Samsung Galaxy Fold 4
The Galaxy Z Fold4 is drawing buyers beyond Samsung’s super-fans. As for Galaxy Z Flip4, more connectedness is what’s winning it demand. Image Credit: Samsung

Dubai: Okay, Apple’s sticking with the straight-form factor with its iPhones, which leaves Samsung and Huawei with ample time to bend buyer interest further towards the flip/fold models. Because such interest is very much there among a growing base of smartphone buyers.

“The majority of our sales initially were made by enthusiasts, which is why we saw the 512GB sell quickest,” said Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer at Jacky’s Electronics and one of the key channel partners for Samsung devices.

“They are the ones who look to trade-up - and that proved to be the case again for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4, which has gotten off to a good start.

“The Samsung Galaxy Flip Z Flip 4 is mainly aimed at those migrating from a different form factor and who also are attracted by the added functionality of the handset. We expect these sales to grow as we move into the gifting season in the fourth quarter. Especially, since the Z Flip4 pairs well with devices like the Galaxy Buds Pro 2 and the Galaxy Watch 5 in terms of functionality, look and colour.”

BUS 220906 Ashish Panjabi CE010-1662631046977
Jacky’s has reopened one of its oldest mall-based stores, at Deira City Centre. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Huawei recently launched its latest competing flagship models – the Mate X2 and the P50. Apple remains the outlier among the leading smartphone vendors in sticking to the design – or versions of it - that has served it through the years.

Panjabi will not be complaining, that’s for sure.

Back to stores

Jacky’s has just re-opened an extensively refurbished dedicated Samsung store at Deira City Centre. An outlet that had opened all the way back in 2014, when the smartphone market dynamics was wearing a totally different look.

But isn’t the present all about gadget buyers ordering in rather than stepping into stores?

“Online has grown, but we’ve also seen growth in physical retail,” said Panjabi. “2020 actually represented a growth for us over 2019, despite the fact that we had Covid restrictions.

“In 2021, we again grew in physical retail - the trend in 2022 appears that we will be beat 2021 sales. Malls like City Centre Deira were amongst the quickest in our portfolio to rebound as we saw tourists from Africa, the Subcontinent and Russia primarily shopping here.

We are delighted to be welcoming significant new touch points for the ultimate customer journey and a first-class retail experience

- Seong Hyun Lee, President of Samsung Gulf Electronics

“For a majority of tourists, they still prefer to shop in a physical store, and with the World Cup happening later this year, we expect to see more tourist buyers for TVs and smartphones.

“With televisions, experience still matters and the store is one of the best places to demonstrate this. Most consumers don’t know the difference between different models of televisions or fridge as they would a smartphone. Hence the need to visit a store to understand better – especially since these products have a longer shelf life and have to fit in with the aesthetics of a home.”

The ‘home’ focus

In fact, there is more of the ‘home’ at the revamped Samsung store.

The Samsung Brand Shop in Deira City Centre has been operational since 2014 and whilst it has been regularly re-merchandised, the store has to remain futuristic, hence the renovation.

The makeover builds on the ‘Samsung SmartThings and Samsung BeSpoke concepts where everything in the house is connected and where products are customized to fit your needs’, the COO added. “This isn’t just smartphones but extends to home entertainment and digital home appliances. The area given to these categories has increased whilst the connectivity between them is better demonstrated. The concept of connectedness and BeSpoke products is the way forward - which is what this store represents.”