The competition in the foldable smartphone space is heating up, but Samsung remains confident it can maintain its leadership in the segment moving forward. Its next move is hence to double the production volume of the Galaxy Z Fold 2, its second-generation foldable flagship and the third such mobile device overall. Whereas the company manufactured about 400,000 Galaxy Folds last year, it’s now aiming for an output between 700,000 and 800,000 units of the Galaxy Z Fold 2.
Samsung officials believe this quite literal act of doubling down on their foldable bet will be sufficient to maintain the conglomerate’s foldable smartphone lead in the near term, as per a newly emerged report out of South Korea.
Will third time be the charm for Samsung’s foldable ambitions?
This statement of confidence arrives just as industry watchers began forecasting the global market for foldable smartphones will almost double in the immediate future, going from 4.5 million units this year to 8 million units in 2021. Of course, those figures describe estimates of shipments, not sales. Meaning that while Samsung and smaller rivals such as LG and Motorola are bullish enough to double their manufacturing output, it remains to be seen whether the market responds in kind. Especially given the high economic uncertainty stemming from everything that’s been happening throughout this year.
Whatever the case may be, expect Samsung to become even more aggressive on the foldable smartphone front in the next 15 months. As things stand right now, its most serious rival with the most refined product is Microsoft, whose first competing product isn’t even a “real” foldable with a bendable screen, but a gadget that simply connects two separate displays with a hinge. Not to mention the Surface Duo has been getting delayed for months now and may not even arrive outside the US until early 2021.
Between that and Huawei struggling to keep the lights on due to U.S. sanctions (at least in the smartphone market), it’s no wonder Samsung is feeling confident about its foldable endeavors. What remains to be seen is how it performs in this nascent market beyond 2021.