Samsung has unleashed its new Galaxy Fold 3 and Flip 3 onto the public who, thanks to copious leaks, very much expected this pair of devices. The excitement is hard to judge this days, because Samsung’s press conferences are live streamed directly to paying customers, rather than being unveiled to a room full of tech journalists. But I do find Samsung’s foldable devices a mystery.
In the case of the Fold 3, even with a slightly lower price, I am still baffled that people are buying these phones. I suspect that, in reality, they aren’t in huge numbers. But again, I haven’t been outside for 18 months so I have no idea if everyone is wielding a massive foldable phone. I wanted to ask T3 readers what they thought of the new devices, specifically with regard to their purchasing decisions.
With that in mind, I hit the T3 Twitter (opens in new tab) account and put out a poll asking who would be buying either the Flip or the Fold and, also, who already had a device, perhaps the previous generation of Fold. The answer was resounding silence, no one who saw the poll had spent money on a Fold 2. I don’t feel surprised by that, but I was a bit taken aback by the responses to the other questions.
Of those who answered, only 14% wanted one of Samsung’s folding phones. A staggering 66% said they weren’t interested and 21% felt they were too expensive. Now, I realise there are some problems with self-selecting surveys, but I’m not presenting this as statistically significant. I do, however think it backs up my instinct that these phones are not for the mass market. And I would struggle to tell you who they are for.
Poll time, if you have a few seconds. Please be honest 😄Would you, with your own money, buy a Samsung Z Fold 3 or Z Flip 3?August 12, 2021
That’s not to say that Samsung won’t have considerable fortune with these phones. It can probably get by with reasonably modest sales for the time being. The folding phones are a big R&D cost, but that was going to happen anyway and Samsung’s got deep pockets. The problem for Samsung is going to be talking normal people into parting with their money, unless these phones are more comparable to, say, a Galaxy S 21, in cost.
The technical achievement of the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip is considerable, but until people have a good reason to get a folding phone they are far more likely to buy something cheaper. Perhaps this is why Samsung is abandoning the Note range, it wants those customers jumping on the good ship foldable, and they’re the ones that like the new toys. Except Note customers used to love the fact their phone was a little bit more powerful than the Galaxy S that preceded it. The Flip and Fold don’t have a big selling point like that. Sure, they do things normal phones can’t, but they aren’t class leading in camera terms or battery life or probably even performance.
So, I really don’t know who is going to buy a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 or Flip 3, but if you are I’m sure you’ll get in touch and tell me why one of these devices is perfect for you.