We often write about smartphones and how they change our lives. We also often write about folding smartphones that can change the entire industry, but so far they’re not doing very well because they’re too expensive. Sooner or later, everything will change and the price of such devices will greatly decrease. Until recently, the question was when this will happen. Now the manufacturer of these phones answered this question. It turns out the wait is not long. Very soon, we will all be able to flex large screens in our hands and manufacturers will learn how to produce even more interesting folding phones. But when exactly will this happen?
How much do folding phones cost?
For smartphones to fold it need to overcome only one problem – to make a screen that would bend, but not break. As a result, manufacturers struggled with this throughout the past decade, and maybe even longer than that. During this time we saw concepts that worked but were far from being published to the mass market.
Due to the amount of time it took to develop, the work was very expensive. Plus, the production technology is still imperfect and the result is a lot of work. All this is laid down in the cost of the final product. It should recapture not only the costs of production and delivery, but also development.
As a result, now folding smartphones cost anything from $1,500. Their quality leaves much to be desired and the functionality is inferior to classic monoblock smartphones for $600-900. So it’s easy to figure out that a smartphone with a folding screen costs at least $1,000 more than a standard phone. That’s how much we overpay, but how long will it last?
When will folding smartphones get cheaper?
The answer to this question is best sought from company representatives who are engaged in the production of folding devices. That’s exactly what the guys from Wired did. They asked this question to Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business.
He believes the technology to become popular and folding smartphones to fall in price to about the level of modern smartphones will take about two years.
“The cost of [folding smartphones] is very high. We are losing money. The costs are so high that they simply cannot be believed. With such a price, it is simply impossible to make a profit.” – Yu.
At the same time, he noted the demand for the second generation of the folding smartphone Huawei Mate Xs is very high. Even despite its cost, which is 16,999 Chinese yuan or $2,400. Despite such a high price, the company is increasing the production of this smartphone.
How many foldable smartphones are on sale?
The exact number is unknown, but few have met users of such smartphones. Personally, I have met only one he was from IT and he had a Samsung Galaxy Fold.
In general, there are no figures for sales statistics and no one shares accurate data. Only once did one of Samsung’s executives say the company had sold more than a million Galaxy Folds. Later it turned out that these sales figures were not even close. As a result, the company’s PR had to make excuses, saying he had expected sales in mind, not the actual ones.
At the moment, Samsung says nothing, except the demand for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip was just amazing. Analysts are inclined to believe this, since it’s the cheapest folding smartphone you can buy today. Not to mention the Escobar Phone, which turned out to be a hoax and an attempt to cash in on the name of a famous Colombian.
Cheapest foldable smartphone
Now the cheapest folding smartphone is indeed the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip with a price of $1,400. We can safely say that even with the current state of things, you can count on a reduction in the price of folding smartphones to $1,000- $1,300.
But the real price reduction will not begin when the pioneers recapture their development costs, but when the cheaper manufacturers catch up, such as Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo and even OnePlus. According to rumors, Nokia is also preparing to show its foldable phone. Nokia should be on time this year, although I doubt it. The rest are likely to present their products in the middle of next year and then prices will start to fall sharply and may drop to the level of several hundred dollars. The main thing is that quality grows. Few people want to put up with a crease on the screen, for example.
Now you can still come to terms with this since the phones as a whole definitely have the wow effect. When they become cheaper and are not that unique they will have to decide something.