Fold & Flip Are The Future For Smartphones Claims Samsung Mobile Head
As Harvey Norman splashed out on double page spreads this past weekend to spruik Samsung two new foldable smartphones, a problem emerged, there were no stores open for consumers to actually view or get a real touch and feel for the latest Samsung offerings, which the head of Samsung’s mobile business in Australia claims is going to change the form factor for smartphones.
According to Gary McGregor Vice President of IT and Mobile at Samsung Australia “foldable” is the future for smartphones with the Companies new 5G, Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3, set to deliver new problems for retailers especially when it comes to staff being trained to explain the benefits of the new devices especially as no other mobile brands have any form of competition in Australia to the new third generation Samsung devices.
During an interview with ChannelNews McGregor admitted that “education” is a key issue for both Samsung and retailers because of the radical new look and feel that the new devices deliver.
“They need to be shown and explained” claims McGregor.
“For retailers the issue is not going to be about iOS Vs Android it’s going to be about fold or old” models with a push now being made by Samsung to push fold and flip phones as the future for mobile devices.
During the weekend I personally experienced the intense level of curiosity associated with these devices especially when I went to pay for goods, or QR code into locations using the new Samsung Galaxy Flip 3.
“What is it”, is it a phone or a small tablet” or “how does it open” were just some of the questions I got from curious observers.
When I did open the new Galaxy Z Flip 3 people were surprised that it looked and felt similar to a normal smartphone.
Several said” You don’t really notice the crease”.
Women were particularly impressed with the size with several claiming that they wanted to buy one immediately, in fact one owner of a North Shore fish chip shop offered me $1,500 to buy the device from me.
Others admitted that the Samsung Galaxy Flip 3 was the product that would get them to shift from Apple to an Android device.
One feature that appealed to both male and female observers was the small screen on the front of the Flip 3 that delivers a multitude of information without the device having to be open.
“The new Samsung products are all about iconic design claims” McGregor.
Available in seven different colours he said that pre orders from retailers were “high for green and cream”.
He also said that the new range of accessories especially the new covers that Samsung has designed for the Flip were set to be a big seller for retailers.
Referring to the past success of the Motorola Razr that back in the 1990’s was the number one mobile device in Australia McGregor said, “There is a lot of nostalgia associated with a flip phone especially that feel when you flip it shut”.
According to retailers that ChannelNews has spoken to the devices are among the most exciting smartphones seen from a brand “In a long time”.
A JB Hi Fi Manager said “The Galaxy Flip 3 is going to be a big seller especially as a lot of people are fed up with large smartphones especially women who like bright colours and want a device they can easily carry in a bag or when exercising. All we need is out of lockdown so that we can show the device as it is a product that has to be seen and played with because of it’s unique form factor” they said.
As for the new Fold Z3 this device is seen as a productivity tool which several people said they would buy as a replacement for their tablet.
“With this device I only have to carry one device not two” said one senior female executive of a major banking organisation.
“What is abundantly clear is that Samsung has delivered a genuinely new form factor and whether consumers take to the new form factor is a matter of time. I believe Samsung has two real winners with these devices and Apple would have to be seriously worried as a lot of people are over Apple iPhones but are tied to their software and this is the glue that has kept a lot of people attached to their devices”. They added.
McGregor admits the Fold which is now into its third variant has had a chequered journey to date.
“Accessibility was an issue in the past. We have now reduced the price point from $3,000 plus to $2,499. This is still a lot of money for a smartphone however it will appeal to those people who are looking for the very best in a mobile device”. said McGregor.
As for availability McGregor said that Samsung has significantly expanded the availability of the device across both carriers and retailers. “More retailers than ever before are selling these devices” he said.
He also said that Samsung had expanded the virtually experience that consumer can get when shopping for this device with many retailers, carriers and Samsung now relying on, online to generate sales of the new device.