It’s already April and Samsung hasn’t announced any new foldable phones this year. We would have expected the Galaxy Z Flip 2 successor by now, but that’s not the case. It’s still unclear what sort of seasonality to expect from Samsung’s foldable releases. Not to mention that 2021 will be a more challenging year for Samsung and other smartphone makers. The current chip shortage might convince Samsung to cancel the Galaxy Note line temporarily or even provide the company with the best excuse to discontinue it entirely.
Word on the street is that Samsung wants its foldable phones to replace the Note, and the company is looking to ramp up sales significantly. Before that can happen, Z Flip and Z Fold phones need to become more accessible, and Samsung is looking at ways to achieve that. The latest moves include expanding its extended trial program for foldable phones in some markets, and a significant price cut in others.
The Galaxy Z Flip and Z Fold are “old” devices by today’s standards, but they’re still more expensive than some of the best 2021 handsets with traditional screens that can’t fold. Samsung launched a promotion a few weeks ago that lets people try a Samsung foldable for 100 days before buying. The program, which expired on April 1st, had no equal in the industry. You can return a brand new device if you don’t like it, but you typically only have a couple of weeks to do it.
Interestingly, Samsung moved the deal to a different continent and shortened the trial window. UK buyers tempted by Samsung’s foldables will have 60 days to try them out. The deal is valid through June 22nd, SamMobile explains. Both the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the Z Flip are covered, but buyers still have to pay for either handset. If they’re not happy with their purchase after 60 days, they’ll be refunded once the return is received.
The good news is that the Galaxy Z Fold just got a permanent £200 ($276) price cut in the region. The phone dropped from £1,799 ($2,487) to £1,599 ($2,210), which means the handset is just slightly more expensive than the Galaxy S21 Ultra or the Galaxy Z Flip 5G — the latter still costs £1,229 ($1,699) in the UK.
Samsung is also discounting the Z Fold 2’s price in its home market, where customers have access to an even better deal. According to local The Korea Bizwire, the price cut is permanent. The Z Fold 2 now costs 1.892 million won ($1,676) in South Korea, down from 2,398 won ($2,125). Samsung discontinued the Galaxy Z Flip last month in the region, which was priced at 1.349 million won ($1,195) instead of the original 1.65 million ($1,462) launch price.
The price drops are obviously intended to boost sales. At the same time, Xiaomi just shocked the industry with a high-end foldable handset that competes directly against the Galaxy Z Fold 2. The Mi Mix Fold has 2021 specs and a few novel features, but the handset has a much lower entry price, at 9,999 yuan ($1,523).
Samsung is expected to release at least a couple of new foldable handsets this year, featuring the latest available hardware. Previous rumors claimed that Samsung might launch a more affordable Galaxy Z device and a new dual-folding model that’s unlike anything Samsung has shown us before. As you can see below, long-time Samsung leaker Ice Universe is already teasing Samsung’s foldables on Twitter.
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I know some news, but I can't say it. Please be sure to look forward to Fold3, which is a cross-age product.
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) April 2, 2021