Samsung Electronics plans to unveil the foldable phone Galaxy Z4 series through the Galaxyan Pack in New York on the 10th of next month. Samsung Electronics is leading the foldable phone market with a 85% share (as of 2021), so the industry is drawing attention to the technology evolution of Samsung Electronics’ 4th generation foldable phone Galaxy Z4 series.

Since Samsung Electronics introduced the world’s first foldable phone in 2019, we looked at the change and technology evolution of the foldable phone market.

■ Twice this year’s growth forecast… Shipping amount of 10 million units

Samsung Electronics launched the first Galaxy Fold ‘Galaxy Fold’, which is folded in vertically in September 2019, in September 2019, 8 years after the flexible display prototype released in 2011. Starting with this, in 2020, Samsung Electronics confirmed the foldable phone lineup as ‘fold’ and ‘flip’ by introducing the second foldable phone ‘Galaxy Z Flip’. Flip is a clam shell that folds the phone horizontally.

Since then, the company introduced ‘Galaxy Z Fold 2’ in September 2020, and in August last year, ‘Galaxy Z Fold 3’ and ‘Galaxy Z Flip 3’ were unveiled at the same time. On the 10th of next month, ‘Galaxy Z Fold 4’ and ‘Galaxy Z Flip 4’ will be debuted in the world.

The foldable phone accounts for less than 1% of the total smartphone shipments, which is still difficult to say ‘mass product’. But the market is growing steadily every year.

According to market research firm counterpoints, Samsung Electronics’ foldable phone shipments recorded 370,000 units in 2019 and 2.1 million units in 2020, and more than four times more than the previous year.

Last year, ‘Galaxy Z Fold 3’ and ‘Galaxy Z Flip 3’ left a record of lightly exceeding Samsung’s 2020 foldable phone sales in about a month after its launch. It also surpassed 1 million units in 39 days of launch in Korea al1. In particular, the popularity of Galaxy Z Flip 3, which is small and easy to carry, has led to the growth of the foldable market.

The popularity of foldable phones continued in the first quarter of this year. According to the Supply Chain Consultant (DSCC), foldable smartphone shipments in the first quarter were 2.22 million units, up 571% year-on-year. Samsung Electronics’ foldable phone share in the first quarter is 75%, and shipments are estimated at 1.665,000. In the foldable phone market, Huawei ranks second with a 20% share, and the market share of Chinese smartphone brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Honor, and Vivo is 2%, respectively.

This year, Samsung Electronics’ foldable phone shipments are expected to exceed 10 million units for the first time. The counterpoint predicts that the Galaxy Z series (fold, flip sum) shipments will reach 12.5 million units this year.

The annual sales of 10 million units are the annual sales volume that Galaxy Note has been maintained since its launch in 2011. While the Galaxy Note series has been discontinued, it is significant in that it can be replaced by Samsung Electronics’ representative model in the second half of this year if the foldable phone achieves more than 10 million units. In addition, R & D efficiency and production yield of parts companies related to foldable phones are also expected to stabilize.

Samsung Electronics also said in the first quarter earnings conference call, The foldable phone market is expected to grow doubled this year, he said. We will make the Galaxy Z series a flagship product comparable to the Galaxy S product.

Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics foldable phone shipments are also indicated by the industry that the outlook may be adjusted according to the consumer response after its launch. This year, the global recession is decreasing for the quarterly smartphone shipments, which can also affect foldable phone shipments.

■ Foldable phone popularization… The price barrier is lowered and wrinkle improvement is key

The main factor was that the Galaxy Z3 series, which was released last year, was more popular than its predecessor, overcoming the shortcomings of existing models and lowering the price to around 20%.

‘Galaxy Z fold 3’ is equipped with UDC (Under Display Camera) to enhance design completion and display utilization, and weighs about 30g lighter than its predecessor. ‘Galaxy Z Flip 3’ has expanded its availability by developing external displays. In particular, it provides a variety of cover screens and customization functions through large external displays, causing the demand for MZ generation.

In addition, ‘Galaxy Z Fold 3’ and ‘Galaxy Z Flip 3’ were the first foldable phones to receive IPX8 waterproof rating.

The core technology that pays attention to the Galaxy Z4 series this year is the improvement of display wrinkles.

According to a famous IT tipster (information leaker), the screen wrinkles of the Galaxy Z4 series have been significantly reduced than the previous 1. In addition, the battery capacity, which was dissatisfied with consumers, is also expected to affect the purchase of foldable phones. The battery capacity of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is expected to be 4,400mAh, which is the same as its predecessor, but the Galaxy Z flip 4 is 3700mAh, which is expected to increase 4000mAh from its predecessor.

In addition, the Galaxy Z4 series is equipped with the ESIM function in addition to the slot that plugs the existing physical simsim (USIM and general-purpose child-specific modules). The charging speed is also expected to increase from 15W to 25W. The AP is equipped with the first generation of Snapdragon 8 Plus (+).

The launch price of the Galaxy Z4 series is also expected to affect the increase in shipments. If the performance improves at a reasonable price, the demand for foldable phones can increase rapidly. In the meantime, the price of foldable phones, which is more expensive than a regular bar smartphone, has been burdened with purchases.

The factor that the Galaxy Z3 series was more popular than the previous series was that Z Fold 3 was released for the first time for less than 2 million won. The prices of the previous work Z-Fold and Z Fold 2 cost 2,398,000 won. The consumer price of the Z Fold 3, which was released last year, was 1999,000 won (256GB) and 2098,000 won (512GB). The Z flip 3 also lowered the price as it was released to $ 999 (1254,000 won).

At the same time, the outlook for the Galaxy Z4 series will be released with the previous work and the price is lowered than the previous work.

DSCC said, Samsung Electronics is expected to lower the price of the Galaxy Z4 series than its predecessor as Samsung Electronics raises expectations.