Samsung's big bet on foldable phones paid off

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If you were a little apprehensive when phone manufacturers started revealing and launching foldable smartphones, you certainly weren't alone. To some, it seemed like maybe the world's smartphone manufacturers were looking to create a niche instead of filling a need with foldable smartphones, but as time went on and these designs became more refined, we started to see some very cool devices. It looks like getting into the world of foldables was a good move for Samsung, at least, as the company shared some rather impressive milestones today.

Samsung shared these milestones in a post to the Samsung Newsroom. The article mostly comes off as a self-congratulatory fluff piece that retraces Samsung's steps from the early idea of folding displays through the eventual release of the Galaxy Fold – Samsung's first consumer folding smartphone – and up to newer folding devices like the Galaxy Z Flip 3.

While it may make for a nice stroll down memory lane that offers some insight into the development of these folding phones, we found one tidbit of information particularly interesting. In that article, Samsung claims that the Galaxy Z Flip 3 has driven a surprising number of people to switch smartphone brands.

"This unprecedented push in innovation has sparked a surging demand for foldable devices, bringing more users to the Galaxy family than ever before," Samsung wrote. "Compared to the Galaxy Note20, Samsung has seen a 150 percent increase in consumers who switched smartphone brands for the Galaxy Z Flip3, and a 140 percent increase compared to the Galaxy S21."

There is a footnote in there that says this information comes from Samsung's Big Data Center, so these are in-house statistics. Still, it's impressive that the Z Flip 3 seems to be tempting more people over from other devices than the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy Note 20 – two flagships – managed to.

Perhaps that's because foldables like the Z Flip 3 are novel, but the results of Samsung's buyer surveys suggest it could be more than that. Those who bought the Z Flip 3, for instance, told Samsung that the "stylish design, portability, and an innovative folding form factor were the top drivers behind purchases" of that phone, while Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 buyers were attracted to the phone because of "its large screen for viewing content, multitasking capabilities and productivity features."

Though Samsung's news post is a little too filled with PR speak for our taste, it does seem that the company is onto something with its folding phones. From here, Samsung says that it will continue to grow the segment, in part by collaborating with app developers and "heavily investing in R&D."

One partnership Samsung makes specific note of is its team up with Google, which saw the two of them create guidelines for apps running on folding screen devices earlier this year. If there was any question before, it seems safe to assume that foldables are going to be central to Samsung's smartphone strategy moving forward, so we can expect to see more of these devices in the future.