Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 5 isn't likely to arrive for another month, but it already picked up a big edge on the competition — at least if you believe a new rumor about the latest version of Samsung's foldable flagship.
Specifically, a Twitter leaker by the name of Revegnus claims that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 "will see a slight reduction in price" compared to the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which cost $1,799 when it debuted a year ago. Even if that's a $100 to $200 drop, that's still a step toward making the price of one of the best foldable phones easier to swallow.
You shouldn't pin your expectations entirely on the say-so of someone on Twitter — especially not these days — but the Galaxy Z Fold 5 pricing rumor has an element of veracity to it. Foldable phones carry hefty price tags, and one of the thing stopping wider adoption of these devices is the fact that they cost so much. Shave a little off the price, and suddenly people are a lot more willing to consider something that was previously too rich for their blood.
We saw this happen with the Galaxy Z Flip, which originally debuted at a $1,380 starting price. That eventually fell to $999 with the Galaxy Z Flip 3 — the first time a foldable phone dropped below the psychological $1,000 threshold. It's not coincidental that Samsung saw a big gain in sales for that lower-cost foldable.
So yes — Samsung's other foldable would benefit from a price drop, and the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 5 launch seems like a great time to do it. And if it does happen, we should be thanking Google, OnePlus and other device makers for spurring Samsung to adopt new foldable pricing.
Foldable competition steps up
Look back through Samsung's four-plus year history of rolling out foldable phones, and you'll come across assorted quotes from Samsung executives pledging to turn foldables into mainstream devices. You do that partly by making them more durable, of course, but you have to also offer your phones at a price that more people can afford.
As noted, we've seen that happen with the Galaxy Z Flip, but not so much with the Galaxy Z Fold. That phone started with a $1,999 price tag, and that's only inched downward by $200 with subsequent releases.
There are a lot of reasons for that, I'm sure, but I think the biggest explanation for why Samsung kept the Galaxy Z Fold's price high is that it really didn't need to do anything else. Few phone makers were churning out foldable devices that could take on the Galaxy Z Fold, and the ones that could were generally limited to releases in China.
That's changing this year. Google has already shown off the Pixel Fold, with that foldable device expected to launch this month. OnePlus has said it's going to release a foldable of its own in the second half of the year, and based on rumors, the OnePlus V Fold sounds like it could be a serious rival to the Galaxy Z Fold 5.
In the meantime, Galaxy Z Fold 5 rumors suggest only modest improvements. Reportedly, there's a new hinge design that could not only make the crease across the phone's interior display less visible, but also make the new phone lighter and easier to tote around than previous versions. What's more, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is in line to get a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which has brought tremendous performance and battery life gains to Samsung's Galaxy S23 lineup. Those are welcome enhancements, but nothing earth-shattering — especially when next year's Galaxy Z Fold is rumored to be introducing more significant design changes.
How do you build excitement for an update that's shaping up to be only a slight step up from what you already offer? You drop the price. If that Galaxy Z Fold 5 pricing rumor that appeared on Twitter is accurate, that appears to be precisely what Samsung has planned.
Why pricing matters this year
I think a Galaxy Z Fold 5 price drop would resonate with shoppers especially now that Samsung is facing greater competition. It also helps that the Pixel Fold — the first true rival to the Galaxy Z Fold's dominance — is arriving with an identical price tag to the current Galaxy Z Fold 4. Google's first foldable costs $1,799.
That's a little disappointing, given that Google's other flagship phones routinely undercut the competition — the Pixel 7 Pro, for instance, costs $100 less than the comparable Galaxy S23 Plus and $200 less than the iPhone 14 Pro Max. We were hoping to see Google take a similar approach with the Fold, and the fact that it didn't left me feeling a bit underwhelmed when I first saw the device. (Others, who've had more extensive hands-on time with the Pixel Fold came away a little more encouraged by Google's efforts.)
Samsung can pounce on Google's pricing mistake by adjusting the cost of its own foldable. "You can pay $1,799 for the 1.0 version of a foldable phone," the argument would go, "or you can pay less for a phone that's on its fifth iteration and has worked out more of the kinks that come with a foldable screen. Your choice."
Again, we don't know if that rumored pricing scheme is going to become a reality, and even the leaker who floated the rumor describes it as an "initial plan" that could change when we get to the Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event that Samsung's tentatively planning for July. But if the lower pricing does come to pass, it's another example of why there's nothing wrong with a little competition.
If you don't plan on picking up a foldable phone anytime soon, make sure to check out our Samsung promo codes page. That way you can find a deal on a non-folding Galaxy phone and a bunch of other products.