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Samsung’s latest foldable phones set preorders record at home

Galaxy Z Flip5, Fold5 foldables hit 1 million preorders, near record set by flagship Galaxy S23

By Jie Ye-eun

Published : Aug. 8, 2023 - 15:12

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Customers who placed a preorder for Samsung Electronics' latest foldable smartphones -- the Galaxy Z Flip5 and Fold 5 -- preactivate their new phones at Samsung Gangnam, the tech giant's flagship store near Gangnam Station in southern Seoul, Tuesday. (Samsung Electronics) Customers who placed a preorder for Samsung Electronics' latest foldable smartphones -- the Galaxy Z Flip5 and Fold 5 -- preactivate their new phones at Samsung Gangnam, the tech giant's flagship store near Gangnam Station in southern Seoul, Tuesday. (Samsung Electronics)

Samsung Electronics’ new foldable smartphones -- the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Fold 5 -- have yet to be launched, but preorder figures suggest that they are likely to be a super hit.

The South Korean tech giant said Tuesday that preorders for the two models amounted to 1.02 million units in South Korea, setting an all-time high record for the form factor. The preorder record marked by the previous models was 970,000 units last year.

While Samsung accepted seven-day preorders until Monday ahead of the new foldable devices’ official release in Korea on Friday, the figure was close to the record of 1.09 million units set by the tech giant’s latest flagship Galaxy S23 series in February.

So far, the highest number of preorders for a Galaxy smartphone has been the Galaxy Note 10 series, which bagged a total of 1.38 million units during its 11-day presales in 2019.

“Preorders for the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Fold 5 went pretty well despite difficult conditions such as the global economic downturn,” a Samsung official said. “Samsung’s foldable smartphone this year got the green light.”

The world's largest mobile phone maker said the vertically folding Galaxy Z Flip 5 phone proved to be more popular than the horizontally folding Galaxy Z Fold 5 model. The presales proportion accounted for approximately 70 percent and 30 percent, respectively, for Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Fold 5.

It was close to Samsung Electronics’ mobile head Roh Tae-moon’s earlier forecast of 65 percent and 35 percent for each model suggested at a press conference held in Seoul on July 28, following the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event. Last year’s sales proportion marked 60 percent and 40 percent for Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Fold 5, respectively.

Samsung said customers tend to favor the Galaxy Z Flip 5’s new 3.4-inch cover screen, called the Flex Window, which is larger than the previous model. It allows users to express their individuality in more diverse ways using watch styles, photos and videos.

The 12-megapixel camera on the back of the device with the FlexCam feature has been picked as another favorable factor. It provides the most diverse camera experience among Galaxy smartphones by running its camera directly from the cover screen and taking high-definition photos.

One of the popularity factors behind the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is known for its lightest and thinnest design among the Galaxy Z Fold series, while providing both portability and powerful performance. The new S Pen Fold Edition of the new Galaxy Z Fold 5 is also highly evaluated as more convenient and easier to use for real-time note-taking and ideation, the company said.

In terms of color, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 had the highest preference in the order of mint and cream, while ice blue was the most popular choice for the Fold 5 model.

Samsung’s new foldable phone series was attractive enough to capture young domestic customers’ hearts. The tech giant has been particularly banking on the latest foldable phones, especially the Z Flip 5, to expand its market share among the younger generation.

Market watchers have paid attention to whether Samsung’s latest foldable phones would appeal to young domestic customers. Among the younger generation, aged 18 to 29, the percentage of iPhone users came in at 65 percent, dwarfing Samsung's 32 percent, according to a recent Gallup Korea poll.

According to SK Telecom, the country’s largest mobile carrier, 62 percent of its customers who made preorders via its online mall were in their 20s and 30s. About 35 percent of the Galaxy Z Flip 5 buyers were female in their 20s and 30s, while 53 percent of the customers were male in their 30s and 40s, the telecom giant said.

The telecommunications industry forecasts that annual shipments of Samsung’s latest foldable smartphones will easily exceed 10 million units this year.

The tech giant’s mobile chief previously showed his confidence in the Z Flip 5 drawing many young domestic customers. He was also assured that the company can solidify its position by selling over 10 million units of its new foldable smartphones globally this year.

“With the newly released Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5, one out of three flagship smartphones sold by Samsung Electronics will be foldable (phones) this year in Korea,” Roh said during July’s conference. “We expect global foldable phone shipments to exceed 20 percent of all Galaxy flagship smartphones this year.”