Foldables have a few problems, but the biggest is the price tag, which only makes them accessible to those with far more money than sense.
That’s especially true of the two-in-one style phones that unfold to reveal a larger tablet-sized screen on the inside. Case in point: Samsung currently charges at least NZ$2,849 for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 — rising to NZ$3,099 if you fancy 512GB of storage rather than the 256GB offered by default.
But Samsung might have a cheaper option this year if a new report in Korean publication The Elec is to be believed. The company is reportedly “considering” an “entry-level” Galaxy Z Fold 6 in the second half of the year to “increase the penetration rate of the foldable phone market”.
That’s especially true in China, where Samsung sits third in the not particularly competitive foldables table, behind Honor and Huawei.
Of course “entry-level” doesn’t necessarily mean cheap, just the lowest price option in a category, and it’s worth remembering that Samsung has ruled out a mid-range foldable as recently as November. “We don’t plan to manufacture foldable smartphones that are priced in the midrange, and the latest rumours are groundless,” a Samsung spokesperson said at the time.
Could that just be semantics? Maybe Samsung isn’t planning on anything in the midrange, but happens to define midrange as $1 above or below where it’s planning on positioning a new foldable. Notably, the same spokesperson carefully didn’t rule out a ‘Fan Edition’ at the time, enigmatically saying “there’s nothing decided on the matter.”
We won’t find out for some time. Samsung has only just unveiled the Galaxy S24 range, with the three handsets set to go on sale in early February. Once the excitement has worn off, we expect a foldable-centric Unpacked event to follow in the summer — probably in late August if recent history is any guide.