpacked in key cities around the world including New York, London, Berlin and Barcelona, serving as a global platform to unveil groundbreaking innovations and setting new directions for the mobile industry," the company said in a press release.

"With the upcoming 27th Unpacked in Seoul, Samsung is shifting its direction for Unpacked for foldable devices to focus on different trend-leading cultural cities around the globe that closely align with the designated theme of each event. This year, Seoul was selected because of its role in influencing global trends with its dynamic culture and innovation, while it also reflects Samsung’s strong confidence in the foldable category."

"Seoul is the beating heart of Samsung’s dynamic growth worldwide. It is where Samsung's openness philosophy and innovation vision come from, guiding the future of the company. In just half a century, Seoul has undergone a remarkable transformation, emerging as a vibrant center of technology innovation and culture. 

"It continuously reinvents itself as a hotbed of cutting-edge technologies that will shape the future, surpassing the growth achieved in the past and the prevailing cultural trends of the present."

Earlier launch for Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Flip 5

Galaxy Unpacked 2023 February

(Image credit: Samsung)

Perhaps more intriguing than Samsung’s decision to stay rooted in Seoul is its decision to move up the timeline of the summer Unpacked from August to July.

One reason, coming from a report on the Korean site Chosun Ilbo, is the decision is part of a Samsung strategy to get more phone revenue into its September quarter. Launching in July would give the company a full month of sales to account for.

Of course, we can’t ignore the arrival of the Google Pixel Fold as a serious contender for the title of best foldable phone.

Why would the Pixel Fold have Samsung rattled? Because the one thing we can be sure of for Unpacked is what’s going to be the star of the show. The Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 will be made official and both will offer upgraded power and performance over the last generation.

What will we be looking for? Well, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 inside both seems a given but we’re particularly interested in the progression of hinge technology that, hopefully, results in a less visible crease.

We'll wait until "late July" — and a livestream from South Korea — to find out. In the meantime, check out our Galaxy Unpacked roundup for all the big news to expect and our Galaxy Z Fold 5 hub and Galaxy Z Flip 5 hub for all the latest rumors and leaks. 

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Jeff Parsons
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Jeff is UK Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide looking after the day-to-day output of the site’s British contingent. Rising early and heading straight for the coffee machine, Jeff loves nothing more than dialling into the zeitgeist of the day’s tech news.

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