What a world we live in when the announcement of a $2,000 price tag for a phone seems… not that bad. Samsung on Tuesday provided more details about its new Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G, which it first. The biggest tidbit shared during “Unpacked Part 2” was the device’s price: — $20 more than last year’s model — which converts to about £1,490 or AU$2,700.
While $2,000 is prohibitively expensive for many people, especially in the middle of a pandemic, the pricing could have been worse. Samsung packed features into the Z Fold 2 that, and it refined the foldable into even more of a sleek, luxury device. It even expanded its — which provides dedicated tech support to foldable buyers — to include perks like a free membership to FoundersCard and delivery of a meal from a Michelin starred restaurant. And Samsung added improvements like 5G to the US model.
“If you look at what they’ve done from a tech perspective, I was expecting it to be slightly more expensive,” Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi said. “But they kept the price. It’s one thing to say $2,000, but it’s another to go over to $2,200 or $2,300.”
Samsung’s latest foldable, which hits stores Sept. 18, comes at a difficult time for the phone market. The novel coronavirus has infected over 25 million people around the globe and killed about 850,000. Millions of people are out of work amid a recession that’s hitting the US hard, and COVID-19 shows no signs of abating in many places in the world. People have been scooping up electronics that let them work or take classes at home — like webcams and laptops — but they’ve been shunning purchases like 5G smartphones. This year, the phone industry will see its biggest drop in sales in a decade, according to CCS Insight.
But unlike the Galaxy Note 20, which starts at $1,000, the Z Fold 2 is clearly different from the pack. It’s a phone with a design that screams luxury, and while this is by no means a mass-market product, there will likely be a niche audience of people insulated from the impact of the coronavirus willing to pay that premium for something unique.
While foldables, Samsung always finds a crop of buyers who want the latest and greatest — and don’t mind paying for that privilege.
“We can all probably intuitively agree that [$2,000 is] the high end of what someone’s going to be willing to pay for a phone,” Drew Blackard, vice president of product management for Samsung Electronics America, said in an interview. “For all intents and purposes, this is a luxury item. That’s why we’re providing all the benefits along with it for device ownership.”
Finessing the foldables
When the Galaxy Fold hit the market a year ago, it was something no one had really ever seen before. The device folded outward from a phone into a tablet, and itwho tested early versions of the device. But the Fold quickly ran into troubles, with . Samsung delayed the launch to fix the flaws. The device ultimately .