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Samsung Raises Foldable Prices, Adds AI for Market Edge

Samsung Unveils Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Fold 6 with AI Features, Priced at $1,100 and $1,900

By Bill Bullington

7/10, 09:19 EDT
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Key Takeaway

  • Samsung's new Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Z Fold 6, priced at $1,100 and $1,900 respectively, feature AI enhancements to reclaim foldable market leadership.
  • Strategic focus on China includes partnerships with Baidu for AI tools in the Galaxy S24, aiming to penetrate the premium segment.
  • Expanding health-focused ecosystem with new devices like the $400 Galaxy Ring and $650 Galaxy Watch Ultra featuring unique metabolic health tracking.

Samsung Unveils New Foldables

Samsung Electronics Co. has introduced its latest foldable smartphones, the Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Galaxy Z Fold 6, at a high-profile event in Paris. The new models, priced at $1,100 and $1,900 respectively, are the slimmest and lightest versions in their series. These devices come with a $100 price increase compared to their predecessors. Samsung's mobile chief, TM Roh, emphasized that the addition of artificial intelligence (AI) features is crucial for the company to reclaim its position as the leading maker of foldable phones.

The new foldables incorporate several AI features, including an automatic interpreter that works with social apps like WhatsApp and WeChat, allowing users to converse in different languages. This feature was initially introduced with regular phone calls on the Galaxy S24. Samsung's Galaxy AI suite also benefits from Google's AI tools, which are integrated across Android devices. "We continue to work closely with Google on our Galaxy devices because they are our strongest partner ever," said Roh. Samsung is also collaborating with Microsoft Corp. and AI startups to meet evolving consumer demands.

Strategic Focus on China

Samsung is making a concerted effort to penetrate the Chinese market, the world's largest smartphone market, where it currently holds a small market share. "China’s local service content ecosystem is very strong, and we have been working very closely with the big service content companies to optimize for the Chinese market," Roh stated. The company is targeting the premium tier with products customized for local consumers. For instance, Samsung adopted Baidu Inc.'s AI tools for its Galaxy S24 release in China, substituting Google, whose software is not available in the country. Roh confirmed that the Baidu partnership would continue but did not specify additional partners.

The new foldables also feature software improvements, such as an updated Samsung Keyboard that generates text based on keywords and reflects the user's usual tone by analyzing their previous social media posts. The S Pen stylus on the Fold can be used to sketch ideas or draw on photos, which the device will then convert into generated images.

Expanding Ecosystem with Health Focus

Samsung is expanding its ecosystem of products with a strong focus on health and wellness. The company unveiled new devices, including the $400 Galaxy Ring and the $650 Galaxy Watch Ultra, alongside refreshed models of its Galaxy Buds earphones and the $300 Galaxy Watch 7. These new products are part of Samsung's strategy to build an ecosystem that rivals Apple's. "Samsung’s ecosystem portfolio is core to attracting brand switchers in the premium segment," said Canalys analyst Jack Leathem. The new Galaxy Watch models will track the wearer's Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) index, an indicator of metabolic health and biological age, a feature not yet available on Apple Inc.'s watches.

Samsung's mobile digital health chief, Hon Pak, highlighted the significance of this new feature. "AGEs readers have existed in larger hardware and we’ve now miniaturized that and made it possible to measure that through the watch for the very first time," Pak said. The new watches also measure heart rate during intensive workouts with 30% greater accuracy.

Management Quotes

  • TM Roh, Mobile Chief of Samsung Electronics:

    "We continue to work closely with Google on our Galaxy devices because they are our strongest partner ever."
    "China’s local service content ecosystem is very strong, and we have been working very closely with the big service content companies to optimize for the Chinese market."
    "For the Chinese Galaxy AI, we’re going to have strategic cooperation with big Chinese IT companies."