Samsung aims to sell 6 million foldable phones during 2020

While the Galaxy Fold endured numerous delays before finally being launched this month, industry experts are unsure if the market will be able to support Samsung’s reported plans to increase production tenfold in the new year.

Based on reports, the high-end Galaxy Fold has sold 500 000 units thus far with South African pre-orders selling out almost immediately.

However, it’s unclear how much demand there is for folding phones outside of the normal early adopters. The reasons for the reluctance appears to stem from an overall slow down of replacement cycles amongst smartphone users.

Added to that the much-publicised problems the Galaxy Fold had which delayed its launch would have put some doubt in the mind of consumers about the ability of the technology to put up with everyday use.

Creating a new genre of smartphone

Irrespective, Samsung sees the foldable space as an opportunity for them to profit from one of the first big innovations in smartphone technology in years. Samsung is reportedly planning on shipping 5 to 6m foldable units next year.

Notably, this won’t be 5m or 6m Galaxy Folds with the South Korean company reported having at least two additional folding models in the works for next year.

Samsung is said to experimenting with a vertical folding model as well as an outward folding model. This brings in variants at lower price points, will inevitably mean an increase in sales next year through 6m may still be optimistic.

A leader in the field

Samsung’s ability to dominate the foldable space will also hinge on whether their biggest competitor Huawei can put their software problems behind them.

The Mate X, Huawei’s first foldable, was lauded by the industry for its clever design but will most likely be DOA if it isn’t able to ship with Google apps and services.

Should Huawei manage to resolve the problems caused by the trade ban, Samsung may find itself struggling to move the number of units they plan to.

Fierce competition

Huawei has already shown its ability to compete with Samsung in the flagship category they all but owned for years. The Galaxy Fold is currently shipping in batches of 10 000.

As with all new technologies, foldable costs should decrease as manufacturers begin investing in infrastructure to scale production.

Samsung will no doubt be doing everything in their power to keep the wave of excitement going so they can increase volumes and bring their costs down and profits up.

We’ll just have to wait and see if the market is ready for the foldable revolution.

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