Foldable phones are the latest innovation in the smartphone industry, offering users the convenience of a larger screen that can fold into a pocket-sized device. But while many consumers are intrigued by the idea of a phone that can transform into a tablet, they are also deterred by the high price tag.
Samsung, Google and other tech companies have recently unveiled their latest foldable models, with prices ranging from $1,799 to $1,999. These devices feature flexible displays that require more engineering and are more expensive to manufacture than traditional displays. They also have other components unique to foldables that drive up the cost.
The high price point is one of the factors limiting the size of the foldable market. According to ABI Research, foldable and flexible displays made up about 0.7% of the smartphone market in 2021, and are expected to fall just shy of 2% in 2022.
Some analysts predict that foldable phones will become more affordable and mainstream in the future, as technology improves and competition increases. But others are skeptical that foldables will ever appeal to the mass market, given their durability issues and limited use cases.
“I don’t have the finances to do so. … [That] price for a first generation device is astronomical,” said Chris Pantons, a Google Pixel super fan who decided not to upgrade to the Pixel Fold.
“My first car was $1800,” one user wrote on Twitter. “Google [lost] their minds.”
“The fact you can buy a new Pixel, Pixel tablet and a Pixel Watch for less than the Fold and have various devices for use cases is a better value,” said Pantons.
Some consumers, however, are willing to pay a premium for foldable phones, seeing them as a way to enhance their productivity, entertainment and creativity.
“I love having a big screen that I can use for multitasking, watching videos and drawing with the S Pen,” said Jessica Lee, a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold user. “It’s like having two devices in one.”
Lee said she doesn’t mind the cost of foldable phones, as long as they offer her something new and different.
“I think foldable phones are the future of smartphones,” she said. “They are not just a novelty, they are a necessity.”
- Foldable phones are getting cheaper, but not cheap enough – CNET | May 18, 2023
- Google Pixel Fold vs Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3: Which foldable phone is worth the price? – TechRadar | May 20, 2023
- How to get a foldable phone for less than $1000 – Android Authority | May 19, 2023