Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip 4 could have more competition in the coming months

Article updated on November 23, 2022 with new rumors about Oppo’s flip phone and Google’s first folding phone.

If the rumors are true, 2023 promises to be a good year for foldable smartphones. Samsung and Motorola should still show new models and are joined by Google, Apple and TCL.

This summer, Samsung renewed its folding range with the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4. Motorola followed in October with a new edition of the Razr.

According to IDC figures, shipments of foldable smartphones would have increased by 264.3% in 2021 compared to 2020. A percentage that will take into account the 7.1 million foldable smartphones sold in 2021 against 362.4 million phones sold only in the fourth quarter last year.

Foldable devices are a nascent but growing part of the mobile phone industry. Foldable device shipments are said to increase by 264.3% in 2021 compared to 2020, according to the International Data Corporation. But IDC estimates that only 7.1 million folding phones were shipped in all of 2021, compared to 362.4 million phones shipped in the fourth quarter of last year alone.

A new foldable smartphone from Samsung?

Flex S-tablet

Samsung Display unveiled several foldable concepts at CES 2022, including the Flex S tablet shown here. Samsung

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 were released a while ago, but Samsung has already figured out what’s next. The Korean tech giant showed off some new concepts at CES 2022 in January. But Samsung has not yet given any indication of launching a new type of folding device.

TM Roh, President and Head of MX Business, said in a previous CNET interview that these and other concepts are potential design candidates for future folding phones.

There have also been rumors that Samsung is potentially preparing to release another type of folding phone. In a tweet that appears to have been deleted, Ice Universe said that Samsung could launch a third type of folding phone this year. Ross Young also entered to say that a slider phone from Samsung was scheduled to be made in 2022 but pushed back.

Oppo Find N Flip

Open the Oppo Find N

The Oppo Find N (pictured above) will soon be joined by a flip phone. Eli Blumenthal/CNET

Chinese tech giant Oppo may be gearing up to take on Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip, which is currently the most popular folding phone according to research firm Omdia.

The blogger was quoted Yogesh Brar, Pricebaba reports that Oppo plans to launch two new foldable phones this fall. One of these devices will be a clamshell folding phone similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Huawei P50 Pocket, while the other will be a sequel to the Oppo Find N. Both new phones will likely run on the Snapdragon 8 Plus processor. Gen 1 or the latest 8 Gen 2 from Qualcomm, but rumors are rare.

For now, Find N is only available in China. However, Oppo has already trademarked the term Find N Flip with the European Union Intellectual Property Office, as noted by Pricebaba. This may suggest that Oppo’s flip phone may be coming to European markets as well.

The Oppo Find N has some design refinements that set it apart from Samsung’s Z Fold lineup, such as a larger cover screen that looks more like a regular phone and a less noticeable crease. Samsung addressed some of these elements with its recently launched Galaxy Z Fold 4, but we’re still excited to see what improvements Oppo can make to the flip-style fold as well.

Ross Young, co-founder and CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants, thinks that the arrival of Find N Flip could become Oppo Samsung’s biggest competitor in the folding phone space. “Certainly it can generate a lot of volume and take cost shares of Huawei and Samsung”Young told CNET in an earlier interview.

Google Pixel Fold (or Pixel Notepad)

An image taken from a Google patent application for a foldable phone. Google

Google could be the next big tech company to enter the folding phone market. According to 9to5Googlethe Californian giant is working on a foldable Pixel that could have a shape similar to Oppo’s Find N and a lower price than the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The site also says the phone could be called the Pixel NotePad, and warns that its camera is less efficient than the Pixel 6.

Google hasn’t said anything about any foldable smartphone projects, especially in its last Google I/O keynote where it previewed the next Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, Pixel Buds Pro and the Pixel watch. Watch before the reveal in more detail a few months later. If Google really has such a product in its boxes, we don’t know when it will be launched. The Korean News Site The Electric announced that Google planned to announce the device in the fourth quarter of 2022, but ultimately decided to postpone the launch. Blogger Ross Young recently explained on Twitter that his presentation will take place in the first quarter of 2023, but it could be done earlier if the delivery of flexible OLED panels is not postponed to January.

A foldable smartphone from TCL

TCL’s folding phone concept. Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

TCL abandoned its plan to launch a foldable smartphone in 2021, but it hasn’t given up completely. This year, the Chinese manufacturer presented two new phones with rollable and folding screens. TCL has not set a timetable for a commercial launch, but told our colleagues of that he planned to keep a price below the $700 mark.

A foldable iPhone

A fictional concept depicting what a foldable iPhone might look like. Concept Phone

Apple is one of the few major smartphone makers that hasn’t released a foldable phone, and it’s unclear if it will. But rumors of a foldable screen iPhone have been swirling for years. If Apple is working on a foldable iPhone, it probably won’t be released for several years. That’s what you think Bloomberg that a foldable iPhone won’t hit the market for two or three years. A prediction supported by 9to5Mac It is understood that the launch will be delayed to 2025.

Waiting a few years to launch your first folder might not be a bad idea. According to IDC, foldable phones are expected to make up 1.8% of the overall smartphone market in 2025, up from 0.5% in 2021. The market research firm also said that foldable phones are expected to take a third of the high-end Android phone market. . article adapted by CNETFrance

Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET

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