Why it matters: Foldables were off to a rough start as the next step in the evolution of phone form factors, and Samsung has the scars to prove it. Still, after some much needed tweaking on the original recipe, it looks like the company has found a way to make Galaxy foldables more enticing to consumers.
Earlier this month, Samsung revealed the third iteration of its foldable dream, in the form of the refined Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and Galaxy Z Flip3 5G handsets that cost less than their predecessors. So far, the concept of a foldable phone hasn't attracted that many people for a variety of reasons, but now that the price has improved somewhat, it's worth looking at whether consumers are finally coming around to it.
According to pre-order data from South Korea, it looks like Samsung's latest foldables are not only the most popular takes on this form factor, but may have the potential to become the company's best-selling high-end phones in years.
The news comes via the Korea Herald, who writes that people have already placed orders for over 450,000 units of both the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy Z Flip3 in just over a week. This number represents carrier-locked devices, and is expected to climb to anywhere between 600,000 and 800,000 units throughout the pre-order window. This is in stark contrast to the first generation, which only managed to sell 400,000 units over the course of a few months.
What is even more impressive about Samsung's new foldables is that pre-orders were double the amount that was recorded for the Galaxy S21 family, and more than 50 percent over the number recorded for the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra last year.
It's entirely possible the company's decision to skip the Galaxy Note this generation may have contributed to more attention being focused on the new foldables. However, digging deeper into the report reveals the young crowd is a major driver of this renewed interest in the bleeding edge, with people in their 20s and 30s making up 57 percent of Galaxy Z Flip3 pre-orders and 49 percent of Galaxy Z Fold3 pre-orders.
In a statement, Samsung noted that "we are thankful for the great customer response to our new Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy Z Flip3. Interest in foldable smartphones is at an all-time high, with pre-order volume for Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 already outpacing total sales for Galaxy Z devices to date in 2021. We’re committed to providing the most innovative experiences to our consumers."