Traditional smartphones may not be at risk of being replaced by foldable counterparts quite yet, but there are signs that the new form factor might be more than a passing craze. Despite earlier reports to the contrary, DigiTimes cites industry sources who claim that Samsung is ramping up production of the recently released Galaxy Z Flip after the phone sold more units than expected in Korea and in other countries around the world.
According to the new report, the first batch of Galaxy Z Flip shipments to Korea, the US, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore, France, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates have already sold out.
Although the Galaxy Z Flip is a tad bit pricier than most traditional flagship smartphones at $1,380 in the US, it’s still more than $100 cheaper than the foldable Motorola Razr and well over $500 cheaper than Samsung’s initial foldable, the Galaxy Fold. As a result, Galaxy Z Flip shipments in Korea are expected to hit 100,000 by the end of March, while international shipments could reach up to 500,000 units in the same stretch. Sources believe that by the end of 2020, shipments could go as high as 2 to 2.5 million units, and if the foldable device manages to make a splash in China, Samsung might ship up to 5 million Galaxy Z Flip phones before the end of the year.
Providing the DigiTimes sources are accurate, this is quite an interesting development for Samsung. Just days ago, reports suggested that the coronavirus outbreak was having an overwhelmingly negative impact on early Galaxy S20 sales, though we noted that high prices and lack of an affordable entry-level model, like the best-selling Galaxy S10e, couldn’t have been helping. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Flip is something of a bargain relative to other foldable phones on the market, and, lo and behold, it appears to be seeing early success in spite of the outbreak.
We haven’t heard anything official yet, so take these reports with a grain of salt, but as smartphone makers try to find their footing with foldable devices, the Galaxy Z Flip might be the first to sniff mainstream success.