Samsung usually reveals new foldable phones around August, and it’s likely to outfit its Flip5 with fancy new gear in the face of all the new competition.
As for the larger, book-like Galaxy Z Fold4, Honor has more or less cloned it with its Magic Vs, a foldable with slightly larger inner and clamshell screens, a bigger battery (again no wireless), similar cameras and the same Qualcomm. chipset
It launched in China in December, but at the Barcelona tech fair, Honor said it was planning an international launch this year.
No date or price was given in Australia, but it will start in Europe at €1,600 ($2,516) for a device with 512GB of storage. The equivalent Fold4 costs €2,012 in Europe and $2,700 in Australia.
Notably, none of the Chinese phones appear to be certified as dust or water resistant, as Samsung phones are. On the other hand, Oppo and Honor claim to have tested their screens to withstand more than 40,000 folds, which is double what Samsung is quoted.
Samsung has had modest success with its Z Fold since the original model. troubled launch in 2019, but the Z Flip, similar to a flip phone, has proven much more popular. In 2020, the company only sold around 3 million foldable phones. But in 2021, the first full year the Flip was available, that figure jumped to around 10 million7 million of which were Flips.
Market research firm Counterpoint estimates that around 15 million foldable devices will be sold in 2022, the vast majority of them Samsung. Counterpoint expects the overall segment to grow 52 percent year-on-year in 2023 to 22.7 million, which is a small fraction of total smartphone sales but around a fifth of all premium high-end sales.
While Google has long been rumored to be developing a foldable phone, most of the new models coming out this year will be from China.
Oppo-owned OnePlus promised at MWC to launch a foldable phone in the second half of 2023, though it gave no further details.
And Lenovo showed off a prototype “roll-up” phone that goes from small and boxy to tall and rectangular thanks to its rolled-up screen. Lenovo also plans to use movable displays for its ThinkBook laptops.
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