Samsung unveiled its first ever foldable smartphone last month, but it was hardly a proper announcement. Samsung showed off the phone’s Infinity Flex screen design, revealed the phone would have a large screen on the inside and a smaller one on the outside, and demoed bits and pieces of the new interface it developed with Google for the unnamed phone.
That’s about everything Samsung was willing to tell us about the phone, leaving plenty of things out of this first foldable phone presentation. However, a report that talks in great detail about the future of foldable devices also shares new information about Samsung’s new phone, including camera and battery specs.
Dutch blog LetsGoDigital obtained a report from research agency CIMB about the future of the foldable market. The report seems to indicate that foldable devices could bring new growth to the mobile market, with shipments expected to increase significantly in the coming years. Next year, some four million foldable phones will be sold worldwide — Samsung is expected to make one million units of its first-gen device, reports have claimed. By 2022, the number should increase to 39 million, as more and more handset vendors release new models.
The phones will be expensive at first, but some buyers may justify the purchase as foldable phones could replace the need to get a tablet or a laptop. The software of these new devices will be a crucial factor for their success, as smartphone vendors will have to think of ways of making foldable phones, which are essentially tablet-sized devices, as easy to use as regular smartphones.
Suppliers of OLED screens, flexible printed circuit boards, and batteries are expected to benefit the most from the new form factors. When it comes to displays, Samsung is expected to retain its dominance over rival LG until at least 2020.
Overall, Samsung could pay some $637 to manufacture a flexible smartphone this year, and the bill of material doesn’t include research and development costs that got us here. Comparatively, it costs $375.80 to make Galaxy S9, which sells for $840. Samsung gets a 55% margin on the 2018 flagship, the report notes. Assuming Samsung would go for a 65% margin on the flexible phone, then users should expect to pay around $1,800 for the device. Considering an average price of $1,700 for foldable phones next year, by 2022 that price could go down to $1,300.
The report also notes that the Galaxy F will be powered by the Exynos 9820 and Snapdragon 855, paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The handset is expected to feature a dual 12-megapixel main camera as well as an 8-megapixel selfie camera. When it comes to battery, the handset will feature two distinct battery cells, one in each half of the chassis, for a total capacity of 5,000 mAh to 6,000 mAh.