Samsung will make foldable smartphones mainstream by continuing to “listen and learn” from users to broaden their appeal, a senior UK executive has said.
The phone maker unveiled its fourth-generation foldable devices — the Galaxy Z Flip4 and Fold4 — on Wednesday.
Conor Pierce, Samsung’s executive vice president for the UK and Ireland, said that while the new devices remain in the ultra-premium smartphone category, much wider adoption among the wider public will follow in the coming years.
“It will be mainstream, we will have a ‘foldable future,’ if you will, across many different price points and form factors,” Pierce told the PA news agency, adding that the new Fold4 and Flip4 will further help to create that future.
“It’s about listening, learning and innovating, and I think we’ve never listened more than in the last 12 months,” he said.
“So I’m really excited that we’re actually ticking off what consumers want in these devices.
“What do they want? They want a powerful battery, so the battery life of the Flip4 is now three hours longer than it was before. They want performance, so we have a new processor in the device, which is the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1.
“And obviously everyone uses their phone for the cameras, so we’ve upgraded the cameras – including a 50-megapixel lens on the Fold.
“I think it’s just the best experience based on the feedback we’ve had from consumers – that’s what Samsung does well: we listen, we learn, we innovate.”
Pierce noted that the phone maker is already seeing people switch to its foldable devices from rival manufacturers.
“One in four Flip buyers come from a non-Samsung brand, and around 13% come from the iPhone. It’s exciting because we haven’t had that in our portfolio before – organic switching,” he said.
The price of both foldables has risen compared to last year’s models, but the Samsung boss also acknowledged the ongoing cost-of-living pressures many face, highlighting the company’s expanded range of trade-in options for anyone thinking of upgrading in the current climate. .
(We are very aware of the cost of living). I think everyone who lives in the UK is aware of that because it’s a daily pressure we face in our normal lives,” he said.
“So when someone buys a Fold device, they can get up to £580 in residual value for the device in their pocket – any device, any condition, but up to £580.”
Those who pre-order one of the new phones will also be eligible for one year of free damage coverage with Samsung’s Care+ program, as well as one year of free access to the Disney+ streaming service.
Pierce also encouraged Samsung’s rivals to enter the foldable market as it will help with choice, competition and innovation in the category.
“We’re just warming up. Collapsible is just the tip of the iceberg – there is so much more to come, he told PA.
“This puts Samsung in a very competitive position because we have a lot of fundamental learning, we have, I think, up to 1,000 patents issued on foldable technology, which has obviously helped us build these devices.
“But having said that, I’ve always welcomed competition. However late they want to come to the party, they can, because it actually does a few things – it raises the tide for the overall category, it raises awareness of the overall category, it provides choice for the consumer, and it puts leaders like us in a position where we have to continue to innovate.
“So I think we’re proud of where we are, but we humbly need to learn more.
“It gives us a very good opportunity to continue pioneering and leading.”