Samsung executives said at the start of the year that they wanted to make foldable phones more mainstream during 2021. Judging by sales figures the company announced today (October 11), it looks like Samsung's meeting that goal thanks to the foldable phones it unveiled in August.
That would be the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3, both of which have received solid reviews as the two best foldable phones you can currently buy. Samsung didn't release exact sales figures for either device, but it did say sales have topped expectations, as the latest iterations of the Fold and Flip are now Samsung's best-selling foldables by some measure.
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Specifically, Samsung said that it's sold more foldable devices during the first month after the Galaxy Z Fold 3/Galaxy Z Flip 3 launch than it had sold during the previous two years. Breaking down the numbers even further, Samsung said that it's sold 5 times more Galaxy Z Fold 3 models than Galaxy Z Fold 2. Galaxy Z Flip 3 unit sales are 40 times greater than the Galaxy Z Flip 5G's tally.
That latter figure isn't surprising. With the Galaxy Z Flip 3, Samsung dropped the price to $999 — that's quite a drop from the $1,449 cost of the original Z Flip 5G when that phone launched in 2020.
A lower price was one of the biggest changes for the Galaxy Z Flip 3, which also features a larger exterior display than before as well as improved durability. Both the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 sport IPX8 water resistance ratings and 120Hz displays. The Z Fold 3 has also added S Pen support, and its price has dropped, too, though only $200 from its predecessor.
That improved durability shouldn't be overlooked, as it's one of the concerns — along with high prices — that kept many shoppers from embracing early foldable phones, include the first Fold and Flip models. Emphasizing the improved durability of its new phones has likely helped convince more people that the latest Samsung foldables aren't just niche products.
To that end, Samsung marked its sales announcement by also showing off a video of the durability testing (opens in new tab) that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 undergo. The video highlights four different tests (opens in new tab) — an environmental chamber test in which the phones are subject to different weather conditions to see how they function; a water test in which the phones are submerged to see if they can withstand a dunk; an S Pen test in the case of the Galaxy Z fold 3, to make sure that the pen's digitizers works on the folding part of that phone's screen; and a folding test to see if the devices can meet Samsung's goal of withstanding 200,000 folds.
Samsung could soon face a potential challenger on the foldable front. Google plans to hold a Pixel Fall Launch event on Oct. 19, and while the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro figure to be the stars of the show, rumors suggest a Pixel Fold might appear there, too. That would be Google's entry into the foldable phones market.