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Cheaper Galaxy Z Fold 6 might launch at the same time as the iPhone 16

Published Mar 21st, 2024 6:04PM EDT
Samsung Fold 5 a on a mirrored background showing the Google Play store.
Image: Jonathan S. Geller

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I probably made it clear by now that I’m very excited about the prospect of seeing Samsung launch a cheaper Galaxy Z Fold 6 this year, even though I’m a longtime iPhone user who is likely to upgrade to one of the iPhone 16 models. The reason is actually quite simple.

Foldable phone tech has matured to a point where manufacturing more affordable devices is possible without compromising the integrity of its components. 

Meanwhile, more expensive foldable phones can feature great battery life and cameras. They’re becoming thinner than ever. All these innovations will make the foldable iPhone/iPad happen in the coming years, and that’s my endgame. 

Price is another, and these devices have to go mainstream so vendors can reduce production costs and pass those savings to buyers. 

That’s why a rumor earlier this week that the cheap Galaxy Z Fold 6 might cost around $800 in Korea was so exciting to me. Now, a new report from Samsung’s home country offers more details about Samsung’s plans for this year’s foldables. If accurate, we’ll see the cheaper Galaxy Z Fold 6 in stores in September. That’s when Apple should launch the iPhone 16 series.

According to The Elec, Samsung might launch the new foldable flagship even earlier this year than in 2023. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Flip 5 launched in late July last year. This time, it might happen in early July. 

Previous reports said Samsung might be eying an early launch due to the Summer Olympic Games opening on July 26th. Samsung unveiled the Fold 5 and Flip 5 on July 26th last year. An early July would let Samsung advertise the two phones at the games, where Samsung is a major sponsor. 

The Elec doesn’t offer a date or release date for the Galaxy Z Fold 6 launch event. But the outlet says Samsung will mass-produce the two flagship foldables earlier this year. It’ll happen in May, two to three weeks earlier than last year’s models. 

More interesting are the claims related to the cheaper Galaxy Z Fold 6. Apparently, Samsung won’t launch it at the same time as the regular Fold 6 and the Flip 5. Instead, the phone will hit stores two to three months later.

The claim certainly makes sense. Samsung wouldn’t want its cheaper Galaxy Z Fold 6 to eat into the sales of the more expensive model. That’s why Galaxy S FE models never launch alongside the same-year Galaxy S variant. 

From a different perspective, a September launch would be a bold decision from Samsung. The Korean giant used to release its Galaxy Note phones in early September until the iPhone 6/6 Plus phones obliterated the 2014 Note. Since then, Samsung has moved its summer launch event to August and July. 

A cheap Galaxy Z Fold 6 would be sold as an alternative to the iPhone 16 if that September-October launch window is accurate. 

The Elec also provided a few details about the cheaper Galaxy Z Fold 6. The budget model will be even thinner than the premium Galaxy Z Fold 6. In turn, the expensive foldable should be thinner than the Fold 5. Finally, the report says the budget foldable will not support the S Pen stylus, a cost-saving measure that appeared in other reports detailing the cheaper Z Fold 6.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.