A cheaper Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 model now looks like a lock

Galaxy Z Fold 6 render
(Image credit: Smartprix)

A report from ET News has further increased speculation Samsung plans to develop a cheaper version of the Galaxy Z Fold 6 — that will come without S Pen support. 

ET News originally stated that the Z Fold 6 would release a cheaper model in February. This latest report doubles down on that idea and gives a little more context for the decision. Supposedly, the cheaper Galaxy Z Fold 6 is a response to rising competition from other developers in the foldable market. Here's looking at you, OnePlus.

Samsung claimed the No.1 position when it first introduced the concept of a foldable phone in 2019, and held 90% of the market share by the second half of 2021. But the Korean heavyweight's market share soon fell, reaching 60% by the second half of 2022 and that's where it remains. 

Galaxy Z Fold 5 with S Pen

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As such, Samsung is looking for ways to offer customers cheaper alternatives, in the same manner as their Galaxy FE series. The idea is to remove or reduce certain features to drop production costs and transfer those savings to customers. In the case of the Galaxy Z Fold 6, it appears that Samsung will remove the digitizer, the display layer needed to track a stylus’ position.

There are currently no indications of the other potential cost-cutting measures. However, they will likely follow the same trends seen in the Galaxy A series. This would mean cutting back on certain pieces of hardware, such as the cameras or RAM, to lower the cost.

We don't know how much Samsung aims to charge customers for either of the Galaxy Z Fold 6 models. However, prior cost estimations for the base model lay somewhere between $1,699 and $1,799. The cheaper variation has to be substantially lower than that amount to appear valid.

We expect the release of the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and the Galaxy Z Flip 6 to occur in August 2024. However, there are rumors that Samsung could try and beat the Olympics by releasing both phones in July.

In the meantime keep your eyes on our Galaxy Z Fold 6 Hub for all the latest news and updates.

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Staff Writer

Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.