Samsung Flip 5 and Fold 5
Both devices are tipped to come with upgraded features and design as compared to their predecessors. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Samsung has kept prices steady for the latest Galaxy Z Flip and Fold smartphones, the fifth version of the series, at a time when more users are getting comfortable with the idea of owning foldable/flippable handsets.

The Galaxy Z Flip5 starts from Dh3,899 and the Fold version from Dh6,799.

The South Korean tech giant unveiled the latest models at an event in Seoul and has launched pre-orders in the UAE. Tech retailers now say that foldable handsets are no longer seen as ‘just a fad’ and one that’s likely to be picked up 1-2 per cent of the consumer base. In the UAE, foldables could with just a little push - take up around 5 per cent of all smartphones sold in another 2-3 years, retailers say.

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Currently, the foldable handset market in the UAE makes up 2-3 per cent of the total. The likes of Huawei and Honor already have their versions, and Apple remains the one holdout that has not committed to coming up with this form.

Last year’s version of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip started at Dh3,799 (for 128GB), while the Fold cost Dh6,799 (for 56GB).

Samsung Flip 5
Galaxy Z Flip5

This year, Samsung, while maintaining the price levels, has dropped the 128GB version of the Flip and straight away going to the 256GB. And on the Galaxy Z Fold, it introduced a 1TB version.

“Samsung’s move to promote higher capacity versions - the 512GB and 1TB - and backed by upgrade or bundled offers will drive the sales,” said Rajat Asthana, Chief Operating Officer at Eros, one of the biggest sellers of brand Samsung in the UAE.

“On the upgrade offers, shoppers paying for a 256GB model can get a 512GB handset for that price.”

Apart from new buyers, Samsung is going aggressively after the existing foldable users now looking to upgrade. The upgrade and bundle offers for higher-capacity versions will lure existing users.

- Rajat Asthana of Eros

Between Samsung and Apple, they enjoy a 70-80 per cent share of the UAE market for smartphones. In recent weeks, as prices of their current flagship models dropped, demand was running neck-to-neck, retailer sources said.

“If Apple continues to sit out from launching its version, Samsung will lead the way in winning users to this design,” said an analyst. “Doing away with the 128GB entry-level Flip means Samsung is getting quite confident about its prospects in this sub-category. If the strategy proves right, these models give them quite a high margin cushion.”

Samsung Fold 5
Galaxy Z Fold5

Based on buyer trends from the summer promotions, retailers say that there were many in the UAE who were first-time converts to the foldable range. The pre-order demand for the latest Samsung models will have a big say in showing whether those who already had one bought in the last four years are in the mood for an upgrade.

If they do in strength, then the foldable market - quite literally - will be thrown wide open…

Samsung’s Galaxy Z series has redefined what’s possible from a pocket-sized device, delivering versatile functionality built on a foundation of the Galaxy ecosystem.

- Fadi Abu Shamat, Samsung Gulf Electronics
More than another shape
“We’ve always worked to give consumers a choice, so they can find the phone that best fits their needs.
The Flip5 has a new look and optimized design that makes it a truly pocketable device and provides new ways to express yourself – be it customizable cover screens to hands-free selfies with FlexCam.

Whereas Galaxy Z Fold5, with the biggest screen yet, is a PC in the palm of your hand.”

- Fadi Abu Shamat, Head of Mobile eXperience Division at Samsung Gulf Electronics