Why Samsung Doesn't Have High Hopes For The Galaxy Z Fold 5 And Flip 5

It's been more than three years since Samsung launched its first-ever foldable smartphone: the original Galaxy Z Fold. Despite its rocky start — and thanks to non-existent competition from other smartphone brands — Samsung went on to become the most dominant player in the foldable smartphones space (via KED). Aiding Samsung's growth was the fact that the company issued regular software updates to its older Fold series phones while aggressively working on improving the quality levels on these devices with each successive generation. Samsung also diversified its foldable portfolio by coming up with the Galaxy Z Flip series devices that catered to a different category of foldable users.

Buoyed by the success of its foldable phones, Samsung has been pretty bullish about its shipment and production targets. For its yet-to-be-launched 2022 foldable phones — the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and the Galaxy Z Fold 4 — the company has reportedly set ambitious shipment targets that exceeded 15 million units (via ETNews). It is only natural, therefore, to assume that Samsung will have even higher shipping estimates for its 2023 lineup of foldables: the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Galaxy Z Flip 5. In reality, however, according to a report from The Elec, it is believed that Samsung has lowered the shipping expectations for the foldable smartphones it intends to launch in 2023.

Are global challenges to blame?

In November 2021, when we first heard of Samsung's plans to ship more than 15 million foldable phones, the world was very different. Sure, we had Covid and lockdowns back then as well. What we did not have was a deadly armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the global markets on a prolonged bear run, and a real possibility of several economies going into recession. In light of new events, it seems Samsung has re-evaluated its prospects for 2023 — and things aren't looking good for its foldable phones.

According to the report, Samsung only expects to ship a total of 10 million foldable phones in 2023. If true, this would be 5 million fewer units than its expectations for 2022. The figure of 10 million includes 2 million units of the Galaxy Z Fold and 8 million units of the Galaxy Z Flip. If true, it seems Samsung is more bullish on the prospects of the cheaper Flip series doing better than the Fold. 

Besides this prediction, the report also talked about some of the expected features of the Galaxy Z Fold 5. Key among this includes the possibility of the Fold 5 getting a 50MP primary rear-facing camera that uses the Samsung ISOCELL GN3 sensor. The phone will also get a 12MP front-facing camera. There is no word about the rest of the camera sensors on the Fold 5. Given that industry analysts have already predicted a massive dip in the number of smartphone shipments in 2023 (via IDC), Samsung isn't entirely wrong with its assessment, assuming the report is accurate. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how this story pans out.