At the TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin event today, Samsung Electronics president Young Sohn shared a revelation with the crowd about the company’s Galaxy Fold smartphones that might sound shocking to some people. In spite of the many flaws associated with Samsung’s first attempt at a foldable smartphone, it seems the company has sold 1 million units so far, up from an estimate of half a million from back in October.
And just in case you miss the point, Samsung definitely sees that as a win. Sohn was asked during today’s event if the company is still comfortable selling what’s “essentially a beta device” for almost $2,000. Sohn said yes it is, and that sales figure proves why.
That number, of course, is still just a fraction of the up to 6 million foldable handsets Samsung has reportedly planned to sell next year. But as we’ve noted on more than one occasion, Samsung is apparently going to try and get there by offering more than one foldable variant in 2020 — models that we’re, in fact, already starting to learn key details about. Recall that we reported just yesterday about how Samsung has trademarked a new kind of Ultra Thin Glass, details of which reveal that it will provide a more scratch-resistant display for the Galaxy Fold 2 while also sporting a thinness that’s equivalent to that of human hair.
Back to the inaugural model of the Galaxy Fold and to today’s event, meanwhile, another noteworthy point Sohn shared is that Samsung purposefully decided to release the device before other people might have considered it fully ready for prime time. Never mind the botched initial launch that was supposed to have been in April, all those broken review units that made headlines and then the delayed release in September that still resulted in faulty devices making news — if Samsung had kept the Galaxy Fold in a lab all this time, the company doesn’t feel it would have gotten sufficient feedback from the outside world to help it improve the phone going forward.
This could also be regarded as a convenient excuse for launching a device this expensive with so many problems right out of the gate, depending on your perspective. I’m on record as pegging the Galaxy Fold as the biggest smartphone blunder of 2019 — however, today’s news only reaffirms what we already knew, which is that Samsung is still committed to this form factor and will be doubling down on it next year.