A small foldable smartphone could attract a galaxy of users

Samsung launches new generation of foldable smartphones despite initial concerns. (Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson/AAP PHOTOS)

By Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson in Paris

Flips and foldables are being touted as the most likely to steal customers from Apple’s iPhone as its biggest rival unveils two smartphones aimed at Australian consumers.

But experts say Samsung’s sixth generation of foldable smartphones, set to launch on July 31, and those from other brands will need to convince many more buyers to invest in flexible displays for the technology to dominate device sales.

Samsung unveiled its latest foldable phones in Paris on Thursday (Australian time), with its larger Fold6 device boasting a thinner, lighter but wider form factor while the smaller Flip6 adds a 50-megapixel camera and more photography modes.

The devices will feature AI-based software for the first time, along with improved processors to power it.

Eric Chou, director of mobile experience at Samsung Australia, said foldable smartphones had become the fastest growing technology in its portfolio and the one most likely to attract customers from other brands.

“The install base (for foldable phones) continues to grow at a much faster rate than any of our other products,” he told AAP.

“Our total base has now seen a very, very strong increase in foldable users and the Fold and Flip continue to be the devices that attract customers who are experiencing a Galaxy for the first time.”

Mr Chou said foldable phones have been on the market for five years and in development for 13 years, and consumers’ concerns about their ability to withstand daily bumps have been allayed.

“We’ve certainly learned lessons, but we continue to improve that sustainability,” he said.

Figures released by research firm TrendForce predicted that the popularity of foldable phones would more than triple by 2028, and Kantar Worldpanel ComTech found that their popularity had increased by 60% over the past year.

Smaller foldable phones, such as Samsung’s Flip and the upcoming Motorola RAZR 50 Ultra, were the most popular with new buyers, the study found, and had the greatest potential to steal users from other brands like Apple.

But Jack Hamlin, global director of consumer research at Kantar Worldpanel, said the technology still had a long way to go to compete with traditional smartphone sales.

“The foldable market has a lot of room for growth, and as more people buy, fewer will feel the anxiety of taking the first step in adopting a new technology,” he said.

“It remains to be seen, however, whether foldable devices can move from niche technology to mass adoption.”

Telsyte CEO Foad Fadaghi said foldable phones would continue to attract consumers who wanted more powerful features or more screen space, but Apple’s reluctance to launch a flexible rival could limit sales.

“Even with strong demand, the lack of an Apple foldable device gives consumers the feeling that the technology is still not ready or still has problems,” he said.

“More than half of the market considers this to be an experimental product, which will be a mitigating factor.”

Samsung’s new foldable phones will compete with foldable devices from Motorola, Oppo, Huawei and Google.


  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 ($2,749): The latest version of the foldable phones that started the trend will feature a thinner, lighter but wider body, AI features, and a 50-megapixel camera
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip6 ($1,799): The brand’s flip phone will add features including an auto-zoom function for selfies and AI messaging suggestions when it launches on July 31
  • Motorola RAZR 50 Ultra ($1,699): The foldable update to the RAZR, set to arrive in Australia on July 17, promises to bring a four-inch front display, water resistance and new ways to capture images when folded
  • Google Pixel Fold 2 (TBA): Google has opted not to release its first foldable phone in Australia in 2023, but the internet giant could reveal a change of heart when its next phone launches on August 13
  • Oppo Find N3 ($2,699): The Chinese phone maker offers an alternative to Samsung’s Fold with a phone that opens to reveal a larger 7.8-inch display.

The journalist travelled to France as a guest of Samsung Australia.

Who can we trust?

In a world of confusion and manipulation, it has never been more important to support independent journalism in Canberra.

If you trust our work online and want to strengthen the power of independent voices, I invite you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support is reinvested into our journalism to help keep citynews.com.au strong and free.

Become a supporter


Ian Meikle, Editor-in-Chief

Leave a Comment