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The 5G Elite: A Luxury Few Can Afford


Samsung’s Foldable Frenzy: A Pricey Play for the Elite

In a bold move, Samsung has unveiled its latest foldable smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold6 and Galaxy Z Flip6, with prices that will make your wallet weep. The 256GB Galaxy Z Fold6 model will set you back a whopping R43 499, while the 512GB Galaxy Z Fold6 will retail for a staggering R45 999. The Galaxy Z Flip6, on the other hand, will cost a relatively affordable R25 999.

But is this luxury tech worth the hefty price tag? According to experts, the answer is a resounding "maybe." Arnold Ponela, senior research analyst at IDC, notes that while foldables represent the most innovative visual change in smartphones to date, their high prices remain a significant barrier to entry for most consumers.

"The cost remains a substantial barrier, keeping these advanced devices out of reach for most customers," Ponela says. "Notably, the foldable phone market achieved a 40% year-on-year growth in 2023, compared to just 1.2% for standard smartphones, yet foldables still account for only about 1% of total smartphone shipments."

So, who is this technology for? Ponela believes that Samsung’s Galaxy Z series has been well-received, and the brand’s reputation and marketing efforts contribute to consumer interest in foldable technology. However, he warns that competition is on the rise, with brands like Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Honor launching their own foldable devices locally.

"Brands that have launched foldables locally include Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Honor," Ponela says. "The IDC analyst says Samsung’s Galaxy Z series has been well-received, and the brand’s reputation and marketing efforts contribute to consumer interest in foldable technology."

But what about the future of foldables? Ponela predicts that Samsung will continue to dominate the market, but new vendors will launch foldable products, fostering competition that could lower prices and enhance product quality, offering consumers more foldable options.

"As a pioneer of foldable technology in the country, Samsung has collaborated closely with telcos to effectively promote these cutting-edge devices," Ponela says. "While Samsung dominates the market, new vendors are poised to launch foldable products, fostering competition that could lower prices and enhance product quality, offering consumers more foldable options."

So, is Samsung’s foldable frenzy a game-changer or a costly mistake? Only time will tell. One thing is certain, however: the war for foldable supremacy has only just begun.



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