We exclusively reported three years ago that Samsung had started working on a foldable smartphone and the company recently revealed that it has made progress on the device but will only release it once it’s confident that the foldable smartphone will deliver the best user experience. Many now expect Samsung to launch its foldable smartphone at MWC 2019 and if analysts’ predictions are believed, the handset might cost a pretty penny at launch.
Market analysts also believe that Samsung’s foldable smartphone won’t be released before 2019 and that its suppliers will begin sending parts to Samsung Electronics starting in November this year so that it can begin mass production.
It may cost almost $2,000
Golden Bridge Investment’s head of research Kim Jang-yeol predicts that the retail price of Samsung’s foldable smartphone will be around 2 million won or $1,850 before carrier subsidies. The brokerage expects that the handset will have a 7.3-inch foldable OLED display and when it’s foldable, the display size is likely to be 4.5-inches.
It’s also claimed that Samsung’s foldable smartphone will have two panels inside and one on the outside. The two inside panels will form the 7.3-inch display when the phone is unfolded. The analysts expect Samsung to showcase a prototype of the device to its carrier partners at the Consumer Electronics Show 2019 in January before unveiling the device at MWC the following month.
Previous reports have suggested that Samsung is going to more 300,000-500,000 units of its foldable smartphone initially to gauge the market response before deciding whether or not there’s a need to ramp up production.
If the expected price point is accurate then it would certainly put Samsung’s foldable smartphone out of the reach of most customers who won’t be able to justify spending almost $2,000 on a smartphone.
That being said, it’s likely that the first foldable smartphone may serve as a proof of concept for Samsung and it may not be looking to make it a commercial success. The next iteration may then be prepared with cost savings once the company is able to determine that a market exists for smartphones with foldable displays.