The Korea Herald


Samsung's new foldables get warm reception in Europe

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : Sept. 2, 2022 - 13:53

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Samsung Europe Chief Marketing Officer Benjamin Braun delivers an opening speech at the IFA 2022 press conference on Thursday. (Samsung Electronics) Samsung Europe Chief Marketing Officer Benjamin Braun delivers an opening speech at the IFA 2022 press conference on Thursday. (Samsung Electronics)
South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics announced Friday that sales and shipments of its newest foldable phones have significantly increased in Europe compared with their predecessors in the first week since the release.

The latest additions to Samsung's foldable lineup -- the clamshell-type Galaxy Z Flip4 and book-type Galaxy Z Fold4 -- saw all-time high sales among all foldable types in Europe, Samsung said, without disclosing the figure. Sales of the Z Flip4 and Z Fold4 began on Aug. 26 in 36 European countries, including Germany, France, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Also, shipments of Z Flip4 and Z Fold4 combined are up twofold in the first week since the release compared with predecessors Z Flip3 and Z Fold3. Samsung declined to disclose the relevant figures.

The estimate, unveiled just ahead of Europe's biggest tech show IFA 2022 beginning Friday, indicates "a fast-emerging sign of foldables' mass market appeal to global consumers," Samsung said in a statement.

On a separate note, 3 out of 5 of the newest foldables sold in the European market were the clamshell-type Z Flip4, largely in line with global market trends of clamshell-type models proving to be more popular than book-type ones by the same smartphone manufacturer.

As for color choices, graphite and bora purple were most popular among Z Flip4 buyers, while gray-green and phantom black were the favorites for Z Fold4 buyers.

The news comes in line with Samsung's bold plan to up the ante in the foldables market that the tech giant is already dominating, with an increasing focus on the European market. Samsung was the world's largest foldable phone maker with nearly 90 percent market share in 2021, according to market intelligence firm Omdia.

The clamshell-style Z Flip4 models coded for Europe and the rest of the world are expected to account for 37 percent through November, followed by Korea at 29 percent and the United States at 26 percent, according to smartphone component tracker Display Supply Chain Consultant.

As for the book-type Z Fold4, those heading for the European market and the rest of the world will account for 47 percent during the same period, with the US accounting for 24 percent and Korea at 22 percent.

"While Korean demand (for Samsung's foldables) is expected to remain strong, much of the growth is coming from Europe," Ross Young, co-founder and CEO of DSCC, wrote in a note Monday.

Ahead of Samsung lies a goal to solidify its smartphone leadership in Europe with the game-changing foldable form factors, amid intensifying competition with Chinese rivals like Xiaomi, Oppo and Realme, as well as its archrival Apple.

Samsung in Europe has topped competitors in terms of quarterly total smartphone shipments for the four consecutive quarters since July 2021, as Xiaomi dethroned Samsung in the second quarter of 2021 by shipment partly due to supply chain issues, according to market intelligence firm Counterpoint Research.

Earlier in August, Samsung began to show its foldable ambition. Samsung's mobile division head Roh Tae-moon pledged to have its sales of foldables account for half of the total premium smartphones by 2025, soon after the new foldables' debut in the Unpacked August 2022 event.

Samsung has been readying itself for the increase in foldables production. The volume of flat-panel displays shipped for Z Flip4 production is expected to be over 4 million this year through the end of September, up 51 percent higher than the Z Flip3, according to DSCC. Volume of Z Fold4 panels is expected to be 88 percent higher compared with the Fold3 at over 2.5 million.