Good news and bad news for Samsung’s shareholders. The good news is that the company is reportedly forecasting its biggest ever foldable year, with an estimated 15 million Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 units shipped.
Some would say that’s an unhinged level of optimism, given that every brand of foldable accounted for around 7.1 million shipments last year. But y’know: shoot for the moon and all that.
No, the optimistic nature of forecasts isn’t the bad news here. It’s that even with that glass-half-full attitude firmly in place, Samsung is predicting it’ll drop by a third to 10 million next year for the 2023 foldables.
That’s according to a new report from Korean publication The Elec, which adds that Samsung reckons 8 million of those are going to be Galaxy Z Flip 5 phones with just 2 million Z Fold 5 handsets in the mix.
This obviously isn’t because Samsung plans on being the first manufacturer in history to intentionally make a dreadful smartphone. Rather it’s due to the pretty bleak market conditions we have to look forward to from 2023 and onwards.
The rising cost of components thanks to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, worrying levels of stagflation and the potential for Covid-19 to get out of control again are all likely to drag consumer demand downwards, the report says.
You might think that would be a good time to back away from smartphones for a little bit, but apparently Samsung has no plans for doing anything quite that rash. Indeed, the same report has some very early specs listed for 2023’s two foldables.
In what should come as a shock to absolutely nobody, both handsets will apparently pack Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip. Meanwhile the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 will reportedly feature the company’s Isocell GN3 50MP camera sensor, with a pixel size of 1.0μm. That’s a substantial upgrade on what’s in the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, but what the rumourmill says we can expect to see in the imminent Z Fold 4.
No doubt it’ll be at an anti-social hour for New Zealand (the S22 was launched at 4am, Auckland time), but I’ll be on hand to write it all up before you wake up, assuming they wrap up quickly…